Monday, July 30, 2018

When Grandpas Go Too Far

     This has been the summer of gardening and grandkids thus far.  Garden’s doing okay.  We harvested one prize zucchini and it looks like we should have a bumper crop of tomatoes and yellow squash.  But my ghost pepper plant and butternut squash have yet to show signs that they’re expecting little ones.  Lots of blossoms and vines but nothing else . . . yet.

     We watch all three grandboys, ages 1, 5 and 7, one day a week.  That’s about all we can handle at our age.  We supply lots of love, treats and entertainment.  The entertainment usually means TV shows and their kin, for example Netflix and YouTube.  But I also make it a point to get the boys outside whether it’s a car ride to the park or a local supermarket.

     One day while littlest Owen was napping, middle child Luke said he wanted some candy from the local gas station.  His older brother Grant wanted a slushie.  Grandpa himself could use a little treat so I said on one condition, that Luke accompany me.  So Luke and I drove to the nearest gas station.

      When I pulled in, Luke complained, "Not here, I said to turn the other way."  What??!!  What difference does the gas station make?  The candy's all the same.  Still, we drove west out of town to a couple other gas stations.  He said they weren't the right ones either.  Then he said.  "There it is.  It's the Dollar General gas station."

     First time I ever heard of Dollar General being described as a gas station.  We went inside and they sure had a lot of candy to choose from and Luke looked over all of it.  By the time he picked something out, we had to stand in line behind women who seemed like they had bought their weekly groceries.

      That gave Luke a chance to ask if he could pick out a toy ("Grandpa, look at this") and ask if he could get some ice cream ("Grandpa, can I have this?").  This older lady ahead of me turned to me and said, "I thought grandpas weren't supposed to say 'no.'"  I told her if I didn't, we'd be here all day.  And Grant had asked to bring him back a 'slushie', something they didn't have at the dollar store there.  So I did end up going to a gas station anyway.

     I also took Grant and Luke (Owen’s still napping) to the local park.   We passed this 'pirate ship' that the boys wanted to play on, so we stopped.  It's a big wooden boat replica that kids can climb on, pretending they’re on a big sailing pirate craft.  It has a ramp, a slide and stuff.  Big enough for me to climb aboard.  The boys were inside the main cabin so I went up to an outside porthole and yelled in my best pirate voice "This is Captain Hook.  Who be aboard my boat?"

     "Captain Hawk?" Grant's voice called back.

     "No.  It's Captain HOOK?"  I yelled back in my pirate voice again.

     "Captain Hulk?" Grant asked

     So I had to break character and go into the boat to ask Grant if he'd ever heard of Peter Pan, Captain Hook and the rest.

      Then later I was up on the deck of the boat and some little girl about Luke's age was getting ready to come up the ramp.  She had a big bag of Doritos clutched in her hand so I yelled, again in my best pirate voice, "She's got the treasure!"  Just having a little fun but she took off like a shot, running all the way to where her bigger brother was playing by a nearby swing. 

     Oh, oh.  Time to go.  Gathered Grant and Luke and we headed for the car.  I could see that girl's brother with his arm around her as they both eyed us warily heading to the car.  That's all I would need is for them to get their mom or dad.  

     “Her brother probably told her you was just playing with her,” Grant tried to console me afterwards.  Sure.  Afterall, I’m a grandpa, with grey hair even.  What do you expect?