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Friday, October 5, 2012



I am on toddler duty today at my son’s house in Pa.  This time of the year his kitchen has a fruit fly problem.  Why they have fruit flies I don’t know as Mrs. C. and I never have these annoying creatures.  It is possibly because my son and DIL are health food fanatics and always have a lot of fresh fruit. The Crank's...not so much. 

That is just a theory.

Anyway, fruit flies are very annoying.  They are tiny and even though they fly rather slowly they somehow are un-smackable while in mid-air.  If you find them on a window or counter they are so small they are hard to kill with your hand.  They best way to kill them is to hit them with a wet sponge.  That way if you don’t crush them, the moisture slows them down for a follow-up swat. 

Now the fruit flies are really not all that bad.  They don’t want to land on you and for the most part, they stay out of your food.  If they are accidentally ingested, they are so small you don’t even know it, they are pure protein and since they spring from fruit I believe they are relatively clean.  The fruit fly invasion lasts for maybe three weeks.  The good thing for me about these pests, is they keep me busy. 

Let me explain.

Even though I have raised four children, before my grandfather toddler duty I seldom had to watch my children alone.  If I wasn’t at work, my wife (wives) was (were) almost always at home.  One of my observations in toddler watching is they are best unwatched.  If I am busy and within listening distance they are well behaved.  As soon as they realize I am watching they tend to act up, fight, or just try and force my attention.  When they see I am busy and not watching their every move they are much better behaved.
Toddlers up to no good!

This is where the fruit flies come in.

The fruit flies are all located in the kitchen, a safe toddler listening distance, but far enough to be out of toddler minds.  By stalking and killing fruit flies I am able to be busy and out of toddler range.  They remain well behaved and I am ridding the house of these pesky creatures (the flies, not the toddlers).  Only if the other room is too quiet or too loud do I have to stop my fruit fly hunt and spy on the toddlers.

Today I have wiped out almost 125 fruit flies.

Two toddlers have survived and are napping.

Grandpa Joe’s Toddler Tip

Did your toddler fall and start crying? 

1.     Do not show alarm unless there is blood…lots of blood.

2.     Your toddler is probably more startled than hurt; ask calmly, “What happened.

3.     Find out where he is hurt.  Place your “healing hands” on the hurt; pull them away along with the hurt.  Make a big show about how much “his” hurt now hurts your hands.

4.     Throw the hurt on the ground and stomp on it.  At this point your toddler should be laughing.  Your only problem now is when:

5.     He says, “Do it again!”


  1. You mean you don't call in a team of grief counselors to console them? Come on....this is the 21st Century. Get with it Grandpa! ;)


  2. I don't have fruit flies so you haven't helped me much there, but I do have toddlers and your toddler tips are very good ones.

  3. you get high marks for the fruit flies, but head of the class for Grandpa-ing.

  4. You can babysit my kids anytime--but since they're all about 50 years old, they'd probably resent it. I guess you could always just have a drink with them, instead!

  5. I wish MY kids had a Grandpa Joe!

  6. I hope I can remember all this good advice if I ever have grandchildren.

  7. I love babysitting the Grandson, the clue to not reacting when they fall actually works, I'll have to try the capture and stomping of the hurt :)

  8. Love the toddler hurt plan.
    I can a huge pair of imaginary scissor sin my handbag and when they are hurt, I ask if I need to get my big scissors out and cut of the hurt part - that usually get a bit of a giggle and they miraculously recover!

    Thankfully no-one has ever said that "yes, we need to to cut off the hurt body part" if they did I would come unstuck, so may try your remedy instead!