Monday, November 22, 2010

When Grandparents Make Newbie Mistakes


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.


Dalton said...

I love this post, so hilarious! Popo needs to see who they can dog sit for over the holidays, anyone visiting out of town relatives? Make that anyone with a small, non-baby dog? haha - he is in over his head. Grant got specific.

You're right, we ARE more creative, I had Mooma and Poppy - named by me and followed for generations of future grandkids. In fact, my Mom, in fear of a name containing the word "moo" picked her own name, "Mimi"


Melanie Gao said...

That's a good suggestion Dalton, I'll be sure my dad reads the comments section of this post. Maybe you guys can help him save his reputation. Clearly he does need help. :)

My mom also picked her own nickname for fear of what the oldest grandchild might come up with otherwise. She's "Gigi".

Unknown said...

BSlap and FSlap have two German Sheperds and a lap dog named "Saban." Plus, she's extended an invitation to Jeff and me to visit her horse "Rosebud" in Northport over the holidays. Let me know if I should see if we can bring the kids along! (And thanks for your hilarious-as-usual post!)

Sarah said...

Ooooh, Popo walked right into that one!!
And I never knew that you were from the South. Nor have I ever heard of a dog rental service... do keep us updated as to whether or not he finds one - and who gets hospitalised! lol

Amy Leigh said...

ha I love your blog! It's so funny and Grant has got to be the cutest little guy ever! I'm from Alabama and we go by Mamaw and Papaw! :) I read your blog because I'm a college student in Alabama and I'm learning Chinese and I hope that one day I'll live there! <3

Melanie Gao said...

Amy it's nice to have you here! Good luck with your Chinese studies! Feel free to send me any questions and I will give you free answers. :)

Sarah he did walk right in. Right in. I'll be sure to post an update.

Amanda the kids are literally wagging their tails at the thought of seeing the horse at Christmas. Consider yourself officially on the hook to deliver some equestrian fun.

I18n G.A.L. said...

Nana and Pop-pop (but technically I'm not a Southerner, for 2 reasons)

Melanie Gao said...

Texas is the South, right? You guys fought in the Civil War. I believe that counts. So what is it that makes you not a Southerner?

The grandparent nicknames do fit the bill, for sure.

I18n G.A.L. said...

1. We may have (partially) fought in the civil war, but Texans are Western in culture, not Southern. From our accent to our manners.

2. My ethnicity puts me on the outside of the surrounding culture much of the time.

I18n G.A.L. said...

Having just written that, I did make a big pot of chicken and noodles for dinner tonight (to share with my Texas friend here)