Thursday, March 6, 2008

Two Days Off

Esther 2:12 

"Before a girl's turn came to go in to King Xerxes,
 she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments 
prescribed for the women, 
six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics."

I was informed this weekend that I would not be baby-sitting on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I promptly made an appointment at the spa for a facial and a pedicure. I scheduled the facial for 10 o'clock and the pedicure for 12 o'clock so that I would have enough time in between for a nice long shower and time to get my hair dried properly. I was really looking forward to this. But on Monday morning my daughter tells me that Tom said he would have the kids on Wednesday and Thursday. She knew I'd made the appointment so she told Tom that he could call and tell me. She told me not to worry, that he wouldn't want to do that. And sure enough, he changed his schedule to have Tuesday off.

Well I had a lovely time at the spa. It is a very good thing to have a facial and pedicure because as you get older your face and feet do too. I don't think that enough young women realize that if you take good care of your body when you're young and on towards getting older then things turn out better. I should have started when I was younger. But I have had one advantage - because I'm a redhead I have always been careful about being in the sun too much. Also, I don't wear make-up, which I think is very bad for your skin. And because my mother had trouble with poor shoes as a child she always made sure we had well made well fitting shoes and this helps ones feet a lot. But I was always fond of going barefoot - actually I don't remember getting shoes in the summer as a child - so my feet are a bit tough. I read once in a magazine article about French women that they often start their daughters getting facials when they are around 12 years old. This is a wonderful thing to do and I should have done that. One of my daughters has a bad complexion and I am very worried about her and tend to feel guilty about it.

After the pedicure I gingerly hike up the hill to my care wearing those silly flip-flops and went to have a late lunch with Riley. Then I went through a Starbucks drive-through for a "12 ounce Americano with 1 1/2 inches of foam" and their new tiny vanilla scone. Before the clerk handed me the scone he said "You know they're very small." I assured him that I knew and that I thought it was a great idea to have small ones because the others have way too many calories. With coffee in hand I headed for Marshals, because I hadn't been there in quite a while. I bought two birthday presents for daughters with birthdays in September. Now I just need to remember that I bought them and where I've put them. I must get them wrapped.

When I got home daughter number three had cleaned the kitchen, which is fabulous, but she was in a very grumpy mood. I think she's discouraged about being in her late twenties and not having a "boy friend." It's amazing how many perfectly nice young women I know who are in their twenties and don't have boy friends. And then you see slobby young women with a boy friend or husband in tow! But anyway I went into the living room because she seemed to want to be grumpy all by herself. But then I turned on the TV to watch my favorite show - Jakers - and that made her mad because she said I had the TV on too loud. Sometimes you just can't win.

But not long after that Riley showed up, and then Sarah showed up. Riley had picked up her car at the auto repair shop and she was returning his car and retrieving hers. She stayed for a while and we had a lovely chat. During the course of the conversation she invited me to join her on Wednesday when she went to the hospital for a sonogram. And we also decided that we would go to Bob's Red Mill for shopping and lunch, and to Target to look at baby things. I had never seen a sonogram being done as they were only done in cases of emergency when I was having babies.

I began Wednesday by taking Corey to Fred Meyer's at 9 o'clock. We started by going into Starbucks for a cup-a. Then we putzed around, looking at this and at that. We bought soup and fruit and hair brushes and the like. Then it was about 10:20 when we headed home. We weren't home long when Sarah called to say she was ready to meet me at Target.

