Why doesn’t grandma want me to spend the night

I’m sure it’s happened to everyone, or so I hope.  My mother decided she wanted to have the kids over to spend the night, or rather the kid…only one kid.  That meant that the other one wasn’t spending the night at Grandma’s.  How do you explain to a three year old that her brother is spending the night with Grandma, that Grandma just can’t handle both kids tonight?  Well, we worked it out, and had a great time.

Fortunately my daughter is pretty excited about anything different.  Although she was at first upset, she was also excited to have her own surprise, which I hadn’t yet figured out, but knew I’d have to provide if this was going to work out.  Then, the arguing started, Thomas wanted to gloat that he was spending the night at Grandma’s, and then Anna wanted to assure Thomas that she was getting a surprise.

What would be the surprise?  Well, I tried to start out small to test the waters, “Anna, do you want to go to Costco with Dad”, I asked.  “Yep!”, was her instant response.  Whew, that was easy, Thomas didn’t really care about going to Costco anyway.

Then, on the way home and on the way to Costco, Anna fell asleep.  Hmmm, to keep driving, or to swing into Costco, wake her up and say, “Surprise.”  Well, it was late afternoon, almost time for dinner and I sure didn’t want to go to Costco right about the time everyone was getting off work.  On I pressed, homeward.  At home Anna didn’t wake up for more than a minute while I laid her down so I could get dinner started.  But, what was I going to tell her about her surprise?  How would she react?  What would she say to Thomas when he gloated about spending the night at Grandma’s house?  Then, the door creaked open and my three year old was looking at me.  First thing I could think of was, “Hey, wanna have a campout tonight?”  Well, that’s all it took, she was excited again.  We had dinner, then the fun began.

We pulled out all the stops, I mean blankets, sleeping bags, pillows.  We made a bed in the front room, in front of the television and started talking.  We had some really good adult/three year old conversation.  She told me about Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick and Squidward.  Then she told me how she likes it cold and she was going to snuggle in her blankets and she would wake me up if she got too cold.  Then, she told me I was her best friend.  My heart melted and I thought, this is what it’s all about.  I never expected Grandma’s request to keep one child overnight to have turned into a father daughter one on one where we felt so close.

After an hour or two we were both asleep, camping out in the front room of the house.

We spent the morning going out to breakfast, talking, laughing, coloring at the table at the restaurant, and going to the grocery store.  When it was time to pick up Thomas, Anna was pretty excited to see him, but I think she’ll remember our campout, at least I will.  Thomas had a great time at Grandma’s house too, so it was a win, win, win. 

Irony…  Thomas became so very upset when we all got home.  He saw the sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows and started crying and ran to his room.  He said, “I’m mad at Anna and I’m mad at you Dad.”  Who would have known he would be so upset about missing a campout with his sister and Dad?  So, I had to promise another campout, which is fine by me.  I like sleeping on the floor 🙂

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2 Responses to “Why doesn’t grandma want me to spend the night”

  1. Susan Says:

    Where the heck is the mother in this story? Out with her friends again… A stay at home dad’s work is never done!

  2. happiestmommies Says:

    Oh Aaron, this is quite heartwarming. It is so good to read a dad’s perspective on parenting. I wish all dad’s would log on and see what fun it is to spend time with a child (and/or that there’s nothing shameful about sharing it). You happen to be one of the luckiest dad’s on the planet, and this experience is all the evidence needed.

    Where’s the mom? Hell, where’s the dad in all of the mommy blogs? Susan, you’ve shot yourself in the foot with your comment! Ha! 🙂

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