In my Visiting Bubbeh persona, I found myself babysitting two of my granddaughters the other night. Their eldest sister Y was out at a barmitzvah with her parents. They live in New York.
R is 2 and FB is 6.
R is in her preferred state of nudity+nappy. And purple socks. We are in the front room, where there are many books.
-Ok, here's the plan. I'm going to read you these 3 books and then we'll go upstairs and we'll put pyjamas on you and then I'll read you 2 stories and then you'll go to bed. Ok?
(Read 3 books. Go upstairs)
-Look at these pyjamas, aren't they cute! I got them for you. I am a major supporter of Peter Alexander. See, Eiffel Tower on the front! Pink! Ok on goes the top. And now the shorts!
-Oh you want them on back to front? Ok, why not. Happy?
-Which books do you want me to read? Oh this one? Longish? With 4 stories in it? Umm. Ok.
(Start reading while FB hops and jumps and climbs and forages while R giggles)
-Um FB I think you should go to your room and wait till I'm done here, you're distracting R, ok?
FB-Sure. (Bunny hops out.)
-Ok, that's what Bubbehs are for. Which one?
-Oh, I know that one! Where the Wild Things are. And here's the book!
Wait, it's in Spanish.
FB, is there an English version somewhere?
(FB pops head into room.)
-Can you get it?
-Don't know where it is.
-Oh ok then. I guess I'll manage.
(FB pops head out of room.)
-Here goes: 'La noche que Max se puso un traje de lobo y comenzó a hacer una traversura tras otra, Su mamá le dijo: "¡ERES UN MONSTRUO!" y Max le contestó:"¡TE VOY A COMER!" y lo mandaron a la cama sin cenar-
-Umm, ok, even though you are wearing a nappy, sure.
(Off with the back to front shorts and the nappy.
FB, ever helpful, readies the step set for the toilet.)
R sits. Smiles.
-Do you really need pishy?
-Oh really? And yet there you sit, and nothing happening.
You know, I think you are totally stooging me and you don't really need, right?
-And yet you are doing nothing.
-Ok, that's enough.
(Back on with the nappy and the back to front PJ shorts.)
Let's go to bed.
(R runs into sisters' room and snuggles into a bed, plays possum)
FB -She can stay there! I don't mind!
-Uh yeah, as if the two of you won't be running around as soon as I turn my back.
Come on, into your cot!
(I pick her up, and deposit her in her cot. She sits up.)
(I go to bathroom again and fill cup. She drinks.)
-Ok, now lie down.
(Points to slim reader emblazoned with the ubiquitous princess sisters and Olaf the snowman)
-Oh ok. One more then.
(Fortunately book has about 4 words per page. )
-I didn't know you had a special blanky...FB, where is R's blanky?
(FB pops head back into room)
-Don't know, Y had it before and she put it somewhere.
-You can just take one out of that cupboard.
-Ok (reach in, take random flannelette blanky)
-Hey, ok ok, what about this one?
(I take out almost identical one.)
-So lie down, I'll cover you.
(Lies down, snuggles under blanky.)
(Close door. Blessed silence.
That only took an hour and a half.)
FB -Can you read Willy Wonka to me?
-Of course. The night is young.
*The photos used are not my grandchildren. Mine are much cuter.