Jacob went home to help Mom with the baby when Mom goes into the doctor’s office to get her staples removed tomorrow. He’s a quietly effective peacemaker and babysitter, so much so that sometimes I forget what a good job he does protecting Zoe from Dylan’s mischief while simultaneously keeping Dylan amused. Until, of course, he’s not here.
Dylan was quite upset on the way home from Mom and Dad’s house today. “Jacob isn’t even going to miss us!”
“Yes, he will. He told me that it was going to be really weird for you not to be there!” I assured him.
“Well, when HE heard I was maybe going to be gone all summer, he said ‘YESSSSSS!’ I HEARD him!” Dylan said. I think his feelings were really hurt.
“That’s not true. It is going to be quiet and boring, and the new baby is only going to cry and poop. He’s going to miss playing with you!”
“No, he won’t. He’s just going to play stupid video games ALL DAY LONG and won’t even think about me!”
Well, all that misery needed an outlet, and y’all know what rolls downhill.
While we were at Mommy’s House, Zoe started getting all teary eyed at the thought of leaving Mommy. “Mommy, I don’t want to leave you!” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. Mommy, who misses her children, started having some tear rolling of her own.
“Excuse me?” I said. “I thought we weren’t going to upset Mommy when you know she can’t take care of you yet. Besides, do you want the baby chickens and ducks to die because you’re not there to feed them every morning? And who is going to walk with me at the beach and pick up shells? I’m going tomorrow, you know….” Yep, I threw enough guilt in there that she should be in therapy for five years.
Mommy said “You can come home Friday night and Daddy will be able to take care of you over the weekend!” Zoe smiled and said “Okay, MeeMaw, I’ll come home with you so that you won’t be sad!”
You can imagine Zoe’s reaction, therefore, when I heard Dylan quietly tell her in the back seat of the truck “Mommy and Daddy gave you and me to MeeMaw and Papa, and you’re never. Ever. Going. To. See. Them. Ever. AGAIN!”
“But I want to see my Momma! I want her NOW!” sobbed Zoe.
“Zoe, we’re not keeping you forever! We’re just keeping you until Mommy feels better! You’re going home on Friday for the weekend!” I told her. “Then, Dylan and maybe you will be coming back next week until Mommy feels all better.”
“No!” she sobbed. “Dyllie said that I’ll never see my Momma AGAIN.”
*sigh* “Dylan, tell her the truth.”
“We’re going home to see Mommy in a couple days.”
“NO! Dyllie said that I don’t have a fambly anymore!”
“DYLAN! Zoe, of COURSE you have a family! Papa and I are your family! Dylan is your family! Jacob is your family! Baby Lila Rose is your family! Mommy and Daddy are you family! You have lots of other family, too.”
That placated her for a little while, until Dylan whispered “Bogman!” She squealed loudly.
“STOP THAT!” ordered SwampMan. “What was that all about?”
“Dylan and Jacob made up a story about a Bogman that lives in the swamp and steals little girls in order to terrorize her.”
“Our next vehicle will definitely be a cargo van”, said SwampMan. “A cargo van with really, really thick doors between us in front and the cargo in back.”
So, here we are, back home. Zoe has been playing quietly with her dolls while Dylan has read aloud about a hundred pages of SirFartsalot. Then they colored companionably together, and then Dylan did tricks with his paper airplane while Zoe watched and cheered his efforts. There’s a severe thunderstorm going on outside so our grandkids’ first choice in fine dining, weiners grilled over a fire with flaming marshmallows for desert, is not going to happen. The chicken for chicken and rice is simmering on the stove, lightning and thunder crashes outside, all while SwampMan snoozed in his chair. The peaceful moment lasted for about, oh, five minutes, then they switched to tag. So much for SwampMan’s nap!