Mommy and Daddy Take a Break

When you were little, we had our regular babysitters who watched you when Dad and I went out on a big date. When we lived in New York, your sitter was our neighbor Ann Marie, who Kelly referred to as “Ann Me,” and her younger sister, “what’s her name.” Grandma came up frequently, because it was her goal not to be a stranger despite the distance. I loved that she did it, but have to laugh knowing that she had to travel a mere 65 miles, while Mark’s parents travel 700 miles to visit their grandson quite often. But it was still a big deal and I loved her for doing it.

After we moved to the center of the universe, I did rely on them more often, but we also had a supply of regular sitters. I made sure we had great snacks and paid them well so they rarely said no. Going out was an extravagance for us then, but it was nice to have someone fun and reliable to watch you.

It was extremely rare that we ever went on vacation without all of you. In fact, I recall only one time, which was in March 1989 when we went to the Bahamas. Grandma and Grandpa moved in for a few days and let us have that time alone. I recently found the two pages of instructions I left them to survive those few days. You’re going to love it. You would think they were the parents of only one rather than a brood of five.

I learned that Jamie loved a breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, Kix, Lucky Charms (so unhealthy, I know) or waffles. Kelly was not so picky. She’d eat “whatever.”

Those were the “soup and a cheese sandwich” days. The soup was Progresso vegetable soup. I shared my vey secret sandwich recipe with Grandma: toast the bread, and melt the cheese in the microwave. Never did I cook this on the stovetop in a frying pan. No siree! Nothing but the best for my girls.

Jamie still napped, settling down at 1:00. She was very needy, requiring her music box, a sip of water, and cuddling. (all this for a nap!)

At bedtime Kelly slept with three nightlights, but Jamie was braver, needing nothing but the nightlight on her Big Bird lamp if she awoke during the night for some cuddling and a sip of water.

Looking back, I bet Grandma and Grandpa ignore my rules. They probably served an Entenmann’s coffee cake for breakfast, egg salad for lunch, and some of Grandma’s famous brownies as an afternoon snack. No peanut butter apples served by that grandma. She loved making sweet treats for her babies, and I bet you will always remember Grandma’s icing-topped brownies, specially made with the help of her friends, Betty or Dunkin.

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