Category Archives: visitation

Saturday Slap Happies

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Due to Cabin Fever, children who have been only in

school short periods of time since Christmas have been

going a little ‘slap happy’ around here! I have three

elementary school and two preschool grandchildren that

alternate from school, baby sitter’s homes and their own.

When “Nana,” as I am called, walks in the door, they think

there is a new person to ‘play with’ and it is true!

As I have been leaving my son and daughter in law’s home

and my oldest daughter and male partner’s home I think:

“I need to write those precious words down!”

Maybe these won’t ‘tickle your fancy,’ but they sure had me

chuckling and scratching my head in sure pleasure and amazement!

The kids and grandkids of the world are kind of smart!

In fact, I fluctuated from the title attached to this

piece of writing to this one:

“Precious and Precocious”

Which one do you like better, once you read the material

I am serving up on this fine Saturday morning?

1. “When are we coming over to feed the ducks, Nana? I think

I figured out where they are hiding from us!”

2. “Nana, however did you know that?”

I replied, “Why, I pay attention to details.”

“What are dentals?”

3. When I was telling my son, James and his wife, Trista

something, I used a gesture with my coffee cup and it

splashed some coffee across the table.

My (step)grandson, Landen, said, “See, even Nana spills

her drinks!” (He was the “B & E” 8 year old and frequent

‘getting on red space’ student in school. Must have been

relieved to have someone else goofing up a bit!)

4. “You cannot GO crazy, Nana! You either ARE or you’re

NOT!”

5. To wear the kids out I tend to play active games in

either their bedrooms or the play room, (some are simple

like “Ring Around the Rosie” or “Motor boat, Motor boat”

and others are those silly songs with actions, like “Do

Your Arms Hang Low” or “The Hokey Pokey.” So, thinking,

with a little ‘pat on my back,’ that I may have worn off

a few calories of the delicious meal they had fed me,

along with wearing the children physically out a little

bit, I got my coat on. As I was leaving, it made me laugh,

the littlest one shouted from her bedroom where she was

getting her p.j’s on, “Hey Nana! Next time, can you bring

some cookies or donuts with you?” (Sure… get some sugar

in you… that would really make your parents happy!)

6. This mature question came out of one of the older ones’

mouths: “Do you think that everyone should know their birth

mother?”

7. When I picked up one of the little boys, I said,

“Oopsy Daisy!” and he replied, “Don’t you mean, “Oopsa-

daisies?” Hmmm… Not sure about that one!

Then, “out of the mouths of (confident) ‘babe'” he

said, “You got that a little backwards, Nana!”

I just smiled. Didn’t really know the ‘correct way’ to say

that either. I looked it up, as the computer is our god of

all words and verbal ‘faux pas’!’ It is supposed to be:

“Oopsie daisy!”

8. Once I had come straight for work, in the midst of

several sub-zero days, found the library closed, heard

a voicemail that said, There is a hot meal waiting to be

eaten and please join us.” When I arrived, I grabbed a

bright red “Put In Bay” (island on Lake Erie) sweatshirt

to put over my short sleeved purple t-shirt. Once inside,

my little ‘fashion goddess,’ Marley (age 5, preschooler)

put her hands on her hips and quipped,

“Do you really think that goes together, Nana?” (!)

9. When I was at my oldest daughter’s home to pick up a

“To Go” plate with four slices of juicy ham (she uses a

nice pineapple and brown sugar glaze with a dash of cloves)

and my grandson, Micah, hugged me! He asked what I was doing

(yesterday or Friday) and I said, “Well, I hang out with my

girlfriend, Jenny, who is a retired teacher. She makes soup,

told me already it will be red chili lentil soup, and I bring

my own sandwich.”

Micah looked puzzled, (I tried to figure out where I had maybe

confused him?) He retorted, “So now you have given up men?”

He is only going to be 5, end of this month! He had

misunderstood my usage of ‘girlfriend!’ Wow! Different thinking

for someone so young!

I did tell him that it would be okay if I had, but that I

still had hopes of finding a new grandpa, or partner, but in

the old days, you called your friends who were girls- ‘girlfriends.’

One Saturday, two weeks ago, I had the M & M girls, had made my

100% whole wheat pancakes from ‘scratch’ letting them take turns

on the step stool to watch. I liked to have their Daddy (Jamie)

drop the water on the hot skillet and told them, “This lets you

know if it is ready, without touching a hot pan.” It will jump

around and their Daddy had coined the phrase, and I started to

tell them and in unison, (apparently already had heard this

little story, while he was making pancakes or waffles.)

