It’s official.   Our country has hit a new national low.  

My 3 year old grandson brought his mother an outfit today.  I’m talking jeans, shirt, socks and shoes.   By way of explanation, he said to her,

Can I wear clothes today?  I’m gonna take a break from pajama day…”

So, there you have it.  In a nutshell.  Not only have the toddlers of America noticed that adults have spent their days in athleisure-wear and pajamas for over a year now, they are quite dismayed by it.  Our nation’s toddlers are tired of lazy unproductive sloths.  This one toddler in particular.  And it worries me.  It worries me greatly.   Because I’m his new Nanny – starting next week.  Granted, it’s only one day a week. 

 But still. 

Technically, I started my new position as Nanny over a month or so ago, I just haven’t been required to “clock-in” yet.  I can’t remember what happened to all the other days I was supposed to “work.”  One of them was Martin Luther King Day –  When my daughter realized she didn’t have to actually go in to work herself, she offered to get her hair done, so I could spend time with the kids anyway.  

“That’s okay!” I declined cheerfully.  In my defense, I knew I was about to sign away my uber-exciting life of freedom starting…well…starting really soon.  Even my 22 year old son chastised me for that response.  “Gosh Mom!  You’re The Grandma!”  I didn’t have much of a comeback.   All I could think of was, “You’re The Uncle!” Which was pretty lame, considering he lives in another state and is in law school.  

But, he did have a point.  

Nonetheless, I packed my bags and took off for sunny Florida.  I had a reservation on Southwest Airlines to return home the day before my next “First Day” when my flight was cancelled due to inclement weather.   I called to apologize to my Daughter-Boss.   She was extremely understanding. 

The rest is history.  At least it is if you’re tuning into The Weather Channel.  

Now, I’ve missed my first 3 days of my new one-day-a-week job.   I don’t really know what that says about me as a grandmother or even as a human-being, but I’ll wager it’s not favorable.  

Add to that how alarmed I am that 50% of my protégés is insisting that the time has come to “take a break from pajama day!”  This kid is infused with that renewable energy we keep hearing about.  He is ready to take 2021 in a new direction.  I’m totally picking up the vibe he is laying down.  And I’m entirely screwed, as it’s obviously going to involve me.   

Last night, around 5:30 pm, on Day 6 or 7 of this epic Winter Storm, still sporting my pajamas, I poured my coffee down the sink and poured myself a glass of wine.  (That’s how Today’s Modern Adult can tell when daytime has rolled into nighttime.)  Then I FaceTimed the kids.   They seemed genuinely thrilled to see a fresh new face.  

A few minutes into the conversation, it became apparent that my daughter has been amping up how exciting it’s going to be when Grandma Lay-lay finally comes to babysit.   This is a classic sign of maternal desperation. I could resent her for this, but I don’t.   I remember my days back in the trenches.  A mother will latch on to anything to generate some fresh excitement in the home.   And, trust me, there’s nothing like a “countdown!” Similar to an Advent Calendar – waiting on the Baby Jesus and Santa Claus – my grandkids are counting down the days until I arrive next Monday to infuse their tiny little lives with fun and excitement.  Like I’m some red-headed, freckle-faced, burnt-out Mary Poppins.  

Damn it!

The little tyke even had the audacity to ask me in all his sweet lispy innocence, “What we gonna do when you are at my house way-way?”  

Oh crap!

I had to conjure up a response on the fly, “We are going to lie around and take naps and just hug and kiss each other, eat snacks, watch tv and then take more naps!”

I could instantly tell he was less than enthused.  So much for Santa Claus and Mary Poppins.  My approval ratings were falling fast.   

He was clearly seeking more.  Why wasn’t that on the application?  Why wasn’t that a job interview question before I was hired?  I mean, C’mon, What the Hell?

I know what he wants.  He wants to dance and sing and play dinosaurs and trains.   And possibly put together puzzles.  He also works on his sight-words and practices his Spanish.   This kid’s energy and work ethic at the tender age of 3 is simply unparalleled.   Well, what did I expect?  He’s the first-born child of two first-born children.  

But sheesh, he’s intense.  If his baby sister lazes around with her dollies for too long, he’s been known to tell his mother, “She needs to work on her Spanish for a little while!” 

Did I mention she’s 1?  She doesn’t even speak English yet.  

How do you say, “Chill out!” in Espanol?   

Grandma Lay-Lay was thinking we could enjoy lots of “screen time!”  (I’m so glad they didn’t have the term “screen time” when I was raising my kids.  But, in defense of my generation, we only had the one screen – the evil telly.  We didn’t have all these other smart devices to worry about.  Thus, we didn’t have to be quite so vigilant.)

I’m really just kidding.   Si, I AM going to play dinosaurs.  Si, Si, I AM.   I’m just not sure for how long.   I’m not sure how long a person can hold a plastic dinosaur and pretend to roar at another person holding a plastic dinosaur?  The truth is that I was hoping we could just lie around in our PJs and snuggle on the days I am over there.  

But I know snuggly kids that want to lie around doing nothing all day are not in the best interest of America’s future.  

In spite of all my shortcomings as a mother, I managed to raise some passionate young adults who are in turn raising the “Movers and Shakers of Tomorrow!” and I know that’s a good thing.   So, one day a week, STARTING NEXT WEEK, I SWEAR, I’m going to shed my pajamas and put on pants with a snap and a zipper, drive over there and support the cause.   

Maybe there is hope for the future yet.  All thanks to me!