In our house, the cats are very obviously in charge. Fortunately, our two grand-nieces and one grand-nephew in South Dakota (Tom and Linda’s grandchildren) are being raised differently.
Linda and Tom quite often take care of the kids when their parents are traveling or need some extra help. They adore the kids and the kids adore them. Linda was a second-grade teacher for more than 34 years and she can handle anything. She finds every moment with her grandchildren a joy and she never runs out of energy.
Bennett, at 10, is a breeze. Eloise, at 6, has become very responsible and cooperative, as well. The youngest, Alice, is 4. She was named for her great-grandmother (San Geraldo — and Linda’s — mother). The original Alice was more than a little spunky. And so is her namesake.
|ORIGINAL ALICE AT OUR HOUSE IN GUILFORD, CONNECTICUT, 1992.|
You know how Dudo and Moose tend to ignore San Geraldo when he calls them to come inside? And how they immediately come in when I call them? Well, that’s kind of how it is for Linda and Tom.
|ORIGINAL ALICE WITH BIG SISTER MILDRED AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO IN THE 1980s.
MILDRED WAS DEFINITELY NOT A GOOD INFLUENCE.
One day, Alice was playing in her sandbox. Tom called to her and said she needed to come inside for lunch. She ignored him… Three times…
In frustration, Tom muttered to Linda. Linda walked to the door and said, “Alice, Grandpa told you to come inside. Get in here right now.”
Alice quickly brushed the sand off her clothes and walked inside as if it was the first she’d heard of it.
|ALICE THE YOUNGER.|
One day last week, Tom was on his own with the kids while Linda ran some errands. It doesn’t happen often (Tom being left alone with all three, that is). Tom heard the kids arguing heatedly in the den. Then he heard Alice say, “Grandma’s not here. So, no one’s in charge of me!”
Tom walked into the den and told Alice that he was very definitely in charge. (But we all know the truth.)
|TOM ON THE TERRACE NEXT DOOR LAST MONTH.
(I THINK HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET ME TO COME IN FOR LUNCH.)