(I wrote this back in 2007 and submitted it to Grand Magazine who rejected it – oh well. I came upon it today and am actually happy I can ‘publish’ it myself. The munchkin in question is now SEVEN…..)

© 2007 Barbara Hall

Is there such a thing as Over-Dote?

One would think…….


Imagine that you’re two years old. Your big brother, who’s four, has gone off with Papa to the Planetarium. You’re not real sure what that is, but it’s got a certain ‘sit still and listen’ feel to it. Not a big fave when you’re TWO. Your baby sister is napping with Mama and you get BOTH Grandmothers all to yourself for the whole DAY.

You’re a lucky lad, as both your Grandmas live real close by, one just upstairs and the other a short drive away, but you’re even luckier because they actually like each other.  So there’s no pulling or tugging, snatching or grabbing, no trying to take your attention. No, these two move like a well-oiled GrannyMachine.

You can hold both of their hands or either one, and if either voice says ‘do you want me to pick you up’ you can say ‘no’ and remain on your feet. Life is good.

 Luxury is having TWO pairs of hands fasten both your shoes at once and then there’s that extra little tug to get your pants legs back down over your socks. Ah, the attention to detail.

GrammaBee knows where the honeystick vendor is at the Market; she gives you a coin and stands in line with you so you can give it to the man and keep the honeystick. Nanny helps you squeeze some of the honey out of the straw and just says “We’ll do laundry” when you get it on your jacket, and GrammaBee says “Eeewwww” but laughs when you get it in her hair.

These two know what you need when you’re TWO – a good long time of standing on the curb announcing all the vehicles that go by.

You announce – they confirm.


“That IS a big red truck.”

And then it’s time for lunch and the real choreography begins. They both order something that you’ll like, as there will be much sharing. Nanny takes you to wash all the honey off your hands as GrammaBee gets a table. You sit as they both cut parts off their sandwiches and give you their offerings, and you watch as they become a four-armed octopus catching things before they hit the floor and digging that last forkful of tuna out from under the lettuce for you. You can get them both to make the funniest faces as you bite into a slice of onion. The onion was pretty yucky, but the faces were a hoot.

Lunch is done, there’s more cleaning up; you go back to the Market and soon you’re beginning to fade as siesta time draws near. GrannyRadar picks up on your fading and holding both of their hands, you begin the walk back to the car, but it’s just too much. Knowing that if your head rests on a GrandKnee you’ll get some help, you’re soon over GrammaB’s shoulder where your head is getting heavy.


 At the car, one puts you in your seat, the other straps you in and as you drift off, the last thing you hear is:

“He’ll be asleep before we leave the parking lot.”

Is there such a thing as OVER-Dote?


   Not a CHANCE.

the cast: Barbara Hall (GrammaB), Paula Hegarty (Nanny) and Aulii (doted upon boy)

 photos by Robert Hegarty (Geezer) and Barbara Hall