Don’t Move the Furniture
Chapter 7 Sybil
Sybil called Elizabeth every day, I presumed it was just to converse and feel connected. A month into our marriage Elizabeth asked me, “Morty I am concerned about Sybil. She doesn’t seem happy. Her husband Charles works a lot of hours which leaves Sybil home alone with the kids. It seems as though she is raising the kids alone. I want to help somehow; I get this dark feeling something is not right.”
I said: “It can be pretty dicey to meddle into someone else’s marriage but maybe a girl day and have a chat over lunch.”
“Glad you said that. It is exactly what I was thinking; you just confirmed how I should go about this.” Said Elizabeth
Since Sybil could not get a babysitter I volunteered. I found it funny no one was concerned about leaving the kids with me. They probably would have been had they spoken to Connor first before saying yes.
I know I will have to keep them away from those special brownies; I am sure we can find something fun to do. All elders love when children come for a visit.
Sybil arrived with Jeff and Matilda. The introductions were made and once Sybil and Elizabeth left Jeff spoke up and said; “I am the oldest so I should say what we should do today.”
I looked him directly in the eyes and said: “You must not know all your numbers. I am the oldest and I will say what we will do today.”
Matilda laughed and punched her brother and said: “Mom told you he wasn’t any push over see you should have listened.”
Of course the conversation melted into the shut up one up- man-ship.
I put a stop to it by saying: “Shut up both of you mutts!”
Jeff scowled at me and said: “Were not dogs!”
I said: “You do what I say. If I tell you to bark then you better bark.”
Matilda said: “You can’t make us bark!”
I laughed and said: “Oh I have my ways by the time I am done with you; you will be chasing your tails and barking.”
By the looks on their faces they were convinced I was crazy enough to do just about anything.
Now that we had the pecking order established we started out for the activities center.
As soon as we walked in the door there was a round of awes and oh’s, aren’t they cute. Neither Jeff nor Matilda was impressed with the attention until I took them into the exercise room. They each took turns on the machines until they got bored. Jeff was the first one to say he was hungry. I took them to the dining room, sat them at a table and walked over to the kitchen and asked Mark if he could give us some soup and grilled cheese. I like this facility they are so accommodating, especially when there are children involved.
We finished lunch; I then took them over to the gaming room where we could watch a card game. Jeff said he was good at poker, he sat down at a table and asked if there was anyone who wanted to play a game of poker. Two guys sat down and the game began. By the time they were done each man gave all their nickels to Jeff. I patted Jeff on the back and congratulated him. To my surprise he shared his winnings with his sister. Later I found out it was hush money since Sybil did not want him playing poker.
I called Elizabeth to ask how much longer they would be, she said probably an hour. I told her no problem I could find one more thing to keep them occupied.
I took the kids into the gathering room where everyone goes just to kick back and chat. I said to them; “I am going into the library to see if there is a book I could read to you. Your mom and Aunt Elizabeth will be back in an hour. They both nodded their heads as I walked away. It took me longer than I thought it would. By the time I got back Jeff and Matilda were on the floor playing with something. At first I had no idea what they were playing with until Mel walked over and said: “They looked bored so I figured they would have fun playing with some of the toys I had in a box.”
The first thought that came to mind was “Oh Shit.”
Just then Lucy came around the corner with a plate full of brownies. I put up my hand and said: “Lucy you will not corrupt these kids.”
Lucy laughed and said: “OH, Morty these are kid recipe brownies.”
I answered: “Okay I was just making sure since I am their step grandfather now.”
Lucy also had single cartons of milk to go with the brownies. I patted her on the back and said: “I bet you are the best grandma around.”
Lucy said: “Oh thank you Morty that means so much to me.”
Just as the kids finished their brownies and milk I received a text from Elizabeth saying they were home. On the way back to the condo my gut when in a knot when both kids started to chatter up a storm about their dad and how he likes to keep secrets. I knew I was in trouble so I asked what kind of secrets. Jeff said: “The one about the lady who stopped by our table at Chucky Cheese and asked directions to dad’s office because she said she must be in the wrong spot since the man taking care of her file was not at his office like he said he would be.”
My first thought was, I am going to kick his fathers ass.
We walked in the door Jeff was still chattering. I stopped listening 5 minutes ago. Sybil spoke up and asked: “What did you do to my kids?”
I shrugged and said, “ Lucy said they were Children recipe brownies.”
Elizabeth bust out laughing. Jeff finally shut up and laid on the floor and went to sleep. Matilda was snoring on the sofa.
Sybil said: “I thought your Daughter in law Kay Lee was joking. You really are a pain in the ass.”
I handed Sybil Connor’s business card and said: “Jeff and Matilda was chatty on the way back here. I believe you may need some legal counsel.”
Sybil looked at the card and then back at me and said: “Aunt Liz already gave me a card thank you I have an appointment in 15 minutes. Hope you do not mind having the kids for a little while longer?’
“No I don’t mind looks like they will be sleeping off the brownies.” I answered
“Before I leave what was Jeff going on about vibrating toys?” Sybil asked
I shrugged looked over at Elizabeth whose eyes were wide as saucers. I said in my defense, “I went to the library to find a book to read the kids by the time I came back to the gathering room the kids were on the floor with the toys and Mel came over said he thought they looked bored. Would you explain to Sybil while I go out and get myself some beer?”
Elizabeth answered:” Sure but next time bring something home for me while Mel is not looking.”
I laughed headed out the door and I was relieved to hear both the girls laughing. Once Sybil divorced her husband Jeff and Matilda spent a few days a week with us while their mother was working. I was surprised I started to enjoy having those Mutts around. We now have this thing we do anytime someone says something we don’t like we start to bark.