If I want to get to heaven

I have to walk away from hell
AUGUST 12, 2012 7:22PM

I survived... with photo evidence!

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Monday night I went to my daughter's house for a week of my own personal reality show:  Survivor Grandmas: A Week With Baby. My son-in-law taught little Kamal the Stink Eye, she was at times a formidable opponent. You see...


She was no match for me, I am capable raising a single eyebrow so high it makes Scarlett O'Hara look like an amateur. Yes, I practiced  in front of the mirror, I don't like to yell at children, in fact, I dislike yelling. But you should see my left eyebrow go up, it's impressive. And impervious to pouting or a tiny moue. 


Kamal and I have much in common, we both love the water, both look great in hats, both literally hop up and down when we're happy. I learned from her that it's possible to do all three at once!  


One of her sentences when eating favorite foods is "want more, want more, want more."  She elaborates with facial expressions as well as talking with her hands. She always says thank you without being reminded, we are still working on please and you're welcome. I appreciate her parents teaching her these words, it's easier to get your needs met cheerfully when you use courtesy.


She's already very social and likes the comfort of many friends when she sleeps. The number she put in with her grew since this was taken. Can you spot her in the picture? Look for tiny purple doggie against her cheek.


Having learned to trust her needs will be met, she is generous and will put a favorite toy in someone else's lap. She also provides comforting friends to her dogs when they nap.  


Sasha doesn't mind that Kamal will keep piling them on her, she appreciates a chin rest. Friends understand each other even when it feels smothering.



I spent the week watching her and two crazy beagles, my mom came over every day to assist. Two year olds have a speed advantage and spend a lot of time plotting. I'm tired and ache in places I forgot I had, my knees are pissed about all the times I went over the baby gate into the kitchen. I thought I had a bruise on my left elbow but it turns out it's just hurting from lifting and putting down someone who squirms a lot, uppie, uppie, uppie and down, down down are two more things she knows how to express clearly.  


Kamal is only 2, not much for intelligent conversation, she doesn't own anything, her toys are beat up from a lot of play, for the most part her hair was a mess, her clothes got sticky, and there was more than one toxic diaper. She made us feel wonderful anyway. Her main concerns were food, stuffed friends in her crib, playing, singing, dancing, laughing, making us laugh, and not being scared and alone. Without any of the attributes people think are so important, she made me feel loved and it was easy to love her. I came home Friday night physically exhausted, sleep deprived from worry, and filled with the energy of joy and love.




Kamal loves the feeling of flying, secure in the knowledge that those who love her will catch her. 


I am remiss in not mentioning my wonderful son-in-law for being an incredible father who helps with his child because he wants to, and loves his wife and daughter so much. And I sleep at night without worrying about either of them. I have this new wonderful man in my life, what a surprise it is to find he is my son-in-law. What a gift he is to his daughter. What a gift to his wife and to me.


Thank you to Shady Lane Studios in Boise for the last photo. Lala isn't just a great photographer, she is a magician at working with children, and parents too. If you live in the Boise area and want a family photographer, she is top notch. If you need a heart smile in 30 seconds, click on the link below. 




I hope those who read my posts are not bored with hearing about Kamal, if so you can pass by and I won't take it personally. Grandma blah-blah can be boring after a while and nothing really exciting happens with a 2 year old. This is the good thing in my life that I can write about, I feel incredibly fortunate that I have something happy to share.  


Also, I feel incredibly fortunate to have a quiet home to come back to. I missed leisure time and being able to read on OS. I sure am glad my kids are grown!

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Adorable. As a first time Grandma myself, I certainly know how you just have to show those pictures and tell those stories. Your lucky to have such a wonderful family. (But sorry you had to come back to the mess that OS is this weekend)
I so understand and will always read your Grandma offerings as you read mine! I know that exhausted yet so happy feeling too. My 3 year old granddaughter came over today and we played stuffed animals too and I always feel so free to be anybody I want with her. Our Grandchildren are pure joy and Kamal's stink eye is precious...
She is adorable! I loved this post, I am not tired of seeing her and reading these good things in your life either..
Thanks for this light here.
Now you've got me missing my grandson... great pics, great post, great kid!!
Petunia Sue turned two this week. I love hearing about you and your granddaughter. We are all in this boat together. Thanks for being you.
She is beautiful, and the first photograph is priceless. So is this: "Kamal loves the feeling of flying, secure in the knowledge that those who love her will catch her." ~r
I could never be bored looking at that Angel. You make a great Grandma, even though you look like a teenager~(Is that a great compliment, or what!:-)
She's darling, LB, and you have described her world so lovingly. Terrific to read such a lovely story. Keep us posted on her progress.
That stink-eye photo is prize worthy. Each ache and pain will bring a wistful smile, a blessing to you.
I love that you went and that you survived! And she is a cutie.
trilogy, we are so fortunate, I just want to revel in my good luck. I'm grateful to those who have shared their joys with me so now I have some to share too. Sigh, the mess that is here is sad, so much pain everywhere.

Lunchlady, they are like candles in the darkness, aren't they? I give her a paper towel so she can "wash the hands and face of her babies" after we give them a pretend snack, just like she has to be washed up (the battleground). I think she's figured out that it's hard not to laugh and give in when she gives the Stink Eye.

rita, she has a sunny nature and that makes her more adorable. It's wonderful to have a light to share.

jmac, I'm sorry to hear that, one of the worst things about the modern world is how millions of families get so separated. They grow up so quickly, I think my son-in-law may have passed up a promotion so the baby could grow up near family. Not sure, he's pretty closed mouthed and it's not my business to ask. I know very well how lucky we all are, a lesser man would not put his child before himself.

zanelle, I fear you and I are more like flotsam happily buffeted by some very sleek little waverunners. Haha, that makes us lucky ladies!

