My Dad is in over his head.
I mean, he’s 75. He has four daughters and four grandchildren. How could such a veteran make a newbie mistake?
It all started when he sent us an email with lots of cute dog pictures in it.
That prompted Grant to reply:
“Dear Popo, I want this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog. I really like all these dogs and I wish I had some.”
Afraid that Dad might not recognize the obvious trap, I sent this follow-up:
“Dad I know this goes without saying but please don't buy us a dog.”
But he fell right in to that trap:
“Tell the kids I’m going to rent a dog for them for Christmas. love, Popo”
A few weeks later Grant double-checks:
“Popo. Are you still going to rent a dog for us when we come to Alabama at Christmas?”
Popo begins backpedaling:
“Grantmeister would you consider a parrot that could learn Chinese?”
Grant remains polite but firm:
“Actually I want a dog more. With a parrot, you can't play with it. It's just not cute. You can't cuddle with it."
One last feeble attempt from Popo:
"How about a rented gerbil?"
Grant is less polite and more firm:
"Popo it needs to be a dog. A gerbil is too small."
Popo gives in:
“I will contact a dog rental service and Grant and I will go down and select one.”
Already victorious, Grant delivers a surprising coup de grace:
“Dear Popo, is it a big dog or a small one? I want a small one. But not like a baby one. Babies aren't cute, they're all white. “
At peace with his role as beta male, Popo replies:
“It will be a small dog and he likes small people. love, Popo”
So basically I see two possibilities for this Christmas:
1. Popo rents a dog. The chaos that we normally enjoy at my parents’ house at Christmas gets whipped into an outright frenzy. Someone will be hospitalized.
2. Popo doesn’t rent a dog. My children spend the holiday wailing and gnashing their teeth at the injustice. Someone will be hospitalized.
Dec. 31 update: My brother-in-law Jeff came up with a brilliant idea that saved the day. He has a beautiful, sweet dog named Brunnen and instead of kenneling Brunnen in Nashville he brought him to Alabama for the holiday. Brunnen was happy to be on a chain in my parents' backyard for the week and Grant was able to play with him any time. It really was a win-win and I don't know if my Dad appreciates how his newest son-in-law saved him! I do Jeff - thank you!!!
p.s. We would never call our grandparents "grandma" or "grandpa" in the South. We are more creative than other Americans.
p.p.s. I have never heard of a dog rental service. In Alabama or anywhere else in the world.