Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston


Don’t tell Momma…

It’s been years since my three grandchildren were young, and I was sitting with them while my daughter had a night out.

After dinner, I decided to give them a bath and get them ready for bed. I then heard Dakota say, “Nana, Brittany is going through Momma’s drawers, and she is not supposed to do that.”

When I walked into the room, there were pencils, pens and a notebook on the floor. I watched as Brittany’s big brother helped pick everything up. He then looked at me and said, “Don’t tell Momma!”

Later on as I dressed for bed, I heard a commotion in the kitchen. I discovered Dakota holding a container of chocolate milk mix, while Preston was doing his best to hold a half-gallon of milk as Brittany stood close by holding three plastic cups. It was obvious that they were caught red-handed in the act. Their expressions changed from “what’s next” to delight as I sat with them and shared the chocolate milk.

“Don’t tell Momma,” Brittany said.

“Momma won’t let us drink chocolate milk before bedtime, so don’t tell Momma,” Preston added.

I don’t remember chocolate milk tasting so good, and I suggested vanilla wafers to make it a real snack.

Now my plan was to make a place to sleep on the living room floor. I collected comforters, blankets, sleeping bags and pillows to put in front of the TV and have snuggle time. It felt good to finally relax.

“Momma wants us to sleep in our own beds,” Dakota informed me in a serious tone. “She doesn’t like it when we sleep in here on the floor.”

“Don’t tell Momma,” Preston told his big brother.

I patiently waited as they watched TV and were breathing softly. I then tiptoed down the hall to sleep in my daughter’s bed.

It was approximately 2 a.m. when Dakota climbed into bed with me. I raised the covers and welcomed a chance to snuggle back to sleep. It was approximately 3 a.m. when I heard Preston say to me, “I want to sleep with you.”

We were as tight as sardines in a can!

Next came Brittany running down the hall, shouting, “I want my Nana!” There was no room in the bed except for her to lie on my chest. This worked well when she was a little baby but not so much anymore.

At 5:30 a.m., I quietly slipped down the hall to Dakota’s bed to try to get some sleep. I then heard a scream beside me as Preston announced, “Nana, the sun is up.”

I didn’t have to look at a clock to know his statement was true.

A few minutes passed before the children told me they were hungry. I could barely move as I prepared breakfast. I then thought it would be a good idea for all of us to cuddle up on last night’s sleeping arrangement in front of the TV.

I heard my daughter’s key turn in the lock at approximately 8:30 a.m.

“Mom, why are you still asleep? I can’t believe this! The kids know not to sleep in here! Mom, you know I love you but why don’t you make them mind?”

I was putting on my coat to leave as she was loading the dishwasher. I smiled as I drove away.

Was it just a few years ago when I was so upset with my dad? He and my mom had visited us as we were just getting home from church. My dad said he would take my children to the store. I knew then that Rachel and Joseph’s lunch was ruined because he would bring them back with bags of candy.

When they arrived home, each child was holding a can of soda and had chocolate all over his or her Sunday clothes.

“Daddy, I don’t let the kids eat junk food before they eat their real meal!”

I started to take away the goodies but changed my mind.

“Oh, a little candy won’t hurt them,” he said as he leaned back in our recliner with one child on each arm, adding, “We’re going to just take a little nap.”

“Daddy, now they will never sleep tonight!”

Never could I have foreseen that times would change and I would be the one sneaking around and doing things my daughter didn’t approve of. However, 

I’ll never forget the smile on my Daddy’s face as he rocked his grandchildren to sleep. I’m positive that I heard him say, “Next time, we won’t come home until we eat all our candy, and we won’t tell Momma.”

Keep smiling, Rosie

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