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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)

TITLE: Sad, Like Pinocchio
By Lynda Lee Schab


I love being a grandma. And I am always willing to babysit my grandchildren. But I’ve always said I can handle either a couple of my grandkids for a long period of time or all of them for a short time (like an hour, tops).

So why, in a moment of insanity, I agreed to take all nine kids for eight hours while their parents attended a day-long stress management conference, is beyond me.

After today, I will be the one in need of stress therapy. And a box of Nice ‘N Easy to cover the gray.

“Are you sure you can do this, Mom?” My daughter, Tricia, calls over her shoulder as she hurries out the door.

What am I supposed to say? No? Kiss the hundred bucks you shelled out for the conference goodbye because granny can’t cut it?

“Of course I’m sure. I raised four of you, didn’t I?”

Four vs. nine. Okay...slight difference. But, hey - I am now older, wiser and more mature. Well, older, anyway. The fact that nine little people are swarming around my feet, crawling into my cupboards and removing all the DVD’s from the shelf make me question the wisdom thing. And because I am tempted to stick my fingers in my ears and say, “la la la la la la la la la...” and shut myself off from this day completely...well, the maturity thing could be debated, too.

I quickly redirect the small but damaging tornados to a swirl of activities instead. We make cookies. Read stories. Play games – like “see who can hop on one foot the longest.” For some reason, they weren’t interested in the game I suggested: See who can sit still the longest.


Soon, they get tired of organized activities and move to the spontaneous (read: restless) mode.

“Wanna see my cartwheel, Grandma?” (“Awesome, Kaylee!”)

“Watch me blow a bubble, Grandma!” (“I don’t even want to know where you found that gum, Hanna.”)

“Guess what I drawed, Grandma.” (“Uh... why don’t you tell me what it is, Evan?”)

“Timmy farted, Grandma!” (“What did you want him to do? Hold it in?”)

“Why do bees always sting your butt, Grandma?” (huh?)

By hour seven, I am exhausted. Actually, I was exhausted by hour number two, but sheer will-power and lots of prayer have gotten me through. At the moment, “Pinocchio” is playing and, for now, all nine children are engrossed. Thank goodness for DVD’s.

The moms stroll in, fourteen minutes late - but who’s keeping track? They are laughing, completely peaceful and de-stressed.

“How was the conference?” I ask.

Lisa answers. “Oh. Actually, the conference was cancelled at the last minute because the instructor got sick. We got a refund and spent the day at the mall. A day of shopping is the best stress reliever anyway. We desperately needed a day out without the kids. Thanks so much, Mom. You’re a lifesaver.”

Because my daughters are so thankful, and knowing how much they did, indeed, need time for themselves, I smile.

Well, and because they are taking the kids home with them.

“I’ll miss you, Grandma,” Timmy says.

“I wanna stay here with you,” cries Hanna, attaching herself to my leg.

My head snaps in her mother’s direction. For a second, I worry that she will ask me to keep the kids overnight. But she gives me a knowing smile and peels Hanna off my pants.

“I’m sad to go.” Kaylee appears in front of me, lip trembling. She looks up at me with her big, brown eyes. “Are you sad too, Grandma?”

Lord? I know it’s wrong to lie. But I don’t want to hurt my grand-daughter’s feelings. You’ll forgive me, just this once. Right, Lord?

“I am sad, Kaylee.” I reach up and touch my nose, expecting it to grow beneath my fingers.

Kaylee continues. “I’m so sad I could cry a million teardrops. How sad are you?” She’s a dramatic little thing, isn’t she?

“I’m so sad I'll cry until the next time you visit me.” My fingers are still on my nose, holding it back from poking Kaylee in the eye.

“Why are you holding your nose, Grandma? Did Timmy fart again?” She giggles and runs out the door, her sadness replaced by disgusting humor.

The house finally to myself, I sit back in my recliner and look at the mess surrounding me. I smile weakly and realize I really am sad they're gone.

I touch my nose. Sad like Pinocchio.

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This article has been read 1053 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/02/07
Love the title - and you certainly captured the energy of nine (NINE!!??) little ones. A fun read - I can just picture you with your hand on your nose!
Dara Sorensen08/03/07
A nice little bit of humor this week!

I especially loved this sentence: After today, I will be the one in need of stress therapy. And a box of Nice ‘N Easy to cover the gray." Very funny! ^_^
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/03/07
You drew me in with the first line. "I love being a Grandma," and you kept me sharing with you the whole way through the story. After two little granddaughters, I was amazed that with two grandsons, I had to take the coffee table out of the great room to keep them from jumping on it. You took care of NINE??!!
Lynda Schultz 08/03/07
Delightful! Good work.
Dee Yoder 08/04/07
I was laughing all the way through this because I just finished watching a 3 month old, (how hard could THAT be, I thought smugly), but I had to take a nap every day after the little guy left-forget cooking dinner-Whew!
Those 14 minutes were looonnngg, weren't they? Your story hit the spot with me!
Jan Ackerson 08/05/07
How marvelous! I tried for humore this week, too, but you NAILED it! You're on a roll, girl!
william price08/05/07
Loved this. Very authentic voice. Great use of humor. Super title and writing, as always, top shelf. God bless.
Betty Castleberry08/05/07
Oh, this is priceless, and as a grandma, I can relate. You had me chuckling. Very well done.
Kristen Hester08/07/07
I love the title, I love the humor. This is such a fun read. You are so gifted. Thanks for not making me cry!
Phyllis Inniss08/08/07
This is great writing. Very realistic and full of humour.
Caitlynn Lowe08/08/07
Some great humor in this one!
LaNaye Perkins08/08/07
I loved how you told this story. Being a grandma myself, I can truly relate!
Julie Arduini08/08/07
I love it! Something tells me there are some blushing grandmas out there because the secret is out...Wonderful story!
Lisa Holloway08/18/07
This story was so enjoyable. I could really see and identify with what you were describing.