Joan, thank you, I think she is a doll. I got lucky with that photo, remember how fast they are? All we need in the world is the security of knowing there are those who love us and will keep us safe. Now we have that in our lives, I remember your last comment to me, sometimes we get it later in life.

scanner, she is too adorable, it makes it hard to enforce rules, sigh. I look like a teen, woo hoo! I'll take that compliment and give you a big hug!

Emily, thanks. I'm a little envious of how simple (though frustrating) her world is, I'm grateful to be able to step into it. Then come home and sit in my recliner enjoying the memory. It is so nice to have happy news!
I'm glad you survived!
What a cutie pie ~
While all the photos are adorable, that very first one just captured everyone's hearts over here! Rare anyone will look, but suddenly my guys crowded around for Kamal.
I understand the happiness to come home, too. My granddaughter turns 1 this week -- talk about grandma blah-blah : )
Love these posts about your grandchild. Gave me pause just to imagine that eyebrow on the rise!

Wise woman you are.
Could I but fly with Angels...
This piece is close to perfection. I'm honored to have seen and read it.
Thank you so much...
Who needs intelligent conversation when you can spend time with such an adorable little one!
dianaani, she has a large vocabulary but the perfected pout says it all! Normally I'm terrible with a camera but the Gods were smiling on me even though she wasn't.

Drema, I was anxious, she'd never spent a night away from her parents and then they went for so long. She asked for them but never had as much as a crying fit about not having mommy and daddy. She asked for me that night after I left, we are very lucky with this little girl.

Just Thinking, hahaha, it's a killer photo, she has the most expressive little face. Funny, one of the things I like best is that she looks like none of us, so we don't have to do that comparison thing. I understand why people say they should have grandchildren first, it's all about fun and play. Where are the photos of your little one?

Inverted Interrobang, thank you, I thought it would be cheery to put up today. The eyebrow is formidable where screeching is not. Of course it was followed by some loss of priveledge... and I have an iron will.

Gary, what a gorgeous thing to say. In Egypt they say when babies sleep they smile because the angels come and play with them. I like babies because they're as close to purity as we can get.

asia, you get it. Intelligent conversation is stimulating but that doesn't always mean good because so is electrocution. I love being joyful, she likes to dance and claps and laughs when I sing so now I'm teaching her to sing "la la la la" and I clap when she does it. Little ones are easy to be around, I think it's the naps. I love how I feel after a nap, we should all take two naps a day.
she is darling. such an expressive face.
Lorianne, thank you. I have really noticed how expressive her face is since she stopped looking like a baby. It all goes by too quickly.
Such adorable photos! Really priceless. Children enchant us, frustrate us, reward us, inspire us, exasperate us, challenge us, stretch us in new directions as we struggle to more deeply communicate with them and understand them. And it's true: if I had known grand children were this much fun I would have had them first. Never apologize for posts like this, L'heure. [r]
Classic stink eye. I'd walk a mile for a Kamel. Great photos.
The best part of grandchildren is you can hype them up on sugar and send them home.

Payback is a bitch. :)
Donegal Descendant, you aren't kidding, though mostly I'm frustrated for the child. They can't communicate well and they don't understand why they can't do and have everything they want. They can be relentless, but, so can I, hahaha! But, children love all the way so it's worth it. Being grandma is fun without the work and worry.

You are very kind to say not to apologize but I don't want others to read about my grandchild if it isn't their cup of tea, I want my friends to feel free to read what interests them or what they need on that day. Boredom and misery is why we have to be paid to show up at work.

Littlewillie, I suspect the stink eye is only the beginning, she has coy down but I haven't captured it. She's a real character.

catnlion, I bought an ice cream maker this year, I went with a quart of strawberry. You can buy a lot of goodwill with ice cream.
Well, I'm a big ol' grumpster male person and I DO NOT read silly, emotional, womanish stuff like this at all. Not ever. Nope. Not me. Never, ever. Ya got the wrong man. It was some other guy. Mistaken identity. No, no,no, no........... It was wonderful!

I didn't really "look" at it, you understand..... but that "Stink-Eye with Pout" photo is a classic!
Wonderful. Looking forward to reading more.
sky, of course you didn't look at the Stink Eye photo, and I'm sure if you caught a glimpse you didn't smile. This is worse than heart warming drivel, this is blatant granny rhapsodizing!

Patrick, thank you, I'm looking forward to having more to write.
cute kid.....sounds like ya had fun....
I just spent a hald hour on Lala's site.

OMG ALLL of you need to go and look!

It was the most enchanting thing I have seen.
I just spent a half hour on Lala's site.

OMG ALLL of you need to go and look!

It was the most enchanting thing I have seen.
Steel Breeze, a great time and as always there is a recovery period after all partying! Thank you.

Dianne, I KNOW!!! I love the firefighter with his baby, oh and the siblings with the tiny tots, she is amazing. I spent a lot of time there and just kept smiling.

My daughter says she can get the kids to do anything because they adore her. Some people love being with kids and she blended two loves.

Listen to Dianne, go to Lala's site.