How do we get into these situations?
My endlessly generous wife said she agreed to care for the little kids so the parents could dine out. Instantly it became apparent grandma wouldn’t be alone.
“What if one of them got injured?” she concluded. “How could I take care of one while dialing 911 for the other? What if I have to call in the National Guard?”
The Guard was hardly necessary, but neither was the evening uneventful. I turned on the Patriots football game while grandma did dinner for our two-year-old granddaughter. I’m a superb multitasker, so watching a half-year-old grandson and the ballgame should work.
My grandson felt the kickoff was sub-par. The game and his disposition went downhill from there. By the first down, he thought he was receiving both inattentive and inadequate attention. Screaming is his preferred response.
I registered my displeasure by turning up the TV volume.
That went nowhere.
“No, no, no,” my wife yelled from upstairs. You are scaring him with the damn ball game. You’re supposed to cuddle him when he is unhappy.”
Even at 6 months you know somethings
No angry half year old is bought-off with cuddling or any of my other efforts. My grandson was entirely deficient in filial piety and respect for elders. Cooperation with Gramps was not even on his mind.
Yes, I may be “cuddle challenged,” but I’m a fun guy with some wicked good jokes. Of more immediate concern, my role was transformed from “Mr. Spouse-Supporting Good Guy” down to the ogre who makes little children cry.
Over all this racket from upstairs I heard, “How can you just sit there allowing your beautiful grandson to cry?”
Posed as a question, it provoked some responses:
Was there some alternative available to me? Do you think I enjoy crying, children? Don’t kids scream for no good reason? How did I become Mr. Bad Guy?
None of these thoughts changed the fact that I held a losing hand: One high volume crying expert plus a distraught wife.
“OK.,” she said. “You feed your granddaughter, and I’ll care for Number Two.”
By Age two you’re an expert in somethings
That was a joke! Why would any older sister give up lovable grandma in exchange for grumpy grandpa? Like she was going to settle for second best while little brother ran off with the prize?
We are talking about a young lady who had spent the entire two years of her life perfecting the “squeaky wheel” theory. She could write a dissertation, “Squeaky”.
Her bravura performance began with a deep breath, puckered up lips that blasted out her aggrieved injustice. Her full-throated Alto voice started at a deafening volume and rose to an extraordinary crescendo.
There are winnable and nonwinnable games in life. Bumbling grandpa’s rolls are best played back home alone with the TV. Grandmas can’t resist the urge to sit for those adorable little cherubs and frolic on the sofa. Under her approving eye, there will be no need for the National Guard or grandpa.