Twister might not be the best idea

Right foot: green. Left foot: yellow. Right hand: blue …

Yes, it was all fun and games until the next morning. That’s when the aftermath of playing Twister with my grandsons manifested itself. That first day I felt just a twinge, but by day two, my back seized up.

A coworker who had recently experienced his own back pain shared a tip that worked for him. Walk slowly by placing your heel down first, and then your toes, while gently swinging your arms. I mimicked his instructions down a work corridor. No, he shook his head. I was bouncing too much. (As an aside, I received the same critique when I tried line dancing.) Though I finally mastered the walk to his liking, it didn’t help the pain.

Ice. Then heat. Those were the words of advice from my sister, whom we refer to as the doctor in the family. She is not a physician, but she has played sports forever and teaching P.E. is her career (along with math in case she reads this) and she dispenses good advice. It helped, but I still wasn’t moving as freely as usual.

Call Sandy Brooks said my boss, who doesn’t like to see me in pain, but also has a practical interest in my ability to come to work. Sandy is an acupuncturist and the go-to person in Quincy for many in pain. Once before she had worked wonders on my neck; this time would be no exception.

But just a couple of weeks later it was a jug of milk that tweaked my back. Not a great idea to hold a 6-month-old with your left arm while reaching for a gallon of milk with your right and twisting to pour it into a 2-year-old’s cereal bowl. Twisting again — apparently not a good move for me.

Just as my back returned to normal, my 4-year-old grandson jumped and hit the bottom of my chin with the top of his head, sending my bottom teeth careening into their top counterparts. Fortunately, or not, my tongue got in the way. My teeth were intact, but I wouldn’t need them for a while. A week of liquids through a straw was in my future.

As I write this, my mouth is almost fully healed, and there’s not a twinge to be felt in my back, but I can’t help but wonder what comes next. I had expected to catch a cold or two from the little men this winter, but I hadn’t planned on these random injuries.

Much of my time spent babysitting my grandsons is devoted to ensuring that I prevent them from injuring one another or themselves: from not climbing on or falling off furniture; from not pushing each other in their quest for a coveted toy; from not accidentally stepping on their baby brother; from not pulling something from the top of the counter onto their heads; my list could go on. Danger lurks everywhere. I once purchased an industrial-sized roll of bubble wrap — ostensibly to cover sharp objects, but I have often thought of simply bubble-wrapping them.

As the mother of two daughters, being the grandmother to three grandsons is new territory. Yes, I have four younger brothers, but growing up I don’t remember worrying about them. I guess I thought that if they impaled each other, they deserved it. Sorry brothers. They survived the perils of childhood and I suppose my grandsons will as well; but whether I will is another story. As a precaution, I am putting Twister back in the box.

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