During hubby’s last long trip, two weeks in Asia, the girls and I headed up to my mother’s house for a break from all of our 24/7 togetherness that was getting to be too much for all of us. My sister also went up with her 9-month-old daughter. On the drive up, String Bean asked if her uncle would be there, and when I told her no, she said, “Oh, so it’s a girl thing.” I chuckled about that for the rest of the drive. One thing about super-effeminate String Bean, she appreciates girl things.
We’ve had three of these girls’ weekends at Mom’s house now, with Mom, her two girls, and three “grandgirls” as she calls them, and I have to say, I like the girl thing. Trips up to Mom’s house are a great way to get some extra help when hubby’s out of town for a couple of weeks, but when my sister and her daughter come, too, it’s more like a weekend-long party of girlness. We’re not sitting around painting toenails and doing each other’s hair: my sister is as makeup clueless and hair-product challenged as I am, but there are some feel-good movies watched and a lot of chocolate is consumed.
String Bean is a pretty good babysitter-in-training. She follows her cousin around, diverting her from danger, calling out updates to us every few minutes: “She’s near the stairs! She’s heading for the plant! She has a poopy diaper!” So that we can visit a bit and yet still keep a decent eye on the baby, who is now crawling and pulling up and getting into a whole new kind of trouble, especially at Mom’s un-baby-proofed house. String Bean understands which size objects are baby safe and which ones aren’t, and is pretty good at trading her little cousin small objects for larger ones. Peanut’s great at being silly and getting her cousin giggling. One of my favorite things about these girl weekends is watching the three girls playing and laughing together.
My other favorite thing is just hanging out with my sister, catching up and reminiscing and laughing about nothing at all. With three kids between us, we don’t get much quiet time to talk when we get together for an afternoon here and there, but over the course of a full weekend, we get lots of opportunities to talk and laugh. And this is in large part due, of course, to my mother’s tireless efforts in caring for her grandgirls. They are fed, dressed, bathed, fights are broken up, activities are planned, endless questions are answered, and instead of the constant “No, I want Mommy to do it!” that I always hear at home, I get to hear the beloved “No, I want Grandma to do it!” which is currently one of my favorite phrases in the English language.