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Who me? The Mean Grandpa?


I never viewed myself as a mean grandpa. I always viewed myself as a kindly, huggable old grandpa. The kind that makes all grand kids want to jump up on and sit in his lap grandpa. Certainly not a “Mean” grandpa. Not sure how it happened but one day the nickname stuck.

At first I though perhaps the name was because I used to insist that my grand kids respect their elders. But that was not the case.

Maybe because I asked them to carry their dishes to the sink after meals, or take only the food you can eat, don’t overeat and clean your plate. Nope

Maybe because I insisted they eat what was made and no special order meals were accepted - Nope

Maybe because I expected them to pitch in around the ranch instead of waiting for a handout. Nope.

Maybe because I made them pick up the apples under the apple trees. – Nope

Maybe because I hounded them about brushing their teeth – Nope.

How about insisting they do their homework - Nope

Then I thought about the time I made all the grandkids clean the yard after a day of activities that left pieces scatted all across the place. Nope

Now I got it, I made them wash the cars for FREE. No payment. Noda nothing. Just do it. Nope.

Then what could possibly be the source of the “Mean Grandpa “moniker?

It all stems back to the visit of a granddaughter that I shall protect by calling her, Goldie. It just so happened that Goldie had come to visit for the summer. It was hot and she was playing outside in the sun. You know, she was getting hot, sweating and stinky from playing so hard. As things were winding down we, Goldie and I, went into the house.

I was trailing her in so I got a good whiff of Goldie as she walked by me. Sort of reminded me of driving back from Aspen with a carload of hockey players and their stinky gym bags. If you have hauled around a teenage boy’s hockey team you know what I am talking about.

Well not really that bad. But it was gross. Anyway I commented to Goldie that it might be a good idea to take a shower and clean up. With the usual amount of child reluctance, she decided to oblige. (after I threatened to withhold all video gaming opportunities)

I was working in my office when Goldie came back wrapped in a towel and announced that she had showered. I took one look and said, “You better go back and wash your hair as it is not even wet”. So off she trotted and I heard the shower come back on.

A few moments later Goldie arrived in the office with a wet head. Without missing a beat, I turned around and I said, “Based on how short you were in the shower just now I suggest you go back and do more than just wet your head”.

A little longer time in the shower this time and again Goldie walked into my office wrapped in a towel and announced she was done. I thought to myself, “if she was really done wouldn’t she have gotten dressed before she came in to the office?” I said to Goldie, “Come over here a minute. “. As she closed in on me I bent down and smelled her hair. “Goldie, I can’t feel, see, or smell any shampoo or conditioner in your hair. You better head back to the shower and do it right. “

The next time I saw her she was standing in front of Grandma explaining how “MEAN” grandpa was for making her wash her hair four times. But it was clean and it smelled lovely.

So the “Mean” Grandpa was born…….. I don’t think I deserve it..