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Parenthood... a Reluctant Encore

posted 1/18/2013 7:39:44 PM |
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I am involved in a redux of parenthood. Duty... I was called and I answered as my daughter is going through a divorce. She has a six year old son. We reside together, are all tight and loving, but there is a war in the trenches at almost at any time

People say that divorce is so hard on a young child. Not necessarily. My six year old grandson is exploiting it. A twelve year old doing it, yes. But I didn't previously think that a six year old could manipulate things like this, or at least attempt to do so. I was wrong

Well, this Mensa whiz kid has not been an angel or a bundle of joy lately You can look up narcissistic in the dictionary and his picture is there as the definition You usually see this phase where they consider themselves to be the center of the universe at around twelve or thirteen. It is not my idea of a good time

This kind of like Ron White's classic comedy routine where he says, "I have to tell you this story to tell you that story." I think it ties into genetics and poetic justice... and I may be on the ass end of it

I posted this seven years ago:

In the great race of life, I am heading into the final turn in the final dash for happiness. My feelings for what I want are not nearly as strong as my feelings for what I don't want. We all have feelings and memories that we love to recall and hope to have a remake of in the future. There are similar times that we recall that we wish we did not. It's life.

There are two types of people we will encounter here to a large extent: those who are involved in day in, day out parenthood, and those who have transitioned out of it. It is not unlike military experience. In both cases, I have proudly served, did my duty with dedication and honor, and been involved in wars I did not understand with many bloody battles.

In both instances, I am a better person for it, have derived benefits after it, and have no intent of reenlisting and going through it again. Having served as a single parent, I can relate and empathize with those that still are. It is worthwhile and the efforts, frustrations, and sacrifice will lead to rewards that you will reap later. Those like myself can connect with you as we have been there while you cannot connect with us, as you are not where we are now. It is a wonderful place to be and you will have earned the opportunities presented to you for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

My daughter turned out to be a fine woman...after being an alien force for a decade. There was no warning at the age of ten that my little darling would star in a reprise of Linda Blair’s role in a remake of The Exorcist in just three years. I cannot express how delightful it is to now go to bed at night without being concerned about a call in the middle of the night from the hospital, police, or her mother.

When you make that transition into post parenthood, you will also understand why those of us who have, will not consider reenlisting. If the lady I mentioned in my earlier blog post felt that "Tom Cruise is the ideal boyfriend and he lives next door." Then it was because she treasures her peace and freedom. Given that, the male corollary may be that "Pam Anderson is the ideal girlfriend and she lives next door." There are two reasons for that: one of her kids is nine and the other is eight.

Those words will be my dinner tonight

However, spankings are permitted and I am 007, license to kill. I have only spanked him once over a year ago for biting somebody else, He remembers that very well.

He was picked up by the collar and unceremoniously transported in midair across the room over to the couch and given a hand in understanding. He knows that past a certain point Papa Bruce is not a man to be messed with. I am not what I was but I am 6'2, 220 and can be very "John Wayne" in stature to a kid

To be continued

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Jan 18 @ 7:58PM  
He was picked up by the collar and unceremoniously transported in midair across the room over to the couch and given a hand in understanding. He knows that past a certain point Papa Bruce is not a man to be messed with.

And you didn't throw your back out, Bruce?

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Jan 18 @ 9:06PM  
Reminds me of the Toby Kieth song, "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was!"

Good job Papa Bruce!

Jan 18 @ 10:16PM  
Reminds me of the Toby Kieth song, "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was!"

The video for that song is hilarious.

Good for you that your grandson knows you won't tolerate his attitude.

Jan 18 @ 10:18PM  
Oh I am enjoying this. For once it is not me having to play parent to someone.

Jan 18 @ 10:30PM  
Yes, been there still doing that. But mine is a teen girl . Once she knew I was taking anything off her ,our lives settled down.

