By Grandpa Bob Niles
Our first grandchild was a bundle of sweetness and joy. She hardly ever cried. She slept a lot and I think never even messed a diaper. She was always being held and cuddled because she thrived on love and kisses that we’re eagerly supplied by grandma. So when the news was announced our other child was expecting, we were over the moon with anticipation. “This one will be better than the first!”
HA! We’re we wrong. The second one cried and fussed all night and day. Never a moments peace. She wanted everything her way and at the very early age of 6 months began telling us so.
Then two years later our son who had the first child, the best baby on earth, announced they were expecting again. We were hesitant but optimistic for another dream child from him and his wife.
Wrong again! Twin boys. And with twin boys even if you wanted, or could snuggle with one, the other was off getting into trouble with the dog.
Twins aren’t a gift from God, they’re a test! They test everything you thought you knew, and for sure you were an expert on, about raising children. And after the first year of having twins you are convinced that the only reason you were able to raise your own kids was from sheer luck. All your tried and true methods in child rearing are out the window.
Travel now ahead in time to the oldest eighth birthday party. She is still that sweet quiet little girl that tricked us into believing all grandkids are a breeze to help raise. She comes over to grandpa and grandma and sits down and starts drawing and coloring. And would stay there all day if left to her own demises.
Number two granddaughter is now five and has brushed death on several occasions. Including, and not limited to riding her bike off the sea wall, crossing a bear, sailing on a boat almost hitting a freighter and falling off a dock in Greece. She has tempted life more than James Bond in any of his movies. Her volume is constantly set at eleven and is always in overdrive. She is always making deals when asked to do anything. ‘Okay I’ll do it but you have to…’ And is continually asking why it has to be that way? Always to her, life is unfair.
Then there’s the twins,……OMG! They’re Dad was just telling me how one of them pooped on the floor and the other one picked it up and started to smear it in his brothers hair! At play school one of them has become a kleptomaniac by stealing things from the teacher. We’re not sure which one because they both fit the description of the thief.
And at home dad has learned how to remove and replace everyone of the three toilets as they have all been plugged with toys. And this all plays out while their sister sits downstairs and colors and their cousin is off tempting death on her bike and chucking rocks at a bear!
Little boys and girls aren’t from Mars or Venus as the author of a famous book would suggest that men and women are from. But they are from somewhere much further out in the seemingly endless universe. Like Planet Zoltar and beyond!
Little people that live this way can’t be from this solar system. Their thinking, actions and respect for life is so far from what we deem as normal. Why have we not placed them all into protective custody! They are scary!
They come over to grandpa and grandma’s for a sleep over and are all sweet, respectful and kind for about five minutes. It’s about then their hearing automatically stops. Their name means nothing to them. It’s like renaming your dog for a day after having it for five years. You get no response. You need candy, chocolate, money or something bright and shiny to get a response. And even then it can, and probably will have to be repeated three times before its full content can be understood and a correct response or action is attained.
You need to tell them what you would like them to do, when you would like it done, where you want it done and how it should be done. You just can’t say have a bath and get ready for bed. Because your idea of having a bath and getting ready for bed is so far from how they do it on the Planet Zoltar and beyond.
I’ve seen these kids in the tub with and without water; in their clothes having baths. And if you don’t mention to dry off after exiting the tub it becomes your fault why the floor and comforter on the bed is wet. And the brushing of teeth is not done on other planets apparently. And an alien from Zoltar and beyond has to sleep with everything she owns. But, after some deal making we got it down to six fuzzy stuffed toys. But now I have to take her and her six fuzzy friends to McDonalds tomorrow for breakfast. It was getting late I caved in.
Five minutes later. “Grandpa?” a little voice calls from upstairs. “I think Charlotte wants you.” I mention to the wife over the TV volume. She shoots up the stairs reminiscent of her high school track and field days. But then all too quickly a deflated wife returns with an “It’s you she wants.”
“Nuts!” I climb the stairs reminiscent of yesterday. It still hurts. “Grandpa. Dixie needs a drink.” she says. “She was flying so fast that she got thirsty and needed to go to the bathroom with a stomach ache that mommy always let’s her watch TV when that happens.” She then blinks twice because that’s probably how they hypnotize you on Zoltar and beyond.
Who is Dixie? Would be a proper response to her last statement but at this point I didn’t care. It was probably the fuzzy winged horse but considering the source of the tall tail it was probably the almost fuzzy turtle or the umbrella stand. (what the…..? Don’t care) “Okay let’s go to the bathroom and we’ll get you a drink while there.” I puff in exasperation. “What about the chocolate cookies and TV you promised to Dixie?” Again blinking twice. I stammer, and for a brief moment show weakness and confusion. She knows she has me. It’s now 10:30 and she and grandma are wrapped up on the couch with a blanket and the umbrella stand. It was the umbrella stand!
Crumbs are all that’s left of two chocolate chip cookies that share a tray with a now half empty glass of milk. It’s here that the oldest grandchild suddenly appears as if by magic and scares the bejeebers out of me. Forgot she was even here! “Grandpa, guess what?” she crackles in a sleepy voice. “One of the boys wet the bed,…from the top of the dresser. How come Charlotte had cookies?” she reports and asks followed with a double blink.
Caught again with the Zoltar and beyond double blink! Now all four grandkids are on the couch snuggling with grandma eating cookies and watching,….??? Well it ain’t hockey! Doggone little aliens from the Planet Zoltar and beyond!
Author Bob Niles is an adoring grandfather who loves to share humorous stories about his amazing grandkids