That means it’s supposed to be getting cooler soon, right? I can’t wait. Yes, I realize that in this neck of the woods, “cooler” means upper 80’s rather than upper 90’s, but heck, I’ll take that in a heartbeat.

It’s been beyond hectic around here, hence the short absence. We started school, prekindergarten and kindergarten for the boys – they both adore their teachers and I hope I will too. I’m so excited about kindergarten that I volunteered to come in one day a week to help with reading lessons (what have I gotten myself into?) Babybeast will be deposited with Grandpa for the hour and a half or so it takes every week. Since he doesn’t have anything to do but “wait to die” (real nice, Dad) it should be fun for both of them.

Meanwhile, I am on the prowl for volunteer opportunities to get him out of his easy chair at least one other day a week….ideas welcome, so long as it doesn’t involve animals.

When my dad comes over, he typically gets into something my mother won’t allow him – potato chips if we have them in the house (which is rare), the baby’s snacks (no, really – he’s been known to eat an entire bag of Gerber cookies) or more typically, pretzels. Not that I mind him helping himself (OK, except for the baby snacks), but he’ll then put the package back empty in the pantry so no one will know he ate the entire bag – very stealth, eh?

So anyway, my dad came over yesterday – I had some work (yes, real, legal work, not Facebook, you cynics) to do and needed some peace and quiet. The eldest beastling found a nickel in the laundry room which I let him keep for taking out the recycling without being asked. Shortly after that, I overheard him approach my dad with his hands clasped around the nickel:

Grandpa, I have a special surprise for you if you promise not to eat all our pretzels.

Called out by a five year old – Oh, snap, Grandpa!

I got my work substantially done, though, which is well worth the price of a bag of pretzels, or in this case, tortilla chips. And he did a great job of watching them, despite the telltale sounds of children leaping of the furniture and occasional whispers of “where does mummy keep the potato crisps?” and “shhh…let’s not tell mummy about __________.” Overall, I’d have to say that his babysitting skills are indeed all that, and yes, a bag of chips.

By 7:05 PM

….everyone was fed, watered, bathed, scrubbed, dressed, teeth brushed, books read, and in bed.

The boys have 30 minutes to read in their own beds. The girl has been out cold since 6:45.

The toys are put away, the carpet is vacuumed, the tile floors are steamed, the dishes are done and put away, the recycling is organized and put out for pick-up, and all fifty million loads of laundry is clean and put away.

This is the difference between Mama on her own and Mama when Grandma and Grandpa visit for the afternoon and play with the kids to I can actually get things done. Three cheers for grandparents!!!

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