We took Ensley and her brother to the movies recently. No big deal, we've been doing that for more than a decade. The tradition began when Ensley's brother was 3 years old and we've been taking Ensley since she was a baby. Movies, Target toy shopping, and Grandparent Date Nights are our ongoing rituals.
Ensley is 10 now and, of course, dresses herself. Before the last movie, she walked into the kitchen, wearing gym shorts and a tee-shirt, declaring she was ready to go.
"Are you wearing shorts?" I asked.
"I never wear shorts to movies. I read this study about fecal matter on the theater seats, and now I always wear long pants so I don't get fecal matter on me." Even I could hear the Old Lady in my voice.
"What's fecal matter?" Ensley asked.
"Poop. I'm talking poop," I explained.
Ensley laughed. "Yes, I'm wearing shorts."
So off we went to the movies. Me and Grandpa in long pants, Ensley and her big brother in shorts. Whatever.
We made it into our seats, hands overflowing with buckets of popcorn, all kinds of rubbery candies and soft drinks, both Diet and regular. The trailers began and we settled in, Ensley next to me. She got into the habit of sitting next to me when she was little so she could crawl into my lap when the movie bored her. Ensley has napped through more movies than even her Grammy.
The four of us started stuffing our faces with popcorn when I saw Ensley drop a piece of popcorn on her seat, reach down, pick it up and toss it into her mouth.
"Oh, Ensley! That chair is filthy. You might as well have eaten a piece of popcorn off the floor," I exclaim, a little horrified.
Without blinking an eye, Ensley says, "Grammy, look!" and as I watched, she stood up, reached down to the floor, picked up a piece of popcorn and popped it into her mouth.
Truly horrified now, these thoughts ran screaming through my mind: Whose popcorn was that? Is it too late to try to fish the popcorn out of her? How will I ever kiss that girl again? Is this going to make her sick?
But no, Ensley didn't get sick. Instead, Grandpa spent the night in the bathroom with some stomach bug. Go figure. Karma must be near-sighted.
Now they say that little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and I can see that this is true, although I don't necessarily believe those ingredients are in equal parts. Ensley, the first girl to be born into three generations of our family, is full of sweet sugar and all things nice, but she also is made with an extra scoop of spice.
A giant scoop.
And it makes her delicious. It also sometimes gives me heartburn.
For instance, while all my other grand-kids call me Grandma, Ensley has a special name for me. When I hear a voice yell GRAMMY, I know my Ensley is calling. She's the only granddaughter who's ever told me, "I don't have to listen to you, you're not the boss of me." She's also the only granddaughter to push Grandpa out of bed so she can sleep (ie. giggle and whisper and play word games) with me.
She pretty much has me wrapped around her finger. It happened long before she started leaving drawings on my pillow when I came to visit.
Our Grandparent Date Night doesn't include parents and we take turns picking where we will eat. The Golden Rule is that we don't complain about the each other's choice, although Ensley's brother and I often roll our eyes when we have to eat at Cici's again. Cici's is really Ensley's 2nd choice. We veto eating at RaceTrack Gas Station, no matter how much she swears they have the best hot dogs in the universe.
And really, why would I trust her judgement in food?
After all, she thinks movie theater floor popcorn tastes great.
c2015 Linda S Amstutz