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The thief of bedtime

02/19/2013 @ 9:10am

We had three of our grandchildren over the weekend and it was, as always, big fun.

That doesn’t mean that there weren’t occasional moments of puzzlement.

For instance, around 4:00 a.m. the first night, I came to realize that I was perched on the very edge of the bed and there was one more set of lungs breathing in the bedroom than I expected.  I think it’s perfectly reasonable that if children wake up in the darkness and need some comforting, they should be allowed to make their way to a trusted adult.  I just don’t believe that if one of the three people in a bed weighs 38 pounds, that person has a right to a full third of the bed.  Looking at it from another angle, if someone is 10 inches wide across the shoulders and someone else is around 18 inches, that would seem to indicate that one person should only require half as much room. That does not seem to be the case, particularly when nighttime arm flailing is factored in.  I’m surprised that Einstein didn’t write a theorem on the phenomena, something like, “A Small Child at Rest Requires Twice as Much Room as is Reasonable and a Child in Motion Can Break Objects Anywhere in the House.”

I’m going to blame my lack of sleep on the slight hitch that occurred at breakfast.  I was making pancakes for the crew and added a teaspoon of salt to the batter, just as the recipe called for.  Sadly, I used the wrong salt.  I thought salt was salt, but apparently the giant salt crystals that go in a grinder don’t dissolve in pancake batter as well as one might wish.  I thought the little salt crunches made the pancakes more interesting, but mine was the minority opinion, as evidenced by this straight-to-the-point question from my oldest granddaughter: “Why are the pancakes crunchy, Papa?”

Later in the morning, the whole team was playing church.  I was asked to provide the special music.  

Apparently the choir hadn’t shown up.

There are a couple of problems with this.  First, I don’t get asked to sing in public all that often - with good reason.  Next, I have a very small repertoire of hymns committed to memory.  I can do a verse or two of “Amazing Grace” and a few others, but an entire hymn from start to finish?  Not my strong suit.  

I decided to go with Kris Kristofferson’s song, “Jesus was a Capricorn.”  You know, “Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic food, he believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes…”  

When I finished, the children all applauded and my wife said, “Thank you for your witness.”  I basked in the applause and considered launching into Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Conversation with the Devil,” but the only lines I could remember go “…some get spiritual when they see the light, some ‘cause they feel the heat…” and that really didn’t seem like enough.  I just bowed and left the pulpit.

A while later, all three kids helped me outside with some chores and errands, which meant getting three kids buckled into car seats.

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