Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My father a.k.a. Grumpy

Someone recently asked me why my father comes up so frequently in my blogs. Here is the history. I have 5 older brothers and my mother died when I was 15. Even as a small child, my dad made sure we had our special time together. I would go to the office with him on Saturdays. This was a big deal. I got to get dressed up, drink hot chocolate and play with the copier. We would go out to breakfast before and the bookstore after. When I had my daughter, Sara, I became a stay at home mom. We started having weekly lunches when Sara about 3 weeks old. We had it down to a science. My dad would arrive early and get a table. After lunch, we would go to Costco to stock up on various necessities - diapers, wipes, books, diet coke, etc. As Sara got older, she would insist we park next to Grumpy's car. Heaven help the person who dared to park next to him. She would race into the restaurant, leap into his arms and sit next to him. Next came a lenghty debate about what he would order because he had to share it with her. This tradition got Sara over her hatred of pickles and tomatoes because he eats both. It also introduced her to pepper. My dad foolishly asked me once if spicy shrimp pasta was okay to order. The waitress couldn't figure out why grown man couldn't order for himself. Sara reassured him she could eat it because she is part Mexican.

As a grandpa, my dad rocks. My kids can do no wrong in his eyes. He has 3 defenses for them. One, they are falsely accused. Two, it was completely justified. Three, they were framed. I don't bore my friends with every little milestone or funny story about my kids. Nope, I reserve that privilege for my dad. He gets calls from potty training kids frequently. He responds each time like they cured cancer. These kids can convince him to do just about anything. Once Sara moved to a booster seat, she had to ride in his car as often as possible. She would announce they had to listen to music and drive around the lake. I'm left wondering why a drive home from Costco takes 25 minutes. She would have some new accomplishment to show off and he would race over. When he puts her to bed it takes 45 minutes because many extra stories have to be read. Then they must discuss their plans for the next day. And he always has a stash of M&Ms for potty training rewards. And he makes a fine short order cook and will cook ANYTHING they request.

Where was this blind devotion and servitude when we were growing up? Just kidding, Grumpy. You rocked then, too.

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