Posts Tagged ‘Grandparents’

Badly Behaved Parents at Paul’s Graduation

So eldest child graduated from high school on Monday…

I’d like to say we were all well behaved and considerate of the solemn occasion.  Well, most of us were.  Mark, Kate, and Sam brought books and read during the ceremony, so they were quiet if not actually attentive.  Paul’s grandparents were well-behaved and used their grandparental privilege to snag a little nap after Paul crossed the stage.

Paul’s parents, however, whispered together snarkily the whole time.  Sorry, people sitting around us.  There were too many absurdities, I guess, and maybe a little self-delusion that we couldn’t possibly be old enough to have a child graduating from high school by acting juvenile.

Such as:  “I didn’t know ‘videographer’ meant ‘playing video games on one screen, in full view of the audience, while filming the ceremony on the other.’  It’s true what they say.  Ya learn something new every day.”

Then there was the chamber choir rendition of the John Lennon song, which sent Brian and I off into fits of choked giggles whilst imagining which of our cherished high school rebellion music would be slated for such treatment.  Guns and Roses’ ‘Sweet Child of Mine’?  Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’?  Madonna’s ‘Circle in the Sand’?  AC/DC?  Poison?  Twisted Sister?

Worse–will we be attending our grandchildren’s graduations to choral remixes of ‘Call Me Maybe’?

Then the earnest young Valedictorian claimed that you can’t have real emotions in texts, and we started exchanging risque ones to prove otherwise.

But the Honor Society recognition really separated the Mildly Naughty Parent from the Hardcore Naughty Parent…

Brian and I were both struck by the gender imbalance when the Honor Societies’ members were asked to stand.  A good 90% of them were young women.

Brian (whispers to Sam, which I don’t hear):  “See how few boys there are?  There’s an opportunity for you.”

Me (in Sam’s other ear):  “Looks like the Honor Societies are going to be your chance to meet girls.”




Mark Puts the Smack-down on Paul

So we’re enroute to grandma’s house for Christmas…

Mark and Kate are watching Sky High on the portable DVD player.

Mark:  “How old is this movie? It must be old.”

Sam:  “2004?”

Kate:  “I think 1995.”

Mark:  “It can’t be THAT old.  It’s not in black and white.”

Paul (born 1996):  “Not cool, Mark.  NOT cool.”

Mark Plans His Future

This morning on the way to school…

Mark:  “When I am a grown-up, I want you to drive me to grandma and grandpa’s, and I will live my life with them.”

Me:  “Okay.  But when you’re a grown-up, you’ll be able to drive yourself.”

Mark:  “I don’t know the way there.”

Me:  “I can give you a map.”

He’s clearly uneasy about this plan, so I figure it’s best to encourage caution in the rare moments when this child exhibits any.  “I can drive you the first time, and then you’ll know how.”

Mark (obviously relieved):  “Thanks!”

I should consider myself lucky, I suppose, he’s not planning to jump ship right now.  We just got back from a week  there, in which Grandpa cooked Mark whatever his little heart desired for breakfast.  Typically his little heart but outsized stomach desired a lot.  One morning he ate 16 pancakes, 2 fried eggs, and I lost track of the bacon.  It’s always a shock and disappointment, coming home, where breakfast is usually pop-tarts or frozen waffles.  Yesterday morning:

Mark:  “Will you make me pancakes?”

I had to drive them to school that morning anyway so I had a little extra time.  “All right.”

Pancakes are produced.  Chocolate-chip pancakes.

Mark:  “These are the best!”

Me (unable to resist):  “What about Grandpa’s?”

Mark (scornful, like I should have understood I was out of my league):  “These are the best.  Grandpa’s are the BEST of the best.”

Accosting Strangers in Target

It’s easy to tell when Mark is ready to go visit Grandpa and Grandma:  He starts ‘recognizing’ them in stores.  Nearly always Grandpa, and usually Target.

Like last week, when we were there picking up a few things, and some poor unsuspecting old man walks into the same aisle.  Mark glanced up, looked again, whispered, “Grandpa?” as if not quite believing it himself, and sprinted down the aisle, cast flapping.

He’d picked a ringer, I’ll give him that:  a skinny old man in jeans, tennis shoes, plaid shirt, and a military ball cap.  He could have been Grandpa’s stunt double.  Or more likely, Grandpa could have been his; he was obviously frailer than Mark’s robust farmer Grandpa.

Mark figured out pretty quickly that it was not, in fact, Grandpa, but having rushed up to the dude and started a conversation, he behaved politely.

“Oh, you’re not Grandpa,” he said.  “My name is Mark Patrick Noland Butler.  What’s your name?”

The man liked this although it was clear he hadn’t understood a word.  “Hi, there.”  He must have had throat surgery because his voice was low and raspy; he was, actually, harder to understand than Mark.

Mark was obviously interested in his voice, and I could see him considering asking about it and then deciding it would be rude.  “My name is Mark Patrick Noland Butler,” he repeated.  “What’s your name?”

He ruffled Mark’s hair.  “Like your hair.”

Mark:  “It’s red.”

I decided it was time to peel Mark away.  After all, this “Grandpa” might well have a Grandma expecting him to help with the shopping and Mark could be getting him in trouble.  But I expect it’s a good thing we’re visiting the farm soon.

But I’m watering it!

All of my boys have gone through a peeing-on-trees obsession, but only Mark has gone public with it.

We visited my parents over Easter break.  They have a farm.  Peeing on trees is an accepted country tradition, one that Mark embraced enthusiastically during our week there.

Which is all well and good until we get home.

The first day back to preschool, I get a call from Mark’s teacher.  Between the giggles, she explains that she had to have a conversation with Mark about NOT peeing on the trees in the daycare’s playground, and would I mind reenforcing that when he got home?

Location, son, location.

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