Reporting For Doodie
Part self-help, part autobiography, this book is all about the power of positive thinking. It's also the account of how one suddenly-single grandmother with a great sense of humor came to find herself through caring for her grandson while his parents were deployed overseas by the U.S. Military. A heartwarming tale of love, devotion and inspiration from Long Beach gramma Judy L. Smith.
What would you do if you were a (suddenly) single grandmother and both your daughter and son-in-law were deployed at the same time, leaving you as primary caregiver for your 2-year old grandson? You'd do exactly what I did...Report for Doodie!
So many events inspired this book...some happy, some frustrating, some sad...but all life-changing. My story starts with one incredibly funny incident that served as an epiphany to share my story. This was not the first time I was "Reporting for Doodie", but it was the first time I was doing it all alone. Or so I thought...I discovered a secret vault filled with friends I never knew I had. Sadly, I also lost a few along the way.
I found myself in the midst of an unexpected divorce, facing the possible loss of my home and making a major career change, when someone, somewhere took a look at my proverbial “plate” and thought…”there’s a little corner of her plate that isn’t taken, she needs a toddler to care for…oh, and at the same time, let’s throw in a rarely-heard-of medical condition to make her life even more interesting”.
I hope you enjoy my account of how this beautiful child saved me from myself and how I used ‘The Secret” to channel the inner strength my mother gave me…all compliments of the U.S. Military.
How did I get “here”?
"Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren't completely embarrassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow's embarrassment?" ~Tom Cruise
Suddenly my front screen door swings open, shattering my serenity and my beloved Marcus comes barreling out. He’s excited and beaming from ear to ear. Nothing unusual for a 2-year old, right?
But wait…what’s that in his hand???? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! He’s holding my bright red female “toy” (c’mon, you know what I mean…to him, it’s a “toy”…it’s my V-I-B-R-A-T-O-R)!!! Of course it’s turned on…humming away, bright lights flashing. “GRAMMA…BRRR…TOY!!!!!” he shrieks with pure delight. (Guess I REALLY am going to remember this moment in time, but for an entirely different reason!)
Wait…how did he find that? And how did he figure out how to turn on the sounds AND the lights??? (I can barely figure it out myself!) I thought it was nestled safely in my nightstand drawer (which is, coincidentally, within his reach).
Funny, the “How to Childproof Your Home” manual talks about things like safety gates, putting away dangerous substances and covering electrical outlets…but not one of those darn more-than-you-need-to-know books mentions anything about hiding your vibrator…imagine that! (I guess that should be my next project…writing an updated version of the “childproofing manual”. I know I’ll be sure to make mention of the importance of hiding your adult “toys”!)
I forgot I even had that thing. (It was a Valentine’s Day’s “gift” from my ex-husband…guess I missed that “get-yourself-right” message!) But of course, my 2-year old grandson would find it and show it to the whole neighborhood with reckless abandon!
And why did I have to choose those darn Energizer Bunny batteries? It wouldn’t have been quite so mind-blowing without the sound effects and flashing lights…darn thing just keeps going and going and going. Why - oh why - does it even have lights…who’s going to see them??? (Other than my entire neighborhood, of course!) Aarrggghhh!!!!
Now I know what “shock and awe” means…and it has nothing to do with war.
Wanna get away???
"If you're going through hell, keep going."
~ Winston Churchill
L.A. Parent Magazine
"Part self-help, part autobiography, this book is all about the power of positive thinking. It's also the account of how one suddenly-single grandmother with a great sense of humor came to find herself through caring for her grandson while his parents were deployed overseas by the U.S. Military. A heartwarming tale of love, devotion and inspiration from Long Beach "gramma" Judy L. Smith."
In this digital age, I still find comfort in my books. The turning of each page has the potential to quiet my mind or
cause neurons to fire with excitement and inspiration. The book, Reporting for Doodie, caused a dynamic blend of
peace and pleasant flurry.
My mom was an avid reader of Erma Bombeck and I, too, became a fan of her distinct
voice and writing style. I haven’t come across such a style until I flipped through the pages
of Judy L. Smith’s writing. It felt like I was coming home. It has been a long time since I
laughed and cried (so much) over the contents of a single book…presenting, Reporting for
The book is first in a series of stories dedicated to the caregivers of military families. In
this book, Smith writes about her personal journey as a grandmother caring for her young
grandson while both parents are deployed in service to our Nation. This is a story of
commitment, frustration and unwavering love. Before ordering the book, I encourage you
to read the first chapter on Smith’s site. It will have you in stitches!
Not a day goes by that we do not hear about the status of our deployed troops, but what
about their families left behind at home? What happens to the children when there is a
dual-parent deployment situation as in the case of Smith? In the March issue of GRAND Magazine, Smith addresses
what families need to do when grandparents become the primary caregivers.
Military Family Network
A military parent and author, Judy L. Smith, writes a lighthearted book called Reporting for Doodie about how she stepped in as sole caregiver to her grandchild when both her daughter and son-in-law were simultaneously deployed. She also provides real life solutions to those who may be undergoing similar experiences.
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