Today was a day of repetitions. From Millie. And Sonny. And Millie. And Sonny. And Millie….you get the picture. It started at breakfast, when Grandma had a piece of melon, and went something like this:
Sonny: What’s that? Grandma: Melon. Millie: What’s that? Grandma: Melon. Sonny: what’s that? Grandma: Melon. Millie: What’s that? Grandma: Melon. Sonny: What’s that? Grandma: Banana. Long pause. Millie and Sonny stare at the melon. Sonny: No not banana, grandma, it’s a melon. Millie (nodding emphatically and looking at Grandma as if she’s mad): Yes, it’s a melon, grandma.
(to add to the sense of farce there is also a bit of a Carry On moment when Grandma accuses Granddad of pinching a piece of her melon whilst she was occupied with scooping egg out of shells, and Granddad replies indignantly, “I never touched your melon!”
There’s stamping pictures, wild trampolining on the Sooper Dooper sun bed, followed by elevenses and when things all get too much just before lunch, Grandma suggests a lie down on the sofa, with herself in the middle – dummies allowed (sleep hoped for, especially for Grandma, who can do it dummyless). They lie down, Granddad covers them with a blanket and skuttles back to his computer, and Grandma starts a story which contains Sonny, Millie, Squeaky Mouse and fireworks (all by request). Sonny and Millie are mesmerised, sucking on their dummies like cartoon babies – but sleep (for them) is not forthcoming, despite Grandma’s voice growing ever more faint, like an old tape recording where the speech gets slower and slower and more and more distorted. In desperation Grandma suggests they all take turns to tell the next part of the story. This goes down remarkably well and turns into something that sounds as though all storytellers are high on LSD – a fish called Ratty, mice wearing socks and fireworks that eat sweeties….
Off on a tram after lunch. Having been beside herself with excitement, Millie decides she really doesn’t like trams after all as we reach the tram stop. She screams as we bundle her through the door and only calms down when Grandma tells her, excitedly, that its like being on a roundabout (what??!). For the rest of the journey Millie repeats at regular intervals (to the puzzlement of Sonny and all surrounding passengers), “Like a roundabout, Grandma,” This, along with, “We like trams, Grandma,” and “Stopping again,” at each of the 15 stops. Sonny, meanwhile, spends the whole journey pulling his hat over his face and shouting, “Where’s Sonny?!” As they get off the tram at the Solaris an elderly woman smiles at them and tells Grandma and Granddad how well behaved they’ve been. Sonny turns and growls loudly at her (“like a lion, Grandma.”) and they are bundled off just as they had been bundled on earlier.
The exhibition is a big hit with Sonny and Millie, who find the toys, shift chairs and chase each other up and down the corridors and round the pillars, grabbing business cards and scattering them like confetti. A drink and a biscuit and its time to reverse the whole process. Grandma has a meeting in town so Granddad is in charge of the two monkeys the rest of the way home. The last thing Grandma hears, as the tram door closes, is “Like a roundabout, Granddad,” quickly followed by, “Where’s Sonny?” She taps on the window as the tram sets off. Two little red cheeked faces grin out, blowing kisses, and Granddad has that look that says, “Beam me up Scottie…’
It was all worth it in the end. After telling Granddad she’s a bit hungry, followed by a bit dizzy, Millie gives a big sigh and says, “Having fun granddad….happy day.”