Today? Bleh. Yesterday? Bleh with a shot of tequila.
Yesterday I had the day off so I brought Junior down to see his great-grandmother. She lives in a small senior complex. I like taking Junior there because all the old people come out and poke him and pinch him and either say he’s adorable or fat.
The complex is about 20 minutes from my mother, Linda, so we all met there and went out to lunch.
Why do I keep falling for this again and again? I mean, it’s finally occurred to me why I seem to be able to eat like a horse lately and not gain weight. It’s because at some point, the ritual of abandoning my uneaten food to chase Junior around the restaurant’s perimeter became the norm.
I no longer see restaurants and think dining. Instead I think laps.
I’m actually worried that when I join my adult friends out for dinner I’m going to suck down my food and want to chase them around.
(Would they let me?)
After lunch we took Junior back to my grandmother’s. Her windows face a large cemetery; I can’t figure out if that’s incredibly cruel or a kick in the ass reminder to savor the last few years. She doesn’t mind it, but that’s because she looks at all of her pictures instead of out the window.
Until…dun dun dun—you knew there was a dun dun dun, didn’t you?—yesterday.
Days before, the maintenance guys had replaced her windows and painted the walls. She had had to take down all her pictures and knick-knacks; with the walls finally dry and my mother and me there to help her, she figured her place would be back to normal in a snap.
Except for one thing: She couldn’t remember where anything went. Anything. My mother had the brilliant idea of having her lay the pictures out on the floor to jog her memory, which went down like this:
Grandma: “I think Cousin Fred was on the top right.”
Linda: “Great. Should I nail him up?”
Grandma: “Or was it bottom left? Let me put Aunt Mabel above him and see. Or was it Uncle Roland?”
Linda: “Looks good. Hand me the hammer.”
Grandma [standing back]: “Or was it Estelle? Oh, Christ. I just need to see it from this angle.”
Me: “Junior! Noooooooooooo!”
No sooner had my grandmother played a successful round of floor Memory then Junior would wrestle his way out of my arms and upturn the row. My grandmother, determined to get it just right, would begin the process all over again, only to have Junior foil her. Over and over. It didn’t matter where he was in the apartment—locked in the bathroom, tied up in the closet—he found his way to those damn pictures.
Toddler = nemesis to onset Alzheimer’s Granny.
We left soon after. I think I heard my grandmother tell my mother that if she lived with Junior, she’d be dead in a day. Forget the sappy “You’re special, grandson.” Where is that on a greeting card?
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