I met Sarah in the Target parking lot at 11:30 (after getting lost for only about five minutes) and we went in for a while to look at baby things. Sarah and I agreed that too many things were not simple enough. Sarah was drawn to blue items, as she is expecting her baby to be a boy. I told her that I thought the best clothing item for basics for a baby is onesies. The packages called them body suits, which I think is a little intense for a newborn. And then I recommended socks with nice long cuffs. Emily just promptly pulls off socks with the short little "athletic" cuff. I tried to explain about carseats and strollers to Sarah, but she just didn't quite get it. I liked the looks of the umbrollers with nicely ample compartments underneath, but I never tried to collapse them, which is where the rubber meets the road. The stroller I use for Emily is sooooo obnoxious to open and shut that I never do. But I'm fortunate enough to have a car that can easily hold an uncollapsed stroller. When Sarah was a baby I carried her on my front in a baby carrier. This was because I had two other babies, each in an umbroller, often one pushed by me and the other pushed by my seven year old daughter. This was in Hong Kong. Heidi was a real pro at pushing a stroller and at getting it on and off the Star Ferry or in and out of a taxi. I don't think we did the bus without Dad along, as the bus drivers would take off as soon as you got on the bus and sitting down could be a real challenge. I have some great photos of Sarah and I in the streets of Hong Kong. I need to get my slides onto my computer. I owned a Chinese baby carrier but it was for having the baby on your back and I found that much too awkward. You had to remain standing at all times, unless you found a backless bench to sit on. Actually, in Hong Kong there was almost no public seating. You sat in a restaurant, a taxi, a bus, or a ferry. In those days this wasn't hard to manage - the bus was 10 cents, the ferry 3 cents, and the taxi from our flat to Central was maybe $1.50 or less. Oh, I forgot the MTR (subway), it was maybe 25 cents. In those days Hong Kong's subway was brand new and absolutely fabulous.

Then we went to Bob's Red Mill and went straight to having lunch as Sarah is hungry all the time. After a lot of hemming and hawing we both realized that we both wanted the same sandwich (we were going to share something), but we both thought the other would think it odd. We shared and egg salad sandwich, which was very nice. Then we poked around the bulk items for quite a bit. I bought kidney beans and black beans and 10 grain pancake mix, which Emily likes very much. Sarah bought some also, because she had recently bought a big bag of Krustees pancake mix and realized that it was lacking in nutritional value. She's going to combine the two.

We headed for the hospital at 1:30, figuring we'd get there in plenty of time. We did get a bit lost on the way, and the hospital complex is huge. We finally got the car parked, but realized we didn't know where to go. So we asked the parking attendant and he quickly indicated for us to get onto a mini bus that was just stopped at where we were standing. He told the bus driver what we wanted, and we were there in a short while. Like I said, that hospital complex is huge. It wasn't long before we were in the sonogram room. I have to say that it must take a great deal of practice to be able to recognize much in those pictures. The spine was easy, and the head wasn't too hard to recognize, but the rest of it was a mystery to me. There seemed to be some indication that the baby is a boy, but you could fool me. Sarah is really excited to be imagining her little boy. She has his personality all figured out. She already thinks the world of him, and is certain that he will be a wonderful older brother to his siblings.

By the time we left Sarah was hungry again. She was pretty sure she would fine a power bar in her car. I drove to Target and dropped her off and headed home. Heidi had called while I was in the sonogram room and Tom wanted to know if I was home because Emily was asleep. I really couldn't figure out what she was on about, so I thought it would be best if I went home before going to the chiropractors at 4 o'clock. When I got there poor Christian sitting on the bench on the porch doing his homework. His Dad hadn't come to pick him up!!! It turns out that Emily was sleeping and he didn't want to wake her. A noble thought, but there was his son with no idea what was going on. I told Christian to go inside and get something to eat. He wanted me to leave him in the house when I left to go to the doctor, but I explained to him that I really couldn't get the house key off my key ring. He was very good about it. I also told him to get a book to read and he dashed into the house and came right back with a spy novel or something like that. At least it was very sunny on the porch and he was fed and entertained. He is often such a good boy in the face of inconveniences.

Well I made it to the chiropractors in the nick of time. I was really keen to see him because my left shoulder had been killing me. It felt for all the world like it had come unstuck like my right shoulder had. I really didn't want that to be the case because one rotator cuff operation is quite enough thank-you. Well he gave it a good look and said that it seemed that my arm was jammed up into it's socket. Well that seemed a much better explanation than that a tendon was torn off. As I thought about this it seemed a reasonable explanation. When I set in the living room doing stuff, like blogging or knitting or reading, I tend to put my left arm up on the arm of whatever chair I'm in and they are all a bit too high for such thing. So now I'm careful not to put the arm up and my shoulder is definitely getting better. Also, the doctor gave me some exercises to help. I HATE getting older!

So that was my two days off. They were actually very busy, but I did do things that I couldn't do with Emily in tow. I do take her lots of places, but some just won't work, like the spa and the sonogram room. I always miss her when I don't have her. This is a little worrisome, because I'm only the grandmother, not the mother. But I'm glad for all the time that I have her.

“Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old.”
 Mary H. Waldrip

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