Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Rules

The Granddaugher is now several months past three. Can you believe it? She's getting smarter and smarter every day.

On the rare day everybody was back at home, we were all sitting around the dining room table playing a game. The Adorable One was in my lap.

The Daughter noisily tried to make a point about the proper rules. Gramps was not having any of it.

"To hell with the frickin' rules!" I said.

The Granddaughter was my backup. "To hell with the frickin' rules!" she repeated.

We repeated this routine several times, each one more side-splittingly humorous than the last. Finally, The Daughter could take no more.

"Dad," she said quite seriously, "If you want to keep seeing her, you can't teach her to say 'hell.'"

"All right," I replied. I whispered something in The Granddaughter's ear.

She looked up at her mother and said, "To heck with the fucking rules!"

I think we've got a keeper.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Cold, Gray Dawn of the Morning After

So last week I went to my company's annual regional meeting. I used to take pride in my youthful vigor while I mingled with the ancient ones who were my colleagues. And then...well, I think you can guess where this is going.

It all began with my semi-annual haircut. Because I am cheap, I let my hair grow out until I look more like Chewbacca than a dignified husband, father and grandfather. Then, when I can't stand it anymore, I go to the most inexpensive barber in town and ask him to cut my hair as short as possible.

I came out of the shower the next morning and noticed that the light was playing off my wet head in an unusual way. Had my barber given me highlights when I wasn't looking? Hmm. On closer inspection, the highlights were nothing more than blonde hairs--very blonde hairs. In fact, some people might describe them as gray. Where the hell had they come from? They couldn't be mine.

So I went off to my annual meeting with somebody else's gray hairs and watched in horror as the year's new employees paraded across the stage. When did we start hiring 12-year-olds? And how is it that I know more of the recent retirees than I do the new employees? Apparently, the economic meltdown hurt us more than we realized. That must be the answer. The only other possibility is entirely unacceptable.

The mystery deepened when I realized that the company culture is changing, too. A number of the crew went out to a sports bar to watch game 7 of the NBA Finals. Did they not understand that the proper thing to do is to avoid the noise and the crowds and watch the game in the hotel room with a beer? And then to turn in early?

I don't know what is happening in this world. Perhaps Global Warming is to blame. Perhaps a secret terrorist attack has caused these unfathomable changes. Who knows. All I know is that I don't like it.

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? know, that thing in the middle of your chest...right, my "heart" 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:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WWC: "F" and "Altered"

We welcome you to the First Birthday edition of the Weekly Word Challenge. It could also be known as the "Cake, cake, cake!" episode. But it isn't.

We have been away for a couple of weeks due to illness, general laziness and the necessity of planning The Granddaughter's first birthday party! That's right, this frickin' adorable little girl is now one year old. It's amazing, isn't it. It seems like only 12 short months ago that she was kicking and screaming her way into this not-yet-but-soon-to-be-zombified world of ours.

Our daughter decided to have a simple party for the little one, and Gramps certainly appreciated the rather mild celebration. It could have had a lot more children involved, and you know how the old man feels about snotty nosed brats. There is also a very interesting story to tell about the birthday cake, but we'll leave that for another time. For now, on to the all-birthday edition of the WWC.

F (The Granddaughter ate the cake from her first birthday off the floor.)

Altered (She also permanently altered Gramps' sweatshirt with lots of ground in chocolate stains.)

Bonus Photo (Somebody here looks a little like the cat that ate the canary, eh?)

Unfortunately, there was no cake left or we would share some with all of you. Maybe The Daughter will make a bigger cake for birthday number two. It has been a fun year for Granny and Gramps, and we thank you for sharing it with us. Be sure to tune in next week when we will be sure to have some great Halloween photos. Gramps is pushing hard to turn The Granddaughter into a zombie. Will he win the day? Tune in next week to find out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WWC: "S" and "Water"

Another week has gone by, and Gramps has once again been delayed with our WWC Postings. This week, however; Gramps has multiple good reasons ... 1. The Granddaughter has been MIA for the past week (that alone would put anyone in a spiral of depression). 2. The Dodgers have clinched a NLC berth, (bringing the Philadelphia Phillies to LA for a last season rematch). 3. The XBoy had his first HS homecoming formal/dance and 4. Gramps is once again, lying in the bed - sick with the sniffles and a hacking - congested cough ...

Granny and Homemade Vegetable Soup to the Rescue!

"S" is for Sick. The Granddaughter has the Sniffles, Snot and Sneezing

"Water". Nothing like a luke-warm bath to ease the aches and pains.

"Bonus Picture" The Granddaughter is Lovin' on Her Sick Papa

From Gramps, Granny, The Granddaughter and The Rest of Our Family - Thank you for spending the 1st Year of Our Adorable Apfelpfankuchen's Life with Us ... Enjoy some cheeks on us!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WWC: "Warmth" and "Depth"

We're back on schedule for this week's episode of the Weekly Word Challenge, sponsored by zombie Tink and Jay. Unfortunately, no one has tried to blackmail us this week, so we don't have anything for which to apologize. That will mean low ratings for Old Before Our Time. Again. But we thank you loyal viewers for tuning in to see more of that baby goodness known as The Granddaughter. This week's words are "warmth" and "depth."

Warmth (Granny and The Granddaugher sharing a warm, tender moment.)

Depth (Somebody got deep into the cabinet beneath the grandparents' sink.)
Bonus Photo (This one cracks me up every time I see it. The Granddaughter looks so terrified. It's sort of a Home Alone look.)

We know you have many sources on the Internet for cuteness, and we appreciate your business. Please tell your friends and family about us--even the ones without computers. We'll be sure to give you the best baby photos apfelpfankuchen cheeks can buy. Au revoir.