There’s a Dinosaur in My Bathroom

By Kim Delmar Cory

Along with a whale, a truck and a lion.

Our bathroom has been transformed from a room for performing perfunctory daily ablutions to a playground for wayward plastic and rubber critters. My morning trek through the land mine of a living room, boasting scattered building blocks in the semi-dark before coffee, often results in a stubbed toe and blue air.

We are not alone.

Yes, it’s not as it should be but “it is what it is” as they say. Our 30 year old daughter and our three-year-old grandson, who have lived in a different state for the past few years, have returned to the nest recently after an aborted wedding and splitsville.

So, her former bedroom, painted a lovely French violet and converted to my office, is now their shared bedroom. Not ideal, but it works. My desk hutch, reading chair, file cabinets and multitude of books and bookshelves have been relegated either to my husband’s tiny office across the hall or stored above the garage. We bought her a bed and new linens, an air conditioner and converted shelves to use as a pseudo dresser. I bagged up clothes I hadn’t worn in a decade to clear the closet and added bins for toys and his books.

A stay at home mom for the past three years, this is temporary until she finds a job and can support herself and our grandson. Yup, I hear you.

I have lost my office space, our utility and grocery bills have risen, and the solitude of two stodgy 50-something long married adults has been interrupted with watching Sprout TV instead of MASH or Everybody Loves Raymond reruns, shifted to finding room for boxes of yogurt squeezies instead of six packs in the refrigerator, and created a need to keep our dogs from barking when the paper comes early in the morning. Oh yes, we have added another dog to the pack with her dog – three dogs. Maintaining the baby gate between the dining room and living room so our daughter’s dog can’t devour our geriatric cat requires constant maintenance.

Did I mention our wine intake has increased significantly as well?

But…

How much the richer our lives with their daily presence. Our grandson’s sweet sunshiny three-year-old voice chirping good mornin’ to each of our five animals as he greets them by name. It’s on his morning chore list to help make our bed. He helps Grandpa with his side while I work solo. Our little guy helps Grandpa water flowers every evening. He mirrors my disgust with paying bills, crunching numbers on his own calculator with speed if not accuracy and jotting on ripped off bill stubs as we pay the “stinkin’ bills!” en tandem. It does ease the pain.

After dinner on a still summer evening, we wrangle the dogs, and put grandson in the Red Flyer wagon, and walk a few blocks to our local ice cream place – sprinkles on his bowl of vanilla swirl, of course. Followed by bath, pajamas and the art of firefly watching.

Where my husband and I used to eat dinner on lap trays while watching our favorite baby boomer reruns, we now all sit at the dining room table together for dinner every night (Grandpa makes the bestest burritos).  And there is nothing filled with more grace than the eyes of a three-year-old when he asks if you will read him his favorite book yet again.

Although I balance with care on a taut emotional tightrope when communicating about certain subjects with my daughter (the ex, money, how long she will live with us, etc.) she and I have become closer. We can now bop off to a store together while Grandpa watches the “dude,” and it’s lovely when she finds a great recipe in a magazine for the two of us to try as we are the only ones who like zucchini.

And after our little love has been bathed, read to and is sound asleep, his beloved Sammy bear tight within his pudgy grasp, my daughter and I share a glass or two of vino while watching our mutual guilty pleasure, Gilmore Girls and scheme how to create an Internet project that will make us “women of independent means,” rife with grande caramel lattes and Prada purses. She has taught me the importance of moving forward, patience, staying focused and afloat, exemplified by her new wrist anchor tattoo with the motivational meaning, “I will not sink.”

Three generations blended by circumstance: unexpected but not unwelcome.

Precious unplanned memories.

About this writer

  • Kim Delmar Cory

    Kim Delmar Cory

    Kim Delmar Cory is the author of 5 mid-grade historical novels and a multitude of articles and essays. Her epitaph will read, “You can never have too many twinkle lights.”

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6 Responses to “There’s a Dinosaur in My Bathroom”

  1. Ellen Niemann says:

    Lovely.

  2. Linda O'Connell says:

    You illustrate perfectly how life changes when we blend generational love.

  3. Betsy L. Haase says:

    I read your essay twice and loved it! Thank you for sharing with such honesty, grace, and humor.

    • kim Cory says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Betsy! Update: my daughter has married a wonderful man with a daughter and they had a baby girl this past January. A family of yours, mine and ours- very happy ending! Kim

  4. Rose Ann says:

    Family, love and perseverance! Loved your essay!

  5. Ellen Niemann says:

    Your essay “Nethertime” is my favorite. I hope it speaks to all of us.

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