As we arrived at the front door, peeking out at us from her bedroom window was Little Mousey. “Renaissance Man” was wrestling with her to change her diaper. When she spied “Rumpole” through the window, her little arms windmilled, her little mug wreathed in smiles. He was thrilled with this welcome!
Once we were inside the house, “Rumpole” went to scoop her into his arms. He seems to be getting more comfortable in lugging her around; he has realized she is resilient and won’t break. With one hand “Mousey” yanked off his glasses; with the other she ruffled his beard. He is very content with this rough treatment. As he says, “Well, at least she has not taken to biting me to death!”
We walk into the living room, producing goodies we brought from various bags, chocolates for “Glasgow Girl” and “Renaissance Man”, and a truly ugly yellow fleece duck for “Mousey”. “Rumpole”deposits “Mousey” on the floor, where she proceeds to pummel her new duck, collapses down onto it and gets caught in its floppy legs, struggles upright to swing it around crowing with great glee. She drags it around the floor toward each one of us, deposits in our laps to show it off. At my knee she takes a big bite on its weirdly shaped beak, makes a face of disgust and lets it fall to the floor. She raises her arms, expectant, wanting up in my arms, and I oblige her. She proceeds to work me over in the same rough fashion as the duck. My glasses go flying, my carefully combed hair turns into instant bed-head. Torturing grandparents seems to give her much delight!
She is 8 months old, a whirling dervish scooting about on her hands and knees, a climbing, rolling constantly moving small body. She loves to dance, and as I sing her a silly rhythmic song and accompany it with tappings on the coffe table, she stands swaying from side to side in her own version of dance. As she does this she dips her head from one side to the other, and appears to be listening with great concentration. “Rumpole” is completely fascinated by this. To be truthful, so are the rest of us adults in the room.
At one point, “Glasgow Girl” brings out the brochures and books for their upcoming trip to Rome. I glom onto one with good maps and start to find landmarks that they must visit – the Pantheon, the Dora Pamphilj – and start reminiscing about my long sojourn in Rome as a 19 year old. “Mousey” appears at my knee and begins to chew on the bottom edge of the spread out map. “Glasgow Girl”, seeks to distract her and moves her away from me, so the little whirlwind crawls toward “Rumpole” and begins to pester him – he is also looking at maps. It is proving a challenge to carry on a discussion about Rome, while this miniature local native expends great energy in distracting us all.
Soon, “Snowy” slinks through the room and scoots under the coffee table. “Mousey” spies her, proceeds to stalk her on hands and knees, uttering “itty, itty”. In a desperate bid to get away, the cat scrambles over the back of the couch. “Mousey” briefly looks disappointed, but soon forgets about the cat and resumes her efforts to get back into the discussion about Rome, or better yet to get further tastes of the maps and brochures.
“Rumpole” ventures a plaintive question – “Does she ever run down?”
“Right about now,” announces “Renaissance Man”, as he scoops her into his arms and goes off to ready her bath.
“Rumpole”, exhausted, makes leaving motions toward me. “Glasgow Girl” packs up the brochures, brings our jackets and hugs us in turn. Before we leave, “Rumpole” and I stand at the bathroom door and watch “Mousey” in her bath as she attacks her floating toys. She grins up at us. I kiss “Renaissance Man” on the top of his head as he busies himself ladling water over her shoulders.
“Rumpole” and I make a quick getaway. We have had our grandchild fix and are very pleased about this.
Once at home, we “dusterize” and collapse on the couches. “God, but I am exhausted” complains “Rumpole”.
“Yes, but it’s good exhaustion!” I remind him.