By the time you sit down to enjoy your first cup of coffee this morning, I will have polished off at least a half a pot, made two bowls of farina one purple topped with green and yellow sparkling sugar, and looking a bit like an early Mardi Gras celebration; and one blue, because my granddaughter will insist that boys can only have blue farina, and therefore that is what her brother must have.
However, it will have pink sprinkles because my 4-year-old grandson always wants pink and I am a gender-neutral Nonna.
By 7 a.m. I will have watched with one eye open several episodes of "Kick Buttkowski," "Big Time Rush," "Ultimate Spiderman," "Jake and the Neverland Pirates," and a variety of teenage girl-themed shows adored by my 7-year-old granddaughter featuring role models, who in a few short years, will be in rehab or swinging naked from a construction crane (or probably both).
By 10 a.m., I will be wondering if it is too early for lunch and a nap. (Silly me; no one ever naps at Poppy and Nonna's house!)
By 11:30, after making macaroni and cheese from a box (I don't care what anyone says, real cheese is not that shade of orange); grilled cheese and maybe another couple bowls of farina (different colors of course), from which little more than a few bites have been eaten, someone will be crying. Most likely, it will be me.
By 2 p.m., I will have given up. No one is going to take a nap, including me.
We may bundle up into snowsuits, mittens, boots, hats and scarves, and make our way outside for approximately 4 minutes before someone is crying because it's too cold. Again, probably me.
Inside, we will have hot chocolate, cooled to room temperature with milk, and/or ice cubes, which will cause the 30 miniature marshmallows to jump ship onto my kitchen table. The cups will remain there, half finished for the rest of the day, because every 20 minutes or so, someone will remember they are there and will have take a sip, so I can't pour them out and it's pointless to clean the table.
By 4 p.m., I will feel like it's midnight and continuously check to see if the clocks have stopped, because even though it's still light out, I will be certain it is much later.
By 6 p.m., I will have figured out something for everyone to eat, even if it is just boiled spaghetti with butter. Although the only person at this time who will be tired is me, I will wrestle them into their pajamas, and plop them back in front of the television, and then with a multitude of promises, sprinkled with a few threats (Keep it up and there's no purple farina for you tomorrow!), I will be lucky enough to find a movie that both will agree to sit down and watch at the same time.
Before long, Gavin will have climbed up onto my lap and snuggled up with me under a quilt, while Gabby will be curled up in the chair next to us. Then we will read stories and have goodnight kisses and if I'm lucky, one or both of them will be asleep by 11 p.m., and hopefully long before me.
Contrary to how this reads, we love when the grandkids come to visit, but it is exhausting.
As l collapse into bed after one more look at their sweet little faces, dreaming away in their sleeping bags at the foot of my bed, I have to wonder how I did this every day with my own kids, and I realize, yet again, that God knows exactly what he's doing when he makes us grandparents.