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The Grandma Addicts

 

When Mom is out running errands or gardening or being busy during the afternoon, I’m usually napping. Butterfly stretches out next to me, and Cricket drapes herself on top of me so that I can barely breathe, and we all go to sleep in a puppy pile.

Butterfly adds her friends to the puppy pile.

Butterfly adds her friends to the puppy pile.

Cricket and Butterfly can be comfy and quiet for hours, but at the first sign of Grandma returning home, all hell breaks loose. Grandma’s here! We want things!

Ah, sweet sleepies.

Ah, sweet sleepies.

"What was that?!"

“What was that?!”

I think Cricket can hear the specific sound of Grandma parking the car in the lot outside my window, and she definitely knows the sound of Grandma opening the front door of our building. Butterfly is not an expert in these particular sounds, so she relies on Cricket to tell her what’s going on.

Cricket flies off the bed and barely touches the floor before she’s out in the hall and racing towards the door. Thank God for the rug in the hallway or else she would slide the whole way to Grandma.

Butterfly stands on the bed and barks at her fleeing sister, then she barks at all corners of the room, and crouches and barks, and circles and barks, and then she remembers that she has the doggy steps, and she runs down to the floor and out to the hall to catch up with Cricket, who is already crying and squealing at the top of her lungs.

"Grandma! Grandma! Grandma! Grandma!"

“Grandma! Grandma! Grandma! Grandma!”

Cricket stands straight up on her back feet and tries to jump up and kiss Grandma’s face. Butterfly tries to follow Cricket’s example and lifts her upper body off the ground with a heroic effort, and then flops back down, and tries again.

"More! More! More! More!"

“More! More! More! More!”

"I win the Grandma!"

“I win the Grandma!”

The crying and squealing and barking and hopping and flopping can go on for quite a while.

No matter how much I love my Mom, even at my best, I could never match the girls in the greeting department. Grandma brings new smells from outside, possible groceries, guilt scratchies for being gone so long, and the possibility of who knows what amazing things – she is Grandma after all!

Even my brother, who affected indifference when we were kids, would shuffle over to Mommy for a hug. He didn’t run down the stairs and almost topple her over, like I did, but he rested his head on her shoulder and let her hold him up. He still does this. Mommy hugs are a life long addiction.

I didn’t have this with my grandmothers. Neither of them was warm or huggable. I probably had to kiss them on the cheek or do the obligatory hug, but I’ve blocked it out.

My oldest nephew was a Grandma addict when he was little. When Grandma would get ready to leave at the end of a visit he would cry and beg for her to stay. He looked suspiciously like Cricket, hopping up and down, though without the furry jumpsuit.

He and his brothers and sister have taught themselves a more reserved greeting style when Grandma arrives at their house, except for the littlest one who can still be seen running down the block from the bus stop at the first sight of Grandma’s car in the distance.

We grow out of these greetings, either because we become blasé, or believe we should appear to be blasé, but dogs keep it up forever. Even in her old age, Cricket will be dragging her walker down the hall and croaking out a bark or two to greet Grandma at the door.

This is why we need dogs.

goodbye from dogs

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About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

110 responses »

  1. Great post! Adorable photos…

    Reply
  2. I have a sneaky suspicion my cats only put on their fur suit in the morning in order to convince others that they are a pet. But I know different. I know under that fur is a sentient being, and I do believe you know the same thing about Cricket and Butterfly.
    Great post and I love the pictures. ❤

    Reply
  3. We’ve just thrown our hat in the ring for an Irish Wolfhound pup. The Grandma thing will take on a very interesting twist with a small pony dog in the house!

    Reply
  4. When I feel like screaming I pull up a picture of Edvard Munch’s painting. To help me deal with self pity I think about Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, and what he got for Halloween candy. I helped raise four young-uns and during their childhood I’d often make them hush their cryin and not give a second thought to any psychological damage; they seemed to have turned out pretty good. As for dogs and any other pets we keep (I have two cats) I tend not to place human characteristics and/or human personality traits on them, and don’t quite understand folks who treat their pets as if they were human. But I would never fault a pet owner for their love and devotion. All living things (except maybe yellow jackets) are here with us for a purpose.

    Reply

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