I wake up to a familiar little face who snuck into my bed just as I was falling asleep.
"What time is it?" I ask the little face, worried we might have overslept and now will have to late-rush-chase the school age children off to school.
"6:30," the little face answers. Phew, plenty of time. I didn't blow my first day of responsibility.
"What time do the little monsters gets up?"
She informs me it could be any minute.
"Why do you call them little monsters?"
"Cause they're so cute."
And because they might be up in seconds, but only because they are so cute and because monsters are sometimes the unfamiliar, the demanding, the full time focus I'm not used to, especially while all on my own. The little monsters' grandpa, is tending another little monster in Chicago. Little monsters everywhere! How blessed we are!
I was a little concerned when these two grandsons, of whom I'm in charge of for a few days, were born only 18 months apart. My only knowledge of two little brothers born so close together, belonged to a long time family friend. The boys were like a match and gasoline and found mischief in every corner. When they were small, their escapades were hysterical and made funny stories. As they grew, the escapades grew more complicated and costly.
The first incident of notoriety came with a garden hose and a neighbor's open bathroom window. Together, they pulled it across their yard, into the neighbor's yard, and funneled it through the window. One of the boys held the hose while the other turned on the water. The story never included how it all ended, and never needed to. The listener was incredulous and already overwhelmed with sensory and imagined details of the disaster.
The shenanigans continued until the day of the last family vacation. The extended family could no longer take the hotel security reports of the devious duo or the expenses of cleaning up the messes.
No one talks about the brothers anymore. They're grown and the antics went from inquisitive and mischievous to lawyers, jail time and probation.
Yesterday, as my first day as grandma-nanny was the most time I've ever spent, alone and in charge of the two little monsters.
They wrestle! And oh how they love to dig and dig and dig. Each hour's outings are covered with fresh black dirt. Bath time is like river rafting the Colorado.
I've never had a brother, never had a son--the newness and unfamiliarity helps me to clearly see boys have distinctive characteristics and that two close-in-age boys have a unique camaraderie. Not too unlike what sisters share, but different.
Yet, boy-different has a soft side. When one is hurt, the other hurts too. When eating meals together, the 2.6 year old gets down from his stool, pulls the high chair right next to him, wanting his brother close. When 2.6 is the last one to wake in the morning or last one to arouse from a nap, 1.1 year old can't wait until I open the door and he charges forth on his still shaky legs. When it's close to bed time, they know it. They stick close and carry on in their own conversation, understood only to them. When 1.1 protests when I get near his bedroom, I'm unsure if it's because he's protesting sleep or already missing his big brother.
There's definitely a conspiracy here, but it's not only mild mischief--it's undeniable brother-love too.
Just like Monsters Inc.