There's a Dinosaur in my Bathroom
Kim Delmar Cory
There's a dinosaur in my bathroom.
Along with a whale, a truck and a lion.
Our bathroom has been transformed from a room for performing perfunctory daily
ablutions to a playground for wayward plastic and rubber critters.
The morning trek through the
land mine of a living room boasting scattered building blocks in the semi dark before coffee
often results in a stubbed toe and blue air.
We are not alone.
Yes, it's not as it should be but “it is what it is' as they say. Our 30 year old daughter and
our 3 year old grandson, who have lived in a different state for the past few years, have returned
to the nest recently after an aborted wedding and splitsville.
So. Her former bedroom, painted a lovely French Violet and converted to my office, is
now their shared bedroom. Not ideal, but it works. My desk hutch, reading chair, file cabinets and multitude of books and bookshelves (I am a book slut) have been relegated either to my
husband's tiny office across the hall or stored above the garage.
We bought her a bed and new
linens, an air conditioner, and converted shelves to use as a pseudo dresser. Bagged up clothes I
hadn't worn in a decade to clear the closet. Bins for toys and his books.
A stay at home mom for the past 3 years, this is temporary until she finds a job and can
support herself and our grandson. Yup, I hear you.
I have lost my office space, our utility and grocery bills have risen, and the solitude of two stodgy 50 something long married adults has been interrupted with watching Sprout TV
instead of MASH or Everybody Loves Raymond reruns, shifted to finding room for boxes of
yogurt squeezies instead of six packs in the refrigerator, and created a need to keep our dogs
from barking when the paper comes early in the morning.
Oh yes, we have added another dog to
the pack with her dog. Three dogs. Maintaining the baby gate between the dining room and
living room so our daughter's dog can't devour our geriatric cat requires constant maintenance.
Did I mention our wine intake has increased significantly as well?
How much the richer our lives with their daily presence. Our grandson's sweet sunshiny
three-year-old voice chirping ‘good mornin' to each of our five animals as he greets them by
name. It's on his morning chore list to help make our bed. He helps Grandpa with his side while
I work solo.
Our little guy helps Grandpa water flowers every evening. He mirrors my disgust
with paying bills, crunching numbers on his own calculator with speed if not accuracy, jotting on
ripped off bill stubs as we pay the 'stinkinbills!' en tandem. It does ease the pain.
After dinner on a still summer evening, we wrangle the dogs and, grandson in the Red
Flyer wagon, walk a few blocks to our local ice cream place. Sprinkles on his bowl of vanilla
swirl, of course. Followed by bath, pajamas and the art of firefly watching.
Where my husband and I used to eat dinner on lap trays while watching our favorite
babyboomer reruns, we now all sit at the dining room table together for dinner every night
(Grandpa makes the bests burritos). And there is nothing filled with more grace than the eyes of
a three-year-old when he asks if you will read him his favorite book yet again.
Although I balance with care on a taut emotional tightrope when communicating about
certain subjects with my daughter (the ex, money, how long she will live with us, etc.) she and I
have become closer. We can now bop off to a store together while Grandpa watches the 'dude',
and it's lovely when she finds a great recipe in a magazine for the two of us to try as we are the
only ones who like zucchini.
And after our little love has been bathed, read to and is sound asleep, his beloved Sammy
bunny tight within his pudgy grasp, my daughter and I share a glass or two of vino while watching
our mutual guilty pleasure, Gilmore Girls and scheme how to create an Internet project that will
make us 'women of independent means', rife with Grande caramel lattes and Prada purses.
She has taught me the importance of moving forward, patience, staying focused and afloat,
exemplified by her new wrist anchor tattoo with the motivational meaning, “I will not sink”.
Three generations blended by circumstance: unexpected but not unwelcome.
Precious unplanned memories.