Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Outer Reaches of Gramasylum

So when do you say, “No,” to grandchildren? For those in Gramasylum,  very seldom. I was tempted on this occasion.
Papa and I were at Laurel’s house to take care of her while her new little sister arrived.  In the morning we headed out for a bagel, one of LoLo’s favorites for breakfast. Papa got his usual—jalapena cheese. Laurel and I got our favorite—cinnamon crunch.  This one was different. It was big and long! Holy cow! So Lo and I shared one. We were half way into the bagel when Lo took some of the cream cheese on her finger and started wiping it on my arm.

When I asked her what she was doing she answered quickly and confidently, “I’m putting sunscreen on  you.”
“What,” I asked incredulous?

“I don’t want you to get sunburned, so I am putting sunscreen on your arms,” she insisted.
So what did I do? My reflex response was to say, “Don’t do that!”

But my heart overruled. I let her put cream cheese on my arm and spread it around. I played along with her pretending the cream cheese was sunscreen. Fortunately she was satisfied with administering it on only part of the arm and did not go for my face or legs. Not sure I am crazy enough to have allowed that. The whole time she applied the “sunscreen” she had that adorable little grin on her face. The one that reveals she knew just how crazy it was that she was doing this and even crazier that I was letting her. But the delight on her face was worth all the sticky icky mess. After all, what harm can a little cream cheese do, right?
Why do I let her do these things? It is Gramasylum where decorum and dignity are offset by love and child-like fun. I had put sunscreen on her many times. Now it was her turn. At this age the playing along with her imagination is usually not convenient but it is almost always harmless. And, it is always lots of fun.  I mean what can a little cream cheese do to your arm? And playing along with her crazy imagination communicates that I love her—that I will do almost anything for her. Entering her childlike imaginative world let’s her know that she matters to me and that I care enough about her to give up decorum and dignity. Even though she does not know those words, she knows what they are. Believe me! That is what the adorable little grin is all about. She knows no adult in their right mind would allow a child to put cream cheese on their arm. But she knows by now that her Grama Cece is not in her right mind. She is crazy with oozing love for this little woman. This episode explored the outer reaches of Gramasylum, but it is likely the depths of craziness has not yet been plumbed.

What is the craziest thing you ever allowed one of your grandchildren to do to you? Share it in a comment below. Come on! Share the  craziness!

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