Thursday, August 07, 2008

Taking Care Of Chloe

On a normal workday I supervise 21 adult men and women as well as manage their work. This requires significantly less energy than taking care of my granddaughter, Chloe, for the same amount of time. Chloe has some type of rash that requires her to stay out of the day care for a few days. Because I am Pa Paw and I love her, I volunteered to take a day off from work so she could spend the day with me at my house. She arrived barely awake at 7:30 AM yesterday. As soon as I looked at her I knew something was wrong with her. Besides the rash, her face was slightly swollen but when she smiled at me I knew it was Chloe. The next two hours were spent watching cartoons on the Disney Channel. Shortly after that, the Chloe I know began to emerge from the haze of her predawn medication. We began our standard process of wanting everything in sight including a variety of food products. We had tea parties and I took her for walks on my shoulders. Soon, however, the bewitching hour of another dose of medicine approached and our relationship began to deteriorate. "I don't want any medicine"! she said. I knew then that her father had lied to me when he said it would be no problem getting her to take her medicine because she liked the cherry favor. "How could I have been such a fool"? I wondered as I prepared Chloe's medicine. I know many of you have children or grandchildren and have been through this experience. Trying to give Chloe her medicine is probably the closest I have ever come to actually experiencing an exorcism. I had to hold both her hands in one of my hands while she kicked her feet and clenched her teeth. Thankfully it was liquid medicine so all I had to do was slowly inject it into her mouth. For that moment I was very unpopular and I hated being the bad guy. After I successfully got the medicine in her and wiped off her face, she gave me the silent treatment for the next half hour. Pa Paw was no longer the greatest man in the universe. Eventually the freeze subsided and she warmed back up to me. Uncle Nick was home so we sent him to McDonald's for some lunch. Not long after that I knew the medicine was taking effect when Chloe asked me to cover her up with a blanket while she sat in my chair. Soon she was in dreamland so Pa Paw took the other chair and joined her. Much of the afternoon was spent sitting on the front porch watching a squirrel who was watching us. When Mommy showed up we went through a less intense experience of another dose of medicine before we hugged and kissed one another good bye. Except for the brief experience of demon possession in the middle of the day, we had a very nice time together. I was happy to have the ability to take a day off from work to respond to the higher called of being Chloe's Pa Paw and caregiver. As soon as Chloe left I began to cook dinner so it would be ready when the Queen arrived home. Cooking dinner is no problem for me because I am a good cook. She arrived home a little late. Why? Well, she walked out of her office, stood on the curb and awaited her chariot. I am her usual charioteer. After standing there five or ten minutes she had the epiphany that she had actually driven herself to work and the chariot was parked two blocks away in a parking garage. Judging from the look on her face when she walked into the house, I think I might be a little more appreciated now. Maybe I will get a raise.

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