The Downfall of Grandma

"What did you do to your grandmother." I asked both of the minions.

They just looked at me.

"Seriously, what did you do."

No answer.

I'm going to get an answer. I'm going to get an answer because I got a call from my mother 30 minutes ago telling me that she was "whipped" and asked how much longer my wife and I are going to be out Christmas Shopping. She was with the kids for 2 hours. Hossmom and I were hoping to finish the Christmas shopping and then go for a nice private dinner as we haven't' done that without the kids in a good year. We don't live near any family so baby sitters are hard to come by.

But when someone calls you and asks you how much longer are you going to be, that's code for "Please come home, dear god please come home before they make me a human sacrifice."

So I came home with the wife. We had no dinner. There were no bread sticks. There was no filling up on salad. There was no nice glass of water and a beer. What did I have instead? 3 day old chili. And now I'm gassy and have two children that in 2 hours wore grandma out to the point that she called me to come home.

We don't get to go to dinner often and when we do, there is usually a clown somewhere in the vicinity. And if not a clown, there are pancakes because that seems the only food that they won't throw in a crowded restaurant. I find this odd as pancakes are an obvious substitute for a Frisbee. We could play pancake golf. At least then I could get in on the action.

I asked grandma what happened, did they misbehave?

"No, no, no." She exclaimed. "They were angels. But they sure are an active duo."

I think Grandma is covering for them. She is grandma after all. She dotes on the kids. Buys them gifts for no reason. Gives them cookies for dinner and at every chance undoes all the work that my disciplined regime has instilled. Grandma is a nice lady. She is a caring person. And she is also a liar.

"Huh." I say. I'm not buying any of it.

I said again: "What did you two do to grandma?"

Still no answer.

I don't think the minions understand what this means. I was going to have a steak tonight. A big thick hunk of meat with a nice pink strip in the middle. It was going to be accompanied by a potato with just a little bit of butter. Maybe some green beans or if I was feeling saucy, just another potato. I'm Irish. And afterwards, if the wife and I weren't bloated from the eating, I might have gotten some nookie.

The wife and I would have talked about politics. We would have argued about health care. We would have made vacation plans that we never meant to follow through with. Although I swear to all that is holy, one day, I'm going to Tahiti.

There would have been no one grabbing across the table for a piece of my steak. There would have been no little hands fascinated with the little salt shakers. Sugar packets would have remained unopened and neatly placed in the little sugar packet holder. There would have been no bathroom trips where I had to apologize to someone already in there. It would have been a nice, quiet, wonderful dinner.

"Someone's not telling me the whole story here." I say. And this time I look at Grandma and the minions, my eyes sweeping across the room to find out who will crack first. It won't be Little Hoss, the kid has nerves of steal. Grandma would never rat out the kids. But Bubba Hoss? Maybe. Except he would have to live in constant fear of his big sister. So I got nothing.

Tacs in chairs, hiding under beds, coloring on walls. My mind races through the possibilities. I have spawned two Bart Simpsons. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them called the cops just to mess with grandma. They've done it before. When my daughter was a year and a half, she called 911. We believed it to be an accident. Now I'm not so sure.

Did someone get tied up? Was there an incident involving cookies and ice cream? Did they saddle the dog to perform in a little rodeo while they lassoed the cat and hog tied her? I look at the dogs, studying them as well. I know that they would like nothing better than to get to the cat and I wouldn't be surprised if they got the kids involved in their little jihad. The dogs say nothing as well. Just sitting on the floor next to the minions, looking stupid and fat.

When I was a kid, my brother and I got almost every spanking together. We wouldn't rat out each other so we took them together rather than tattle on one another. Now I understand the frustration that my father felt.

So I do the only thing I could. I sent everyone to bed. Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss, two dogs, and Grandma. All put their PJs on and went to bed.

The wife went to bed to.

Me,well, I got some more chili and watched the travel channel. Tahiti is looking nicer all the time.


  1. This is what makes you a real parent. If you just have 1 kid it's always easy to get to the bottom of the 'who broke the lamp mystery' even without a confession.

  2. If you stay until the kids are in bed I will sit and you can go out to dinner AND sleep in - on New Year's eve/day

  3. I love how Grandma called them an "active duo" which is grandma-speak for " I CAN NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE"

  4. I think Grandma is scared of my kids and last time she stayed with them I arrived home to find her nursing a beer,....maybe it's wise you came home!