As I lay/laid (who cares) my head down on my pillow, exhausted from chasing my one-year-old grandson around for almost 8 hours, I listened to my husband snoring and wondered how he could sleep after “the incident” earlier that day. How could I have allowed it to happen? Did I think that because he is now a grandfather that everything would be – grand? Men from our generation aren’t like the fathers of today who can do it all – food shopping, cooking, laundry, changing diapers, and most important of all – making sure the children are SAFE. The fathers portrayed on television back in my day were bumbling idiots, incapable of doing anything. Hmm…how’d I forget that?
Anyway, back to “the incident.” PaPa King” (that’s what the baby calls him) walked in after his day at work and volunteered to give me a break and bring our grandson downstairs to the basement where he likes to run in circles (the baby, not my husband.) I was happy to plop myself down on the couch and put my feet up. “Ahh,” I sighed, maybe two pages into my novel when I heard—the CRASH.
I ran and stood at the top of the basement steps, afraid to call down and ask what happened. I tiptoed further down the steps, half-covering my eyes to see if the baby was all right. There he was, running in circles “Weeee…” around The King who was laying/lying on the cement floor with our old defunct yard sale hutch cupboard on top of him; the $20 price tag, swinging over his head. Luckily, he still had his head, because next to him was what had fallen off the top of the hutch: a lamp, boxes of junk, and two paper cutters – you know, the kind that can decapitate.
“PHEW!” His voice was weak coming out of his talking head. What a relief! “You wouldn’t believe it,” he said, seriously. Sure I would, I thought, as horrific memories of him watching our own children growing up, now rushed back at me.
“We were playing London Bridges,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck, while I helped him up, and the baby continued circling the whole mess. “I guess I didn’t duck far down enough.“
As I lay/lie in bed that night, I had to wonder if he could be trained, if an old dog really could learn new tricks. So, I thought of The Bruce Challenge I would hold in honor of Father’s Day (in place of a gift.)
There were 10 challenges on the list (one point for each)
1. Find scissors within 30 seconds
2. Find the parmesan cheese within 1 minute
3. Make a cup of hot tea within 3 minutes
4. Turn the dishwasher on (with the correct soap) within 4 minutes
5. Iron your shirt within 7 minutes
6. Open the ironing board within 10 minutes
7. Make any bed in the house within 11 minutes
8. Do a load of laundry (wash and dry) without a time limit
9. Vacuum the stairs within 23 minutes (without falling)
10. Change your grandson’s diaper within 12 minutes (without putting the baby in danger)
· Bonus: If poop, you get an extra 12 minutes, plus an extra point.
After it was all done, I assured him that three out of ten wasn’t too bad…again, my spouse kept his head attached, although, he did suffer a small electrical shock, a scrape on one finger, a burn mark on his inner arm, a bruise on his shin, and—well, you don’t need to hear the graphic details of the diaper change, now do you?