An hour later, Morgan came to her senses. She called on her cell to ask me to meet her halfway between her house and ours (we live 20 miles apart). "I'm wondering if you would mind keeping Sara at your house," she said.
So I took Sara back. Now, I would keep a pony in my playroom if the girls wanted me to. An elephant. But Sara produced a musty smell in the bathroom in which I hid her from my husband. She ate that little black-and-white fabric igloo in the cage — which, by the way, turned out to have been made for hamsters, and was much too small for a rat. So I had to move her to a larger plastic box. And, of course, the girls only come by here occasionally, while the rat would have to hang her toothbrush next to ours full time.
I gave Sara away a few days later, but was left with the memory of having been an idiot. Again.
I do give my grandkids a lot of stuff. When Ryan was a baby, I met Morgan in the park one day after work. As I pulled toy after toy out of my backpack, a woman who'd been watching drawled, "Let me guess: This is the grandmother, and it's the first grandchild." Recently, I helped Morgan move and found myself having to haul away all the space-swallowing toys I'd given the girls, from a twice-life-size duck, to a drive-in Barbie car, to no fewer than four bikes. I realized then how patient Morgan is with me, as I arrive with bags in hand, and then say, "Oh, and there's something else out in the truck."
I get the hit of delighting the kids with the present, and my daughter? She gets a giant stuffed duck.
Will I stop doing this? I should. I will.
Image: John Morgan / via Flickr
This article originally appeared on Grandparents.com.