Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Zombies and Monkeys Don't Mix

Sometimes in life, a man does what he wants. Most of the time, a man does what his wife tells him to do.

Last spring, while I was in the throes of a major love affair with Left 4 Dead, I worked hard to convince my daughter that she should dress up my frickin' adorable granddaughter as a zombie for Halloween. I was making good progress, too. I promised my daughter that I would let her choose my costume if only I could make up her daughter as one of the rabid undead. Imagine how cute my one-year-old granddaughter would have been as a rotting, animated corpse.

I emphasize "would have been."

My wife--because this is what my wife does--was browsing online for costumes when a brilliant flash of insight struck her in the forehead and knocked her off her chair. "I've got it," she cried. "Curious George. The Granddaughter can be Curious George for Halloween."

Now I like Curious George as much as the next 40-year-old male, but my world was suddenly spinning out of control. My hard work was going down the drain. The hours spent convincing my daughter that the little one would be sooo adorable in a zombie costume were now simply wasted time. It was clear to me from my wife's tone that our granddaughter would be Curious George for Halloween.

That meant, of course, that somebody had to be the Man with the Yellow Hat. Hmm, I wonder who she had in mind?

The brim of the hat sagged, and the "boots" were big, black floppy pieces that tripped me up whenever they got the chance. Plus, after half a block, the temperature within the suit climbed to about 400 degrees. The surface of the planet Mercury would have been more comfortable. The things I do for my wife. And my granddaughter.

Fortunately, she is as adorable as a monkey as she is as a human baby, so people were too busy oohing and ahhing over her to pay much attention to the yellow monstrosity that was holding her hand. At least a few people did recognize us as George and the Man with the Yellow Hat, so our acting was passable. Nevertheless, it was not what I had expected while I nagged my daughter to death about dressing up as zombies. Come to think of it, I did feel a little undead on the inside while wearing that costume. The pictures below will show you how frickin' adorable that girl was.

The night wasn't a total loss, however, because I did get to show off The Granddaughter to the neighborhood. And I stole most of her candy. (Don't tell Granny!) Plus, thanks to some chewy green stuff, by the end of the evening, she did look something like a zombie. That's some consolation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Has It Really Been Six Months? I Hope Somebody Stopped by to Feed the Dog

Hello, is anybody there?

It has been more than six months since our last transmission, and I suppose that all the people who used to follow this blog regularly have long since passed into the Great Beyond. Either that, or your uncaring children have dumped you into a nursing home to live out your remaining days without a drop of beer. So I guess that means I should offer a hearty welcome to the uncaring children and selfish grandchildren of our former readers!

You may have heard from your elders that Granny and I have the most frickin' adorable granddaughter around. To recap, when she first arrived in the world some 18 months ago, she looked like this:Then, on her first birthday, around the time of the last post before this one, she looked like this:
Now, six months after her first birthday, she looks like this:Yes, yes, I know what you're saying to yourself right now. "She's more frickin' adorable than ever. Boy, that Gramps can really teach 'em how to be cute." And she's smart, and she's curious, and she really loves her grandpa. That last one may have something to do with the fact that I'm the only one who lets her drink beer.

So what's the problem, you ask?

I'm not really sure how to begin. A heck of a lot has happened over these past months, and the whole story would fill up two whole Internets, even if I used a 4-point font. So let me start with this...neither the granddaughter nor her mother live with us anymore. I am as conflicted about their moving out as I was over the whole idea of being a grandfather in the first place. Two weeks ago, the two of them moved into an apartment about an hour and a half away from us. The Daughter now has her own space and her own freedom, but no furniture. AND SHE'S GOT MY GRANDDAUGHTER!

Of course, every parent wishes for this day, when the little ones will finally tumble out of the nest. I want her to live her own life on her own two feet, mostly so I can use her room as a shrine to the Xbox 360. But I also want her to be a whole, healthy and happy human being, and I hope that she is ready for that. There's also the thing about missing my granddaughter, which strikes me as an odd sensation for a man who generally detests people.

Right now, we have the little one for a few days, but until yesterday, I hadn't seen her in two weeks. I have to say, that was worse than going without beer. It was a wonderful feeling, though, when we finally did see her. The Daughter was carrying her along the path toward us, and when they were about twenty yards away, she put down her daughter. When The Granddaughter recognized Granny, the baby ran--she RAN--toward us, shouting for joy all the way. It put a smile on my face and made my...what's that thing?...you know, that thing in the middle of your chest...right, my "heart"...it made my heart feel all warm.

So we have her for a few days, and it is really nice to have her here. Soon, though, she'll go back to her mom, and they will continue to build that life apart from us. That's right and the way it should be, but damn! I don't always like it that way. At least I still have Granny by my side, and two other children to drive me crazy, and so I'll try to appreciate them as much as possible until they move out. (Note to Drama Queen and Xboy: PLEASE MOVE OUT!)

I'll fill you in on the other traumatic events of the past six months (including a disaster of a yellow hat and some Christmas zombies) as we go forward. So please stay tuned, and maybe we can all get through this granddaughterless time together. In the meantime, please enjoy one last picture of our 18-month-old wonder: