Wednesday, October 10, 2007

making believe

My kids are reassuringly kid-like. They do all the things I've seen and heard other children doing. They giggle, they wail, they butt heads (literally) and they hug each other. They charge from one end of the house to the other, leaving a trail of toys strewn in their wake. They tell me I'm beautiful and they tell me I'm mean. They make up imaginary friends. They come up with words that have meanings known only to them. So I don't know why I should find their latest carryings on so intriguing, but I just do. Maybe it's because I wish I was half as creative as they are.

When I write, I write about my life, my patients' lives, my family and friends' lives. I write everything based on the truth (or at least my version of the truth!). The only creative part of the process is finding words and phrases to convey meaning, to build atmosphere, to tell a story. I haven't written a work of pure fiction since high school English class.

While on holidays, I realised I'd been hearing the kids using a certain funny name over & over. I quizzed them about this - 'Where did you hear that name? Is it someone from a movie? Did you see something about this on TV?'. The kids sounded miffed as they retorted that no, they had made up this title themselves. It started as a joke, they patiently explained, as if there was no chance of me ever having done anything similar.

It seems one day, Ben (or Laura - neither of them can recall who) put a hand down onto a coverlet in the rented unit, and found it felt a bit damp, slightly slippery. "Ewwww!", they squealed, "This bed's all greasy!"
The other child, beginning to giggle, sputtered hysterically, "Greasy Grandma's been there!"

And so it went on the entire holiday. At times of peak boredom (probably whenever Fatty and I declared it was Quiet Time, during which we were not to be disturbed from our reading and coffee drinking unless in the event of gushing haemorrhages or other such crises), a sudden cry would come from the children's bedroom.....

CHILD 1: "Stop! Don't sit down there!"

(unintelligible response from child two)

CHILD 1, now crowing in delight: "Greasy Grandma's been sitting on your bed!"

Why Greasy Grandma? I don't know. Neither of their grandmothers are remotely greasy! It makes no sense. Unless there really is a Greasy Grandma, who silently slides her way sinuously across sheets and quilts, coating them in a fine layer of oil, giving bedding that 'slept in' feeling that has us pulling linen off the mattress and heading for the laundry.

Has Greasy Grandma been to your place today? Better go check your beds.


Susan said...

Ewwww indeed! I believe I would be heading for the laundry!

It would be great to have such an uncluttered and unworried mind to be able to make up stuff and play with it! Ah to be a kid again...

Yours are precious, enjoy this time! All too soon they will be teenagers, but I believe I have warned you of this before!

Now I have to go wash bedding, thanks!

Heidi said...

"Greasy Grandma" Alliteration at it's finest! It IS fun to say!

We have "Doctor Two Brains" that terrorizes our house... sending the boys into a frenzy! (Now that I think of it, though... that might be from a TV show or something. Anyways...)

What fun!

Texas2Tennessee said...

I think you're kids came up with something original, even though there's 241,000 search results for "greasy grandma" on Google.

thisisme said...

That is just classic. Can Greasy Grandma be blamed for those cold slimy patches on some walls too? I think Ben and Laura are onto something.

Soooo glad I changed my sheets yesterday.

Remiman said...

I'm a non-fiction writer's just that sometimes I make it up. ;)
My greasy grandma comes to tuck me in from the kitchen where she's making raised donuts. I love the smell on her hands and can smell the dough aroma where she has touched my sheets and it soothes me and helps me drift off.

jellyhead said...

Now texas2tennessee has got me thinking and googling....
searching the worldwide web got me 232,000 hits - seems there is a T-shirt shop in the USA called Greasy Grandma's, and at least one song with these lyrics.

When I googled Australian websites, though, there were only 8830 hits and none were for the two words together.

We don't play the radio at home (just CDs, because radio ads are too annoying), so I don't *think* my kids would have heard a song with those lyrics if Fatty or I never have.

Anyways, the phrase has obviously been thought of before, but it still makes me laugh!

shellyC said...

too funny!!
But ewwww - was there something greasy there?? It is always great to have someone to blame for things!
For years now my husband and I have blamed Maria!! When people come over and the place is a mess - it usually is!! We will say "Sorry about the mess. Maria called in sick today"

There is no such Maria!

Maybe I would watch out for your kids - with their imaginations, who knows what Greasy Grandma is going to be blamed for doing.

meggie said...

Greasy Grandma had me laughing too. Such a descriptive name! So appropriate for motel units.
A friend used to say Cheesy Nanna, which made our granddaughter giggle every time!

Motherkitty said...

That phrase evokes an image too nasty to contemplate. I agree, time to wash the bedding and everything that came into contact with them.

Surely your darling children heard that phrase some place or else they have terrific imaginations (if I had to bet, I would place my money on their imaginations).

It's bedtime here and I hope Greasy Grandma hasn't come to visit me today.

Sandy said...

Maybe their grandma was putting on hand lotion one day and rubbed some on the children's hands, thus the emergence of greasy grandma.

Susan said...

RE: My recent post - keep smiling. Comments make me smile! So all of you who were nice enough to comment are officially presented with the 'you make me smile' award!


Alice said...

Maybe it's the sound of the words that has caught their imagination.

Only a few years ago I went with friends and their 20 year old daughter to an interstate city. For some reason one of us remarked facetiously that the houses on the edge of town 'weren't very salubrious'. For the rest of the trip the most ridiculous things were classified as being, or not being, salubrious. I can tell you that we were well past the age when this should have been funny, but somehow or other, it was and we would crack up every time.

Kerri said...

You're making me miss those growing up years of our kids. It is fun seeing and hearing what their imaginations come up with. Ours would sometimes get the giggles at the dinner table, about something ridiculous, and drive us crazy....but we'd have to giggle right along with them :)
Methinks those adorable kids have your sense of humour Jelly..and apparently your love of alliteration as well.
Ain't no greasy grandmas around these here parts...'least most of the time :)

Mimi said...

At moments like this we must go back and quote Art Linkletter (an old American TV personality)"kids say the darnedest things).