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Friday, September 2, 2011



I have a new persona.  Six days a week, I am a cranky old man.  On Thursdays I am now Grandpa Joe.  My son, Matt, and daughter-in-law, Devon, are both teachers.  They have two children, Cole almost three and Connor who just recently turned one.  Four days a week, Devon’s mom watches the kids; on Thursday I give her a break.

Last Thursday I sat for a half day.  It was not stated as such, but it was a test to see if I could handle the task.  Apparently I passed.  I have the credentials.  I have helped raise four children, one girl and three boys and was a hands on dad for all.  My first three babies were cloth diaper and big ol pin babies so my experience is somewhat nullified by inactivity.  My youngest son is thirteen, so I have some feel for modern baby technology.

My biggest concern is getting up at seven in the morning.  Since retirement my schedule often excludes morning altogether.  What the heck, eight hours, two children combined age under five, how hard could that be?
Yesterday was my first full day babysitting.  I did pretty well.  I handled several diaper changes like a pro, got through meals, snacks, and broke up spats with hardly losing my temper.  “Two thousand freaking toys and you both have to have the same G-damn old dirty pine-cone?”  I was cool, calm, and collected.

They are very good boys, and as I learn their secret little boy language from Cole “the Interpreter” the job should get easier.

Highlights of the day:

Picking grass (apparently every blade is interesting.)

Kicking mulch – Soon to be an Olympic event.

Moving rocks – Put them in a bucket, show them to Grandpa Joe, then dump them back.

Visiting a sink hole – Irene’s rain left a big washed out hole in the street around the corner.  It was very exciting.  You just cannot stare at a big hole long enough.

Waiting for Randy – Randy is the trash collector who picks up every Thursday.   Randy is Cole’s hero.  He loves garbage trucks.  When he hears the truck the excitement level goes through the roof.  Randy always takes time to say hi and wave and then….wait for it….HE BLOWS THE HORN!
One slight incident, if everyone promises not to tell Devon….I…ah….I lost Connor for about two minutes.  OOPS!

I was outside with the boys, on the phone, a business call, when  I turned my back for about two seconds;  I then saw Cole entering the house through the garage entrance.  The last time I saw Connor (two seconds earlier) he was with Cole.  I assumed Connor went in the house with Cole.  I followed.  I saw Cole with the door to the basement open.  “COLE!!” I put down the cell.  “Cole, where is Connor?”

“A dun o.”

I ran down and checked the basement.  No Connor.  “Cole where is Connor?”

“A dun o”

I locked the basement door and ran to the garage.  I was thinking, “If I lose Connor, Devon is really going to be pissed!”

Connor was in the garage unaware that he was ever lost.

“Cole, don’t ever go back in the house without telling me!  DO YOU UNDERSTAND!!”

“I wan ju bosc.”

Crisis averted, it was ju bosc all around.

This watching children thing is a piece of cake.


  1. I bet they love spending time with Grandpa Joe. They'll be running you ragged before you know it!

    Lou :-)

  2. They are lucky to spend time with you and you lucky to live so close to be able to help out. The parents are lucky too! This made me smile and laugh. I love your blog. :-)

  3. The secret is out...Your daughter-in-law just loves your humorous writing, therefore you are off the hook for losing Connor. Plus, Cole and Connor keep asking for you. They just love Grandpa Joe.

  4. Kids are so adorable at that age, totally oblivious of danger (Connor going awol for 2 minutes), yet completely enthralled by the simplest things (God bless Randy!) .
    What a fun day you all must have had. I'm sure you can't wait for next Thursday!

  5. It looks like you just had a ton of fun. You should get one of those shirts that say:
    "Grandpa is my name and spoiling is my Game!"

  6. LOVED IT! It's good to see Devon has forgiven you. I hope you keep us updated every Thursday because the world through the eyes of children is always more - more entertaining, more interesting, more busy, more everything. I think there's another book in the works!

    As for the award, congratulations on being so recognized for the great blogger you are. I am truly honored to receive it from someone so deserving and qualified. Thanks for the recognition! I am so happy to continue our bloggy friendship.

  7. Joe, well done. What time do you need to be there in the am? Is mrs. Cranky plying you with coffe? Hope you have a good weekend. Btw, nice job with the photos. Best to all. SBZ

  8. My youngest is going to be 10 soon, so it's been a few years, but just today we went to the zoo and lost her. Twice. Both times, she just failed to follow us when we moved on. Both times we kind of noticed shortly after. Enough so that the walk back wasn't -long-.

  9. Love this post and my wee ones love the garbage truck too. Our driver also honks and waves- which makes their day!! Enjoy your time with them- not many people get to... And yes, they can have a whole toy store full of things to play with, even two or more of the same thing, but that ONE toy is their tipping point.

  10. It makes me a little sad that my boys have lost all interest in the garbage truck. I am happy that they still find joy in a pine cone, although, now they want me to make something out of it, like a birdfeeder. Toilet rolls still have no end of uses. Thanks for linking up Joe, and also I appreciate your helping me out the other day with testing the commenting system on my blog.


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