She Calls Me Ninny

Cathy B. Bridges

Copyright 2020 by Cathy B. Bridges

Photo of Cathy and Olivia.

We told my granddaughter about the day I spilled frigid water on her. She was too young to remember, but I certainly will never forget. It was very embarrassing. Olivia was about three months old and lay quietly in her carrier. The sudden coldness was such a shock to her. She screamed and cried so long my daughter called the doctor for advice. He said she would be ok, but was angry and going to have a temper. He was right. She does.

Not long after the cold-water spillage, she repaid me by sticking her tiny finger in my eye. I had her in my arms while walking around our pool table at home. Oh, how those paper-thin nails hurt. The next morning my eye was painfully swollen and pouring tears. At the E.R., they treated, and then pressure patched my eye to help it heal quickly. They gave me a tetanus shot, and it felt like they used a needle intended for an elephant!

At the age of three, our cute little granddaughter dialed 911 on the phone. I did not see her do it, so imagine the look on my face when I went to the door. A police officer was responding to the call because Olivia had hung up the phone after the 911 operator answered. The officer had to come in, look around, and ask questions. He scolded me, and then started in on her. It frightened her, and I wouldn't say I liked that very much, considering her age. The officer was only doing his job, though.

When Olivia was young, she started calling me Ninny. The name stuck, and she still calls me that to this day. I laughed after looking it up in the dictionary. It meant a foolish or stupid person. I wondered if someone had put her up to that, but probably not. I must admit that sometimes it describes me very well, so she nailed it. (Example: See the first paragraph above.)

Olivia has always had her papa wrapped around her finger. She kisses him on top of his bald head. When she was little, he would ask her what color was his hair, and she would say, "Papa, you don't have any hair." Olivia sounded so delightfully earnest when she said it, and we could not help but laugh at her cuteness.

Her papa and I took her to McDonald's a lot because she loved their chicken nuggets and fries. That was probably because her mom consumed so many when she was pregnant. It was tough to get Olivia to eat good food when she was younger, but my goodness that girl loved macaroni and cheese and still does. Sometimes we could also get her to eat green beans and corn. She was quite a finicky eater, so we made sure to give her gummy vitamins.

My granddaughter is a mini-me of her mom, and such an exceptional person. Our daughter brought her straight to our home from the hospital. I enjoyed changing diapers and helping with her, so my daughter could go back to work. It was like having a second daughter and (almost) made me feel young again. I loved every minute of it.

The holidays were so much fun when she was a baby. On her first Christmas, she was five months old. We laid her under the tree and took lots of photos that year. My daughter always had lots of pictures made of Olivia as a baby, and on up as she grew. I have so many all over the house and still need more frames.

While in elementary school, she played T-Ball and her team, the Ladybugs, dressed in red and black. She was the cutest little ladybug I have ever seen! Then she played Softball for several years and was also a Cheerleader. They were the Lady Bucks and wore navy blue and gold. Participation in sports was very good for her, and we enjoyed it too.

Her mom always loved to dress her in frilly clothes when she was young. Olivia was our little princess and still is, but now that she is older, she is more of a tomboy. Ripped jeans, Nikes and Vans casual shoes are her standard attire now. She loves hoodies and her Ugg boots also.

It is only right that she has a temper because she loves spicy food and hot sauce. At Christmas, I put hot sauce in her stocking, and she eats it with potato chips. What a combination! You should see her eating hot wings right down to the bone. Flaming hot Cheetos is another favorite. She is a genuine fiery little pepper!

She will turn sixteen this year and be in the 11th grade. I can hardly believe it. Where did the time go? School is not as enjoyable to her now as it was when she was younger. Hopefully, that is something she will overcome. She used to read a lot and make excellent grades. She stays on that cell phone too much, texting for one thing.

Secondly, she has a boyfriend now but is not dating yet. Her mind is on him all the time. He lives next to the community pool, and she will be spending a lot of time there. She loves to swim, as does her papa. Her boyfriend's mom is a hairdresser and does Olivia's hair now. She has beautiful long medium brown curly hair that cascades down past her shoulders.

Olivia doesn't spend much time with us anymore, but that is typical of a girl her age. She is growing up fast, but her papa and I have enjoyed most of the past fifteen years with her. We would not take anything for those years. The fact that she is our only grandchild makes the time we've spent with her even more dear to us.

She wants to get her driver's permit, but her mom has been stalling, and I am glad. There are so many crazy drivers nowadays. Olivia is not responsible enough to be on the roads yet. There is the cell phone issue again. Texting and driving are a dangerous combo. I see girls close to her age almost every day going over the yellow line or driving recklessly. Her worrywart Ninny will have lots more gray hair for sure when Olivia starts driving.

Recently she has chosen to live with her dad for a while. He and our daughter are co-parenting Olivia. At her age, she needs both parents to be on top of their game. He will be the one to let her drive more and get her permit soon. They are playing catchup since he was away for a few years. She is taking advantage of it also and getting him to take her shopping often. That girl plays us all like a fine-tuned piano!

There are so many school shootings now. It scares me so much to think something like that could happen to my granddaughter. Schools do not allow God inside anymore, but guns aren't allowed inside either. They show up anyway, though, don't they? God gave her to us, and she is so precious. We want her to finish her education, be successful, and live to be a ripe old age. 

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