“It makes the water ‘dance!”

10. After cooking their pancakes and making them little, the

size of half dollars, I put warmed syrup in empty applesauce

cups for them to dip in! As I poured their juice and milk,

Marley informed me, “You know you have to drink the juice

first or the pancakes will make it taste ‘sour-y.'”

There are lessons you learn from kids every day, which

sometimes silly parents and grandparents say, “I know that!”

But I believe we all should say, “Thank you for reminding me

of that! You are SO SMART!”

Keith and Ashley

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This is a love story about a father who has been a hero to

his daughter. He is a coworker of mine and his name is

Keith. His daughter, Ashley, was living in a challenging

situation where his ex-wife, her mother, was involved with

drugs and alcohol.

Ashley’s mother was unfortunately allowing her stepson to

also run slipshod over her own daughter.

There was potential of the boy pursuing an inappropriate

sexual act with Keith’s daughter. He had several times cornered

her in a room or once in the bathroom.

When Ashley had come to his house for her bimonthly visits

and Keith heard this, his blood boiled! He had decided he

had to at least try to get full custody of Ashley.

The way Keith was able to get the court to stop and notice,

unfortunately was not due to the gross neglect or potential

danger of Ashley. Keith had the school get involved through

official records of her poor attendance record last year. Then

the fact the bus driver called Ashley ‘disorderly’ and she got

kicked off the bus. Added with her low grades and ungroomed

appearance, the school counselor saw all the signs that this

child of 10 years needed to be saved from her own mother.

Keith has finally been awarded full custody. All of his friends

have  been listening and supportive of his decision. It is rare

that a mother loses custody. It is very difficult to have the law

take action to protect the child when the mother has lost interest

in her child’s welfare. The proof was accumulated and even then,

one judge had to be persuaded twice. The first time, he said the

case did not prove her an ‘unfit mother.’

Ashley’s dad has been trying hard for over a year to be able to

get her mother to allow her to come to his house daily to work

on her assignments. Keith did not expect the custody situation

to work out so quickly, thought years would go by, and got the

temporary homework visits passed through mediation rather

than court. Ashley’s grades have been gradually going up and

this makes her Dad so proud of her! This was a positive “proof”

that he was fit!

When the time came where Keith’s lawyer thought that the final

decision might work out in Keith’s favor. He was hoping to win

his custodial case, Keith had had his sister and mother come for

a week to transform Ashley’s bedroom.

Keith built a bookcase, fixed her closet so that it had two racks for

clothing, one lowered for pants and shorts to be able to be hung up,

the higher one with tops, sweaters and jackets. They had bought

clothes that were nice, current fashions and appropriate for school

at thrift stores.

His female family members chose a nice light teal/ light turquoise

color with tan and brown details used in the throw pillows and

curtains. Keith had always kept her room nicely decorated in a

Disney style, more for a younger child. Now that she was growing

older, it was a little hard to believe she was needing a change.

Ashley needs to have pride in her own appearance, her grades, her

home and her bedroom would be a great place to study in now.

Keith hopes that she will make more friends and invite one or two

over to spend the night someday.

Keith built a nice study corner with a desk, bookcase and pretty

chair with a padded seat so Ashley would be comfortable while

studying. Keith also would sit at the kitchen table when he got

home looking over her homework and had taught Ashley to put

stickie notes on places that gave her trouble. She walked home

so she was able to avoid the stepbrother who had started to bully

her and taunted her.

This had brought Ashley tears of frustration and then, when she

lashed out in anger, SHE was the one kicked off the bus!

Once the school was informed of the true situation; the injustice

had been corrected. But, in that case, it was too late for Ashley

to want to ride the bus, at least as long as her stepbrother was

also a passenger on that school bus. He will be riding another

bus next year to the middle school.

We cheered each time a victory was made! We consoled Keith at

each setback and I am happy to say, all things are “fixed” except

sad visitation times bimonthly to her mother’s are still awkward

and mandatory.

Keith hopes Ashley will feel more secure knowing that she has

a home to go to and that she is making progress in school. He has

been taking her to private counseling sessions with a psychiatrist.

By her inner strength, Ashley will be able to stand up for herself

and that is the best way to achieve her own self esteem.

In this story, the relationship between a father and his daughter

reveals his true love for his daughter. At this age, Keith is Ashley’s

“knight in shining armor!”