Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Be in that diaper, freshly remembered. This story should the good man teach his son....."

You know what your job is when you’re a grandpa.

You observe, you’re an observer.

Kind of like a conscientious objector without a helmet.

You also make a lot of fast food runs.

My new grandson had to spend a week in the Neo Natal ICU, tanning.

Well it looked like tanning to me. He was under these blue lights for a week.

His riboflavin’s or Billy Thornton’s or something were too high because they used a Hoover on him trying to get him out before they did the c-section.

So he ends up with a Hemotoma, which is Latin for “big bump” and ends up in ICU looking like a K-Mart blue light special.

We were there every day and night sitting with my son and daughter-in-law. I spent the time bugging the nurses about his condition.

The nurses weren’t supposed to tell me anything because I wasn’t the “father” but you’d be surprised what eight loaves of homemade bread and twenty bucks will do.

I was always taught to tip big. Hospital staff, hotel staff, they pretty much do the same thing so… I tip them.

I remember a movie with Steve Martin called My Blue Heaven, where he tipped everyone, I always wondered if he learned that from my father.

Anyway, you can find out a lot by “tipping.”

So after a week my son got to bring his wife and son home.

But they don’t let you leave with the baby until you can show the “working” car seat. It took three of us almost five hours to put the car seat in the car.

“Dad why is the base jiggling?”

“I think it’s supposed to jiggle. It’s like a shock absorber.”

“I don’t think that’s right.”

“Do you have any duct tape?”

“Is that legal?”

“Only if it’s family.”

The first feeling you have as a grandpa is a feeling of accomplishment. You got your offspring through life alive and they got to reproduce. So you feel pretty much... well... done.

That’s when the post natal depression for grandparent’s starts.

You feel a little useless… briefly.

Then all you have to do is listen to your son.

“Can you believe these idiots on the freeway? I’ve got a baby in my car and these idiots are zooming by me.”

“No one touches the baby until you wash your hands.”

“He’s peeing everywhere!!!! Help!!! It’s shooting all over.”

“Whoa… We should call this “The Curse of the Black Poo.”

“How do I tell him to just say no to drugs?”

“Dad, you know if you and mom want to just, you know, hang out, it’s okay. You guys can stay as long as you want. Because, well, you know, we’re a little, you know, terrified.”

I’m still needed.


“Yes son.”

“Do me a favor.”

“Whatever you need son.”

“You’re not going to tell him those same stories you tell Alex are you?”

“No, of course not.”

“Thanks dad.”

“I’m going to make up new ones.”

“Great dad….”

“Don’t worry son I’ll only make up stories about stuff I saw the Discovery Channel. Did you know that Stonehenge may have been built by Egyptian pygmies with club feet?”

“Come on dad, do you have any idea how many fights I got into when I was a kid because of your stories? I was constantly defending stuff that was made up.”

“I was preparing you for a career in politics.”

“Kim’s going to blame me.”

“There’s an old Chinese saying son, “What doesn’t kill me, ends up divorcing me.” “Wait… You’re mother may have said that.”


“Son, most of the world is ignorant. If they can’t “Google” it, it doesn’t exist. Kids today know about iPod’s and X-Boxes but nothing about using their minds. You can’t download imagination. An X-Box costs $400, imagination is free.”

“You can’t download imagination… Imagination is free… I like that dad.”

“Son, I firmly believe that a group of five year olds with squirt guns and Play Dough could solve the problems of the world.”

“But they can’t change this diaper.”

“Wow… How could that little guy be full of so much…..”

“Dad… He’s a Calabrese.”