Today is the twins’ second birthday! We have plenty of reasons to celebrate as things seem to have stabilized in the Cutter house – All the kids have gone to school as scheduled and nobody has thrown up in over a week! (Knocking heavily on wood.)
This is quite a change from a couple of weeks ago when it seemed like somebody threw up every night and we weren’t sure who was going to be watching the kids during the day. You may wonder how we made it through that time. I’d like to say that Mrs. Cutter and I rallied together, worked hard, and got through a tough situation together. But what really happened is that we were saved by my mother.
When my mother heard we would be without an au pair for a couple of weeks, she volunteered to come down and stay with the children for a week. Theoretically, it wouldn’t be that hard for her: The Cutlet would be in camp, and the twins would go to preschool three of the days. Of course that didn’t actually happen. Thanks to pneumonia and strep throat, she had the kids home with her for most of the time.
That didn’t faze her at all. As it turns out, all those years she spent as a stay-at-home mom paid off. She’s actually really good with them; probably much better than their parents are. Not only did she capably watch over them and attend to their basic needs, but the kids seemed to really enjoy spending time with their Grammy.
Not only did she take care of the kids, but somehow she managed to get our house in the best condition it’s ever been in. My mother is apparently incapable of sitting still. The only time she relaxes is when General Hospital is on. (Sorry, kids. When Grammy’s stories are on, that’s her time.) The rest of the time she actively seeks out work to do. She cleaned up, organized the bookshelves, weeded the patio, and even found some time to plant flowers in the backyard.
On a related note, it was nice to have the silverware properly loaded in the dishwasher for once. The forks should go in the back section of the silverware holder, with the knives in the middle, and the spoons in the front. Mrs. Cutter and the au pair normally just put everything in randomly and the result is a disorganized mess.
Unfortunately, Grammy was only supposed to stay with us for a week. We had made arrangements for the following week to send the twins to preschool for five days instead of their normal three, but Mrs. Cutter and I would still have to come home and watch them in the afternoon.
Realizing that we still needed a considerable amount of help, Grammy decided to put her own plans on hold and stay an extra week. We felt bad about making her change her schedule, but we also weren’t in any place to turn down the assistance. It was especially nice when Cujo once again had to stay home from school due to another night of vomiting.
By the end of those two weeks, our house had never been cleaner or more organized. We were actually on top of things, and if you didn’t know better, you’d think Mrs. Cutter and I were organized and responsible parents. (The following week when we somehow didn’t realize that preschool was closed was a more accurate representation of our abilities.)
Unfortunately, there was some collateral damage. My nephew was supposed to stay with my parents for the week, and without Grammy around, my father had to handle him alone. When he talked to us at the end of the week, he related his struggle.
Apparently, watching a ten-year old was a lot of work. Not only did he have to attend to the many needs of my nephew, he also had to feed and clean up after the cats ALL BY HIMSELF. While I’m sure it wasn’t easy, it was amusing to hear him complain about this to a woman who had been busy looking after one-year old twins all week.
Upon hearing his tale of woe, Mrs. Cutter and I both thought of this video:
Sadly, after those two weeks, Grammy had to finally return home, and we were once again left to fend for ourselves. We’ve managed okay, but the house has already lost much of its organization and cleanliness. I guess we’re just going to have to deal with the mess until October when Grammy will make another visit.