Monkey tales

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Monkey Bubby rides poor Roxie.*In exactly two weeks I get to see Bubby! Hooray, hooray! Preston has a big conference in San Diego at a fancy-schmancy resort and Megan gets to go along.

And I get to be flown to their home base to babysit Bubby for three days, all by myself!

We've had this planned for quite some time, but I'm starting to think Megan now has a few concerns about leaving me alone with Bubby for a few days. For my sake and sanity, not his.

A recent conversation:

Me: So, did you get the toy box put together? (Santa brought Bubby a new wooden toy box that also serves as bench seating.)

Megan: Yeah, we did. <hearty chuckle>

Me: And ... how does Bubby like it?

Megan: He loves it! We have it sitting by the couch and he first used it to jump from the toy box onto the couch. Then he decided to try jumping from the couch to the toy box. From there, he figured out how to jump directly off the toybox onto the floor.

Me: <stifling my "What the hell? He's still a baby! He's going to hurt himself!" instant reaction> Oh really ... hmmmmm ...

Megan: But we LET him do that. That's just the way we do things, Mom. We let him be ... a monkey.

Me: <silence as I try to decide if my Bubby is a bratty terror who gets to run wild throughout the house or if he's a tad too rambunctious and needs to be tamed before he hurts himself ... or both>

Megan: <in her "treading lightly" voice> I'm telling you that because I just want you to know that he's allowed to do that. He gets to be a monkey in our house, and I'm sure it's going to give you a heart attack.

Me: Oh-kay ... So, does Bubby help put his toys in the toy box? <stealthily changing the subject>

Sheesh. Seems my daughter thinks I can't handle a monkey of a boy. A wild, crazy, physically daring little boy who pulls stools down on his head, rides the dog as if Roxie were a bucking bronco, and regularly sports bruises, bangs and rug burns from his acrobatics.

She thinks I'm too paranoid about kids getting hurt. I get it. I can read between the lines.

Yes, I'm a paranoid mother who suffered hysterical panic attacks at a child's slightest veer from a stationary position feared for the safety of my little ones ... and had ridiculous unfounded phobias about them falling down -- or up! -- stairs (thank God Bubby has no stairs in his house) ... and gave regular thanks that I had daughters who couldn't go out for football where they'd surely suffer concussions or worse. (Although Andie didn't fare much better with soccer; and Brianna did break bones in track; and Megan had her fingers smashed flat -- honest to God -- in a bout on the playground.)

Okay, so derring do scares me a bit when it comes to my babies.

But hey, doesn't Megan remember that we got a massive trampoline when the girls were preteens? And it didn't even have one of those safety-net surrounds! And I didn't wrap them in bubble-wrap before they climbed aboard.

See ... I can do danger!

Although I must admit: There were so many rules and regulations surrounding the use of the death trap bouncing mat of joy that it was probably not much fun for anyone -- least of all the friends and neighborhood kids who weren't allowed to even remove their shoes and pretend to set foot on it without their parents' signatures on the three-page liability release for kids who become paralyzed or die permission slip I handed out to one and all.

See, Megan. I can handle monkeys. I can do danger. It just has to be safe danger!

*Luckily Roxie thinks Bubby's hugs make up for the wild ride.

Today's question from Zobmondo's 'Would You Rather...?' board game:

Would you rather live for 10 additional years at the top of your game -OR- for 30 additional years in which you have moments of brilliance amidst trials and tragedies?

I vote for the second. I'd like as many years as possible to see how fabulously life unfolds for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. And since trials and tragedies are part and parcel of life as it is now, I don't really see any need to trade in 30 years of that for 10 years of being at the top of my game.