Jan 19 @ 4:24AM  
Thanks everyone. I am not going to write to all of the commentators individually but thank folks and address comments here. But first I want to add to it in peace without being interrupted

This blog was not one of my better written works. You see, I was baby sitting all day yesterday and will do so again on Monday

Add to that, that the kid was on restricted privileges for acting up at school during the week: No TV until noon, then if behaving Nat Geo and Animal Planet only... no cartoons or movies, period. This mandate came down from the Queen of the Manor.

It took seemingly forever to write this blog, the better part of three hours. My top end keyboard speed of 27 WPM doesn't help It went something like this (I hope you can follow it):

Type, type, type (KNOCK)
Papa Bruce, I'm hungry
You just had lunch, what would you like?
I don't know.
How about an apple?
An Orange?
Noooo...How about ice cream or some cookies!
No, no sweets
Why (whining angrily)?
Because you don't need sugar, your mother said so, and you haven't been good.
I've been good the last few minutes.
Yes, you have and I appreciate it. Now do you want an apple or an orange?
No, I'm hungry (whining angrily)?
Those are your choices; an apple, orange or go without
WAAAA, you're mean!!! (Stomps off back into the living room).
Type, type, type, pause, type, type, type (KNOCK)
Papa Bruce, I'm tired of the Dog Whisperer and I've seen the Animal Planet show too many times.
Sorry, you heard your mother. Those are your choices.
But they are boring (whining)
(So are you I think to myself) Well, if you had behaved yourself you wouldn't be in this situation, now would you?
(the kid scowls)
Go play with your transformers, legos or something.
I don't want to (whining loudly)
I'm not going to put up with this whining.
I'm not whining!
Yes you are. Stop it now or you are going to your room in time out.
You're mean!!! (Stomps off back into the living room).

Now to this point I haven't raised my voice, but it has not been easy. To do so or escalate things would mean subjecting myself to having to listen to an air raid siren

Type, type, type (KNOCK)
Papa Bruce, I'm.....

Jan 19 @ 10:07AM  
Hopefully Monday will be a quieter day. Your daughter has some good ideas when it comes to bad behavior.

Jan 19 @ 3:02PM  
He was picked up by the collar and unceremoniously transported in midair across the room over to the couch and given a hand in understanding

Geezzz... a simple "He experienced a midair flight stability test, followed by a slap down" would have sufficed Bruce!


Jan 19 @ 3:32PM  
I certainly enjoyed this blog immensely!! And in spite of the interruptions and time consumed, it was excellently written.

I have acquired a real dislike for aging...yet it does have its perks and no more kids is the main one in my book! I commend you for your taking on the role of grandparent/caretaker...I really don't think I could do it anymore and sad to say, not even temporairly as in babysitting even for an hour. My tolerance level is only good for about 10 minutes if that much.

I don't know if I'd ever have been asked to babysit my great grandkids but since I've moved here, I'm too far out of the loop for it to even be considered...I breathe a mighty sigh of relief!!!

Kudo and consider it multiplied many times over.

Jan 20 @ 6:24AM  
I posted this on the vanilla site and most of the comments were about interacting with him more. I probably should have let it be known that we do a lot of things with him. His mother and I are very proactive in doing things together with him. But we can only do things together with him when he wants to do them. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't

Since the separation there has been too much TV IMO But that is all that he wants to do most of the time. But we don't have too much time to do things with him due to his schedule.

On Monday and Thursday nights he has wrestling at the school. He enjoys that, but doesn't pay attention enough and gets scolded frequently by the coaches (he is borderline AD/HD with an attention span of nano seconds).

On the weekends he is at his Dad's (he hates that) But that is cool for me and my daughter to a lesser degree. His dad works on the weekends so the kid gets parked at his grandparents during the day and all they do is watch old rerun westerns like Gunsmoke In the evenings his dad watches what he wants to watch on TV, which is also not of interest to the kid Very little interaction there. He has vocally and forcefully complained about that to his dad in front of me

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Parenthood... a Reluctant Encore