I am already practicing my "when I was your age" lines that I plan to bombard Declan and Shawn with when they reach adulthood. It is part of my self-imposed therapy for all the typical youth havoc that they have unleashed upon me. Like a savings account for my revenge, I have promised myself I will be the goofiest grandfather any of their friends have ever known.
Alright, to be totally honest, you may have noticed not too many of my columns focus on the antics of my teenage daughter. That is partly because she is a teenager and has her mother's temper (which I agree is far better than having her father's hair), but primarily because she is one heck of a good kid and rarely causes me grief.
The boy, well that's a different story and obviously has resulted in many comical tales.
This week he had a slip-of-the-tongue moment and accidently mentioned how he missed playing at recess with all his friends. When I inquired further he nonchalantly explained that his recess priveledges had been taken away since Monday and would not return until after Friday. Adding that, "if I am not good again, I will not get recess for a whole week!" nodding his head with a wide-eyed, "can you believe that" expression on his face.
Monday through Friday was bad, but apparantly an entire week was unthinkable.
I asked Declan why he was in trouble and he explained it was merely a misunderstanding. He and his friend simply wanted to know who was strongest and were taking turns at recess grabbing each others forearm.
"Like this," he said as he grasped at my forearm with his hand. It was the oddest mix of "we meant no harm" but yet "we knew we were in the wrong" that I think I have heard from him, so I decided I had better just wait to find out from his teacher what the real story was.
I asked him what he did at recess while everyone else was playing and he was more than happy to demonstrate. He stood at attention and marched across the room we were in until he reached the wall, then pivoted and marched back to his original starting point.
"I just do that over and over, all recess," he said with a grin. No complaining, no whining, almost a "and boy am I getting good at it" tone to him.
I chuckled, but a voice in the back of my head told me I had better visit with his teacher, sooner rather than later, there was no telling what mischief the little man was really responsible for.
When we got home that night Uncle Casey asked Declan if he would give him a back rub, waving a penny and saying "I will pay you two cents." For some time Declan has been more than willing to walk on Casey's back and even give him a "karate-chop" back massage, all for the low-low price of two cents. Apparantly the value of those two cents is setting in with Declan, because he refused Casey's offer for the first time and said he would only do it for $5.
I took a moment to laugh at Casey's disappointment and then made a mental note, "when I was your age back rubs were two cents."