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Three Days of Category 6

Corky Cummings


Patti and I hosted our grandkids (Hazel 8, Hank 7, and Mae 3) for three days this week so that our
daughter Jamie and her husband Mark could enjoy a houseboat trip on Lake Powell. Now three days may not seem like a long time, but I think I got through puberty quicker. They’re not destructive kids but their activity level, in hurricane measurement, is about a Category 6. I don’t know who invented television, but I suspect it was someone who had several kids, and it was the only way to get any peace and quiet. We certainly took advantage of the breaks that Alvin & The Chipmunks, Goldie & The Bear, etc. provided.

Hazel must have an internal Google system because she is able to correct anyone in milliseconds. It is extremely important to her that every detail be totally accurate, especially when it comes to anything that Hank says. The two of them could argue over what they had for breakfast last Saturday. However, whenever you separate them to maintain the peace, they always gravitate back to each other in a short time. If Hazel disappears from Hank’s sight for more than a few minutes, he asks everyone within a mile radius where she is (because he’s concerned that he may be missing out on something). If she gets 5 more minutes on the iPad than him, it is catastrophic.

Hank produced enough gas while he was here to mobilize a small country. I don’t want to be too graphic, but you know it’s bad whenever he got into a “sharing” mode and our dog left the room. He spent about half his waking hours with his left hand in his right armpit while he flapped his right arm in an effort to add sound effects to his emissions. I don’t think this is abnormal behavior for a boy his age, but he sure got more humor from it than the rest of us.

Mae is a typical 3 year old with roller coaster emotions. She can go from the “thrill of victory to the agony of defeat” in a heartbeat. Whenever she is awake (which is way too long) she requires almost constant attention because she can only entertain herself for about 10 seconds at a time. She had a minor tantrum this morning with both screaming and crying to make it more realistic. Patti told her that she was very disappointed and was not going to talk to her anymore until she stopped. Mae said “It’s okay, Grandma, you can talk to me---I’m only fake crying.”

Our three days of joy ends later today and we are being relieved by Mark’s parents who are flying in from New Mexico. I was tempted to call the airline this morning and upgrade them to First Class so that they don’t change their minds.