So, last night I thought I'd be a super-generous and give Em and Vic the night off to go do couple-type things. I figured, hey, of course I can handle two small boys on my own. I am an experience child wrangler from way back. I know these boys. They know me. Nothing can possibly go wrong.
That's just the sort of confidence that begs to be taught the error of its ways, don't you think?
And teach me, it did.
I figured that since it would be the first time Grayson had been left home with me that he might cause a problem or two. Sure, we're great mates, but we've never had to be great mates alone before.
As it turns out, alone would have been infinitely easier.
After the boys had their baths, their parents tootled off to the Casino in the usual manner of new parents leaving both their babies for the first time. That is: Vic waved and went to sit in the car and wait while Em ran back inside half-a-dozen times with further instructions and to kiss her progeny one...last...time.
By the time the garage door did it's extremely rattly automatic closing thing, Grayson was contentedly snoring in his bed. "This cannot last, it is too good to be true," I thought. I was right, but not quite in the way I thought.
Jayden--the child most experienced at hanging out with Andma--figured that this would be just like all the other nights/days/whatever that the two of us have spent together, ie: a party. While he did a remarkably good job of feigning sleep until his parents were gone, as soon as that garage door shut, he sat bolt upright in bed and grinned at me.
Me: Shhh, Graysie is asleep, shhh.
Me: Yes. Shhh.
Jayden: hahahaha! Up! Cat! Up!
Me: Andma said shhh! Graysie is asleep.
Jayden: Shh. Up! Cat! *gets up and grabs the blinds* *rattles the blinds* *chortles madly*
Me: No! You lie down in bed and go to sleep right now.
Jayden: Cat! Rum! (Rum is the cat in his favorite book. Jayden's not actually a two-year-old alcoholic)
Me: Sleep. *sings a pointless lullaby*
Jayden: *sings what sounds like a raucous rock song*
I decided to channel Jo Frost, the Supernanny, and turned away to ignore him and focus my attention on willing Grayson to stay asleep. Luckily, the bath had sapped all the little fella's superpowers and he was oblivious to the one-person-party going on in the cot behind me.
Jayden: *sings* Aaaaaandmaaaaaa. Caaaaaaat! Ruuuuummmmmmm! Bubba up!
Like I hadn't noticed.
Then, the words I have long-since learned to dread.
Jayden: Uh oh. Uh oh. UH OH!
Forget Supernanny, I rolled over in a real big hurry. There sat my small antagonist in a pool of milk. He'd opened the port on his feeding tube and sat there watching while the cot flooded. So, I raced down the hall to the linen closet for fresh sheets. Jayden, helpful as always, made sure I was kept abreast of the situation by hollering, "UH OH UH OH UH OH!" at the top of his voice from his bed. You know, just in case I forgot dairy products were flooding the sleeping quarters.
I ran back with fresh sheets, sat him on his parents' bed beside me while I pulled the mattress out of his bed to clean and put new sheets on. Unfortunately, among other less-than-helpful skills, Jayden has recently learned how to get down from great heights. The bed, for him, is a great height at about one-and-a-half Jayden length's tall. Every time I tried to wrestle the mattress out of the cot, he rolled onto his belly and started sliding down the side of Mount Bed. He'd stop when his armpits hit the edge and his feet still had a mighty long way to go. Then he'd do the logical thing and panic. After the second emergency rescue, I sat him on the floor.
That's when the chortling started and he made for the hallway and freedom.
Suffice to say, by the time I actually got him back in the bed again, one of us was exhausted and it wasn't the right one.
Fast forward to 1am. Grayson was still snoring--a blessing I still can't quite believe--and Jayden was not.
He opened his port several more times, and lay in his bed sucking the milk out instead of letting it flood the place. Which was a very good thing since he'd gone through every sheet we owned by then. If I'd had the energy, I'd have taped the darn thing closed, but he's pretty good with tape too.
I had confiscated Elmo and was holding him hostage, to be returned only after a suitable period of good behavior. Suffice to say, I still have Elmo.
In the end, the small dynamo didn't give up until past 2am. By then, he'd given me his very most* disappointed look and clearly lost all faith in me and my ability to be the fun guy in his life.
His parents came home to find both boys fast asleep in their beds, and me in the middle fast asleep in the parental bed...sideways...cuddling Elmo.
Apparently we looked very sweet and peaceful.
*Never fear, his faith was restored as soon as he saw me this morning. He grabbed his favorite book, hollered, "Cat!" and hurried over to me so I could read it. Which I did. Which I always do. Which is why I can now recite the entire text of Which Witch's Wand Works, including the spells. That, my friends, is exceptional grandparenting, right there.