What I Learned in 8 Days

January 17, 2019

Today is the 8th day that I have been at Brian and Melissa’s house (son and daughter-in-law) taking 24/7 care of Owen (5 years old) and Ella (3 years old). Brian and Melissa are enjoying a 10th wedding anniversary getaway. 

It’s been fun. It’s been tiring. It’s been a joy, and it’s been a challenge. I’ve laughed a lot and learned a lot. Tomorrow I will be going home. I am already feeling a tug at my heart as I think about driving out of the driveway tomorrow. 

Here are a few of my observations, memories, and anecdotes from this week:

Owen: “Grandma, did you know that TV shows and movies aren’t real?”
Me: “Yes, I did know that. They’re like reading a book, but you get to see pictures instead.”
Owen: “Except PJ Masks. That’s real.”
Me: “Oh, really?”
Owen:”YES! Because it’s real people that turn into Super Heroes!!!:

Ella loves kitties. She will act like a kitty, crawling on all 4’s, meowing, and using her “paws” to scratch the furniture. She doesn’t break character either. One day Ella was behind me, and I didn’t see her. I stepped backward and stepped on her toes.

Ella: MEOW!!!!!”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, Ella. I didn’t see you. I stepped on your toes! I’m sorry.”
Ella: “No, you step on me paws.”

Owen and I were playing a board game, in which we had to spin an arrow to determine how many spaces we got to move on the board. I noticed Owen nudging the arrow into a more favorable position.

Me:”Owen, are you cheating?
Owen:  “Ummmmmm….. I think maybe I am.”

Owen knocked over some toys of Ella’s and that upset her.

Ella: “Grandma, Owen knock over my toys.”
Me: “Did you tell Owen you didn’t like that?”
Ella: “Owen, me no like when you knock over my toys.”
Me: “Owen how do you think it makes Ella feel when you knock over her toys?”
Owen: “Sad”
Me: “So should we knock over her toys then?”
Owen: “No. I’m sorry Ella.”
Ella: “That’s okay. But me still mad.”

And that’s okay. 🙂 She can still be mad about it, but she did forgive him.

Ella: “Oh, no, it looks like it’s going to rain soon.”
Me: “Yes, the sky is very gray,”
Owen: “Grandma. The sky isn’t gray. The clouds are gray because they hold water. But the sky doesn’t turn gray. Did you REALLY think that the sky turns gray?”

Heart Warming:
Ella: “When Mommy and Daddy come home, me lock the door so they can’t come in.”
Owen: “Yeah, let’s lock the door.”
Me: “Why would you do that?”
Owen: “So you could stay with us Forever & Ever!”
…….  …….   pause ….. …..
Owen to Ella: “But what if Mommy and Daddy bring us a present?”
Ella: (after thinking a minute) “Me open the door so they can peek in.”

Owen (as we drove out of Ella’s pre-school parking lot): “Grandma, this is where I go for  Cubbies.”
Me: “What is Cubbies?”
Owen: “It’s where I go to learn more about God.”
Me: “Oh, that’s great!”
Owen: “But I can’t go when you are here because it’s late at night and someone has to stay at home with Ella. It’s VERY long and EXHAUSTING.”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry you can’t go tonight.”
Owen: “You’re so silly, Grandma!”
Me: “What do I do that is silly?”
Owen: “You apologize for me not going to Cubbies and I don’t WANT to go to Cubbies!”

(He really does like Cubbies!)

From my perspective, “tedious” can be defined as buckling and unbuckling children’s car seats 18 times in one day. And knowing that it’s likely to be the same number of times the next day. And the next.

But the payoff for the tedious tasks and all of the not-so-fun jobs is the hugs and kisses, and conversations that just make me laugh and remember how truly delightful children can be. Especially when they are your grandchildren.

Oh, and P.S….. In case you have a 5-year-old boy in your life…. This is the conversation Owen and I had on the way home from school today:

I was laughing at something Owen said.
Owen: “Don’t laugh. I am serious.”
Me: “I know you are serious.”
Owen: “Then don’t laugh.”
Me: “I’m laughing because you are so cute.”
Owen: “I am not cute. I am a big boy. and big boys are NOT cute.”

Just in case you need to know!



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  1. DeLoris Musick

    I use to be where you are now. You enjoy every second whether it is tiring or not. Your story is sooo heart touching for me because I am trying my best to adjust to my grandson being almost 12 and I am no longer his Moon and Stars! Bless your sweet little ones! Hugs, DeLoris

    • Karen

      Thanks, DeLoris. Yes, I know what you mean. I know there will come that day for me too, and I’m not looking forward to it either. But I know the love you poured into your grandson is in his heart.

  2. Marilyn McCormick

    So nice to hear about your enjoyment of your little ones. I love it when I spend time with mine too, but yes that was a long time of caretaking for a grandma! Very adorable children. I loved the part about locking the door to keep you there. Now go get some rest!

  3. Esther Beale

    So priceless! So precious!

    • Karen

      Totally agree with you, Esther!

  4. Renee

    Oh my goodness… these moments you recorded are so precious. How lucky you are to spend this time with your grandchildren. I experienced so many of these same moments when I was babysitting my grands. SO MUCH FUN!! ( but I can’t put it in words like you do)

    • Karen

      Oh, yes, Renee. I’m sure you have tons of stories too! Six grandchildren you watched all at once, right? You are my hero!

  5. Steph Barry

    And you can go back and read these conversation with both of them 10 years from now. Priceless.

  6. norah stack

    I have been where you are now. Have never had any problems until now. Our 11 yr old granddaughter was diagnosed with the worst kind of Leukemia 6 weeks ago. She has suffered through treatments of chemo, blood transfusions, bone marrow tests and copius cell tests. This week she was pronounced in remission. She still has a long road ahead, chemo for 2 years ( yes, years) and other treatments but tonight I was in tears hearing her voice again over the phone laughing and joking as before. Hannah is back with us after weeks of no communication. She has a life ahead of her and if I could give her what is left of mine I would. It does not work that way so I will continue to love her, make cookies for her and be there whenever she needs me for as long as I can.
    Enjoy the time you have and make the most of it, you never know what lies ahead!

  7. Margaret Crozier

    Ah, the fantastic memories of so much time spent with our precious grandchildren. Such treasures. Now we have great-grandchildren and gathering more wonderful memories. Of course, we are a bit beyond having full care of them but none-the-less we are enjoying them as often as possible.
    I truly ache for grandparents whose littles live too distant for frequent visits.

  8. Glori

    So many beautiful memories!! You have journaled and photographed so many of these and that’s such a treasure for both you and your grands!!

  9. Psseqimages

    OH Karen! HOW incredibly precious–what adorable Grandies! I ESPECIALLY love the Science conversation. Can’t be much cuter!

  10. Terri Spiker Adams

    This is adorable. They grow so fast. Kole is in 7th grade and Emma is in 4th now. So great you get to spend time with them.

  11. FussBudget

    This was so much fun for me to read. I keep a notebook to write and remember phone calls I’ve had with my niece over the years. Most have been dated so I can easily match them with photos I’ve taken. They add so much more to the photos. I like the style you presented them in. Mine are all in written paragraphs but I’m going to try and copy your “Me:Owen:Me:” technique.

  12. Barb Barker

    Ohh, I so enjoyed this post!! The kids are so smart and sweet and funny!

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