Nana Time: Helping out on a shopping day

Baby's hand
I enjoy helping out with grandchildren. Recently I watched my daughter’s four youngest children in a fast-food restaurant while she bought groceries nearby. What could happen in an hour?

Eli, four, and two-year-old Theo played with other small children on the slide and elevated plastic tunnels. Now and then they ran to our table to take another lick of a dripping ice cream cone. The five-month-old twins were content to alternatively be jiggled on my lap or to stare around from a VIP seat in their twin stroller.

When Theo needed a change, all five of us headed for the small two-stalled women’s bathroom. I figured the oldest could use a break anyway.

I spread the door wide and pulled the twin stroller toward the sink, wondering if I would be able to close the door with us all inside. As the door slid shut, I saw a small woman pressed against the door to the first stall. She blinked at me. I blinked back, and pulled the stroller an inch closer to the sink. She smiled and quickly squeezed past the twins and slipped out the door.

Eli pushed his way into the first stall and promptly locked the door, announcing, “And don’t come in, Nana.”

“I won’t.” I rummaged for clean clothes for Theo in the bottom of the stroller.

“Hey! Don’t!” I stood bolt upright and swirled around to see Theo tummy crawling under the second stall door. I grabbed his shirt and scooted him toward the stroller, mumbling something.

When the second stall opened, a woman blinked at me. I apologized. She looked at Theo briefly then glanced at the sink. I pulled the stroller closer to the door, giving her a few inches. She quickly rinsed her hands, grabbed a towel, and then stared at the door.  Somehow we repositioned ourselves so she could also escape, smiling.

We five were alone at last. Soon we were back in the play area, continuing our interrupted entertainments.

When my daughter came back, I was smiling.


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