1. Grandma set up and enforced a screen time of two hours a day. Mary and Malayne kept meticulous records of their time on the refrigerator whiteboard.
2. Grandma borrowed a pair of jeans from a small neighbor and they fit Mary. The weather is cooler than Mary expected when she packed several pairs of shorts.
3. On Monday, Grandma sat at the picnic table and read while Mary and Malayne ran and shrieked with the neighbor kids. At dusk, Grandma and Mary and Malayne and neighbor kids Kaela and Jesse went to the city park for a "walk in the forest".
4. On Tuesday, Grandma and Papa John (ex husband, who brought the girls up on the train) took Mary and Malayne to the library and each girl checked out eight books - cartoon books, a few chapter books and a few "how to draw" books. Papa John commented on the ethnic diversity in the library - quite different from small town Oregon where they live.
5. On Wednesday, Grandma and Papa John took Mary and Malayne to downtown Seattle where they explored the Pacific Science Center for three hours.
6. On Thursday, Grandma took Mary to the eye doctor for her first appointment ever. Mary is farsighted, it turns out, and has to work hard to focus when she's reading or drawing or at the computer. Mary's new glasses will be ready in 7 to 10 business days and will be shipped to her dad's house in Oregon. Mary chose black frames, which are apparently very cool these days.
7. On Thursday, Grandma sat on metal bleachers for an hour and a half at the Lynnwood Recreation Center pool while Mary and Malayne mastered the water slides, river and diving board.
8. On Friday, Grandma, Mary and Malayne took Larisa the Designer Cat to the vet for her annual rabies shot. After four days, Larisa is no longer hiding.
9. On Friday, Grandma, Mary and Malayne got their hair cut. All three of them have wavy or curly hair and Grandma's hairdresser is very, very good at cutting it. Grandma called Rebekah, the girls' mom, to make sure that would be okay.
10. Grandpa Art (current husband) cooked corn on the cob with dinner every night.
And here's what Grandma learned: that 11 year old girls are growing up and can have conversations; that Mary is allergic to pollen and loves to put calamine lotion on itchy legs; that both girls get up around 8 for breakfast but don't want to talk until after 10 (like Grandma!); that 11 year old girls still don't want to go to bed and have mastered the stall tactic around showers and brushing teeth; that Grandma has not lost the art of going about her business even with lots of noise in the house (she raised a number of children, after all); that Grandpa Art really prefers to be a silent presence rather than an active participant, except for cooking (which Grandma already knew but somehow hoped would be different this time). And most of all, that girls can have a good time even if Grandma isn't a crafty person and doesn't bake cookies.
We all leave tomorrow for Oregon. We'll take the twins home and then spend the 4th with friends. Grandma will probably take some naps.