depositphotos_9746819-Cheerful-geckoWherever you live, summer is what is it. In our area, die-hard gardeners get overrun by zucchini squash this time of year. Plant one seed, and the next thing you know, the vines are overtaking the yard. Give them one little sip of water, and they’re creepy-crawling through the back door, slithering through your windows, and threatening to take up residence on your living room couch. I don’t even like the stuff unless it’s in zucchini bread. Cooked any other way, it squeaks when you eat it, and I don’t like squeaky food. Even if it’s your favorite, there’s no way anyone can use all those demon veggies,  so most people take to “gifting” their neighbors with the excess. At some point, however, the neighbors will rebel and sneak them back on your doorstep in the middle of the night. It’s a lose/lose situation.

Fortunately for me, this was not a zucchini summer for us (the Goat couldn’t find where I hid the seed packet and I wouldn’t ‘fess up), but that doesn’t mean we escaped. An even more diabolical type of slithering, creeping home invader had its way with us.

In our case, it was linoleum lizards, what the Urban Dictionary defines as “someone else’s children who scurry around, dart underfoot, and may give you the heebie-jeebies due to the unpredictable way they move like a lizard across a linoleum floor.” Depending upon their age, they may also be referred to as rug rats, crumb snatchers, rug monkeys, crib crabs, ankle biters, demon spawn, or maniacal midgets. Webster’s dictionary has no definition for any of these terms, but it does have one for grandchildren. For us that’s close enough, and on a good day, that’s how we refer to our children’s children. On a bad day, however, linoleum lizard does quite well.

We have six such lizards and another on the way. We love them all dearly, but some days (after we’ve kept one and then another and another and so on and so on) I want to change my identity and run away from home, possibly all the way to Tahiti. That or bury myself in the covers until everybody goes away or fake amnesia if they decide to dig in and stay put.

The problem is that we have so many grandkids that it takes a huge chunk of time to give them individual one-on-two time with their Goat and G.G. By the time we factor in a couple of days to recover from one grandchild, the next little darling’s slot comes up, and we’re off again to a whirlwind of daily activities and guaranteed nighttime homesickness. The summer becomes a sort of diabolical merry-go-round that won’t stop long enough for us to get off.

We tried putting them all together once: one huge gathering, one huge disaster–and that was when there were only five of them. I chose that particular evening to come down with some energy-depleting mystery illness and spent the entire time sitting in a recliner with a dishtowel wrapped around my face so I wouldn’t breathe on the six-month-old I was holding. The Goat bore the brunt of feeding, entertaining, refereeing, and cleaning up after the other four, and five years later he still hasn’t forgiven me.

On the positive side, school is about to start, and if we can lay low for a couple more weeks, we should be safe, at least until Thanksgiving, maybe even Christmas. I wonder if Tahitians eat zucchini at Christmas. Maybe I should do some research, you know, just to be on the safe side.