Parenting 2.0

Like most grandparents these days, we have had the opportunity for one of our kids and four grandkids to move back in with us for a short time.  I call that Parenting 2.0.   
Of course, I am thrilled to have them for a short time.  But suddenly we have found our house back into full blown chaos, noise, tubby-time, and bedtime stories.  
No more unwinding from a tough day of retirement by watching Fox at 9 p.m. with a Pepsi and cookie.   
I have had lots of time on my hands lately and so I am eagerly waiting for the employee Christmas party from Walmart since recently I became an expert CheckerOuter.  
I thought retirement would be easier.  I am waiting for an invite to the “coffee club” now that there is a vacancy.  
I submitted my application, but they are slow and are probably checking references and previous employers.  I don’t know if they take former federal guvmint workers. 
Having grandkids in the house pretty much ensures that nothing is where it is supposed to be.  I have been missing a remote control and I haven’t changed the channel for weeks.  
Since it is stuck on the Hallmark Channel, I have been sad every day.  I eat when I am sad.  To be fair, I eat when I am happy too. 
For years my too kind and loving wife tries to keep me looking less like a shaggy dog and more like a Republican by sneaking up behind me when I am napping and cutting my hair.  
The little red-hair princess who has taken over the house, much like a velociraptor,  learns quickly.  She too has learned to open doors and cupboards.  
Lesson learned: always lock the door to the bathroom and snacks are not safe anywhere in the house.  
The other day I took my nap on my big, overstuffed chair and woke up with braids and make up on. 
My daughter is going to have to move out soon because I am exhausted watching her keep track of where her four kids are supposed to be, which homework assignment is due, where their backpacks are, packing a lunch because today they don’t like what school lunch is having, where the missing shoe is, doing the unending wash, and feeding four kids.  
One wants milk, one water, one juice, and the fourth nothing. 
My job is mainly taking the garbage out to the big green dumpster which was easy when it was just my too kind and loving wife, the cat and Charlie Brown (my new dog).  
Now, honestly, I take the garbage out 1-2 times a day.  Cooking and dishes are like a full-time job.  Vacuuming is on a monthly schedule now.  
Who the hell has time for all of this?  I think somebody should be paying mothers more. 
When we were younger and had all our kids at home, I vaguely remember short little people in my house that were always in need of something; food, water, bath, clothes and a ride.  
My job back then was to guard the door and not let them back in the house until it was dark and make sure I had lots of sports equipment strewn about the front porch to trip on. 
You forget just how much love it takes to be a mother.  The other day I saw my daughter lick two fingers and try to mat down her son’s unruly hair that was sticking straight up.  
I would recommend a spray bottle, but it too is missing.  She used the same technique to clean a chocolate smudge off the little red-haired princess. 
I like to run a pretty tight ship when I am in charge.  The problem is I am no longer in charge.  I think the cat and dog have more say-so than I do.  
Clearly, the red-haired princess runs the house.  She is also a scam artist.  She asks me for an ice cream, then her mother, and then her grandma.  
All of course say yes because her blue twinkly eyes and squeaky voice are hard to resist.  I also have caught her asking Charlie Brown if he thinks it would be okay to have another ice cream.  
He usually is quite happy to help and wags his tail in approval.  He gets a doggy treat for his cooperation. 
I haven’t figured out this retirement gig yet.  And grandkids in the house have been a good reminder how I got this old – Parenting 2.0.  
If anyone sees a remote control, it could be mine.  And if you see the red-haired Velociraptor, be careful she is clever.

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