Leisure Features

Dorothy About Town: 9.6.17

Ah, the ‘grandchildren visit’—that long-anticipated, biannual event. When your kids live far away, they simply can’t come all that often, so when they do, they like to stay a while— in my case, two full weeks! But I have perfected a few coping mechanisms for The Long Visit, because, after all, if God meant for extended families to cohabit, he would have given us a much shorter lifespan.

Every successful visit starts with some well-planned day trips. This recent one included a perennial favorite, the City Museum. The kids couldn’t wait for the day to arrive and assured me that there were several perfectly fine ‘grandma areas’ where, apparently, I could rest my decrepit bones. Makes you wonder what little kids see when they look at their grandparents.

They obviously haven’t heard that 60 is the new 40. Also scheduled was an evening at The Muny to see Newsies (which they declared “the best show ever—better than Grease!”) and another at Stages to watch 9-to-5 (which they also declared the best show ever). And, of course, Ted Drewes, Pi Pizza and Tutti Frutti, all of which they think are better than any place in their hometown—after all, everything tastes better in St. Louis.

This is not to say that their visit was all a bed of wine and roses. In fact, the word ‘bed’ elicits nothing good when they’re here. Nightly battles over going to sleep require some creative grandparenting. Like retiring to my own bedroom and turning out the light around 8:30 p.m.—does pretending to be asleep make me a bad grandparent? I don’t think so. Neither does hiding in the basement shouting “I’m busy doing laundry” when they ask for yet another glass of water or bedtime story. A decrepit old bubby can take only so much fun in a day.