The family woke up on Saturday and got working on cleaning our rooms. It caused much heartburn in Maria on Saturday night – she worried that she would be bored cleaning her room. “How can I make it fun, mom?”
“I used to listen to music and dance around my room while I cleaned,” I told her.
A while later, she headed to her room to go to bed. Jon and I were sitting downstairs when we heard Justin Bieber’s voice coming from upstairs. A few minutes later we heard crying. Jon went upstairs to see what was wrong. Maria stood in her room with tears down her cheeks and told Jon “I am trying what mom told me to do but it isn’t working. I am still not having fun.” Poor thing….
That is why when we woke up on Sunday morning, I jumped out of bed and made cleaning fun! I smiled and laughed and skipped around as I helped Maria pick up her room. Mario jumped right in, too, picking up barbies and folding clothes. Maria picked up a book here or there, made her bed and then moved on to getting dressed. She is going to be one that takes two hours to clean her room on Saturday morning. When we moved to Mario’s room, he lost interest in cleaning. He was more concerned about jumping off his loft bed and doing kick stands around his room. Maria helped me check the clothes on his floor to determine whether they were too little for him anymore and if they were dirty. He somehow still does not understand where the laundry basket is located.
After cleaning, we got ready for the day. Jon scooped up Mario under his wing, and headed to Dover, Ohio to visit Big Mario and Vicki for a day of pasta and wrestling. I scooped up the Maria and Alana and headed to Cincinnati to visit my grandma in the hospital and to play at Aunt Julie’s house. We listened to Big Time Rush for most of the ride and then colored pictures for grandma. The kids were anxious to see grandma – I think they were more anxious to see “sick” people and the devices and instrumentalities of the hospital. Neither of them remember a hospital. They peered at the people in the hall and in the beds entranced by the fragility of life. When they got to grandma’s room, they greeted her skeptically not quite sure if they should get near her. As time went on, they got better at engaging with her eventually singing Christmas songs to her and talking to her about school. Alana must have sung her 10 religious songs that she learned in Catholic school. When Grandma asked Maria to sing a song, Maria belted out Jingle Bells! My grandma looked at me and said “you need to get Maria in Sunday school.”
After grandma’s, I took the girls to a delicious bagel shop in Blue Ash. I grew up on these bagels and cream cheese. They are fabulous. We got toasted bagels with a load of cream cheese and sat at the bar. Heaven. Next, we headed to Julie’s to see her dogs and visit Grandma Lolo. The girls LOVE to walk Julie’s dogs because they are just right for them. Both are maybe 25 pounds and do not pull on their leashes. They allow the girls to drag them anywhere. A win-win situation for all.
I went back to the hospital to be with grandma. We had a pleasant conversation about her friends, card parties, and needing solitude. Us Menkedick brood all have that solitude gene in common – we need alone time to be our best. We picked it up from grandma, I learned. When I returned to Julie’s house, the girls were downstairs listening to records on a Fisher Price record player. Yes, records! Maria was amazed at the looks of the record player, laughing at how I used to have to listen to music on such an antiquated device!
We hopped in the car to head back to Columbus. Alana’s parents are much more strict than Jon and I and wanted Alana home by 7:30 since it was a school night. We raced up I-71 in order to hit McDonald’s Playland for ten minutes (it has become a staple with each Cincy trip). We got Alana home 1 minute late and proceeded to Orange Leaf for a frozen yogurt treat before bed.
The boys met up with us at the house – they were exhausted from four-wheeling and wrestling all day. Little Mario also decided that he was old enough to walk up the long hill from Mario’s shop to Mario’s house all by himself. He got tired of waiting for Jon to finish his conversation with Big Mario and informed Jon that he was big enough to take the trek himself. Jon agreed, not sure if he would make it or not. But that boy has determination and will when he needs it and he made it.
We all gave each other kisses hello, got in our pjs and headed to our beds – no time to watch football on this jam-packed Sunday….