The two-year-old little boy in our family turned 3 last August. I really believe that if the government ever figures out how much fun kids can be, they’ll slap an entertainment tax on them.
During a shopping trip in a neighboring city with two of my daughters and Sonny, the three-year-old, we stopped for lunch at a cafeteria. We decided that the adults would each share part of our lunch with him.
He didn’t mind until we came to the dessert department. He was quite adamant that he wanted a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Being a normal Grandma, I ordered the pie.
His mom told him he couldn’t have the pie until he ate his lunch. As he ate the assortment of vegetables we gave him, he looked longingly at the pie. Finally his mom decided he could have the pie.
He immediately stuck his finger in the whipped cream, popped it into his mouth, and smiled. His mom handed him a fork. He managed to cut off a bite of pie and put it in his mouth.
The look on his face was not priceless. He began to gag. While the other two grabbed for something to catch what seemed bound to come up, I moved the pie out of range. They shoved a Styrofoam take-home box in front of him.
After that he was no longer interested in either the pie or the whipped cream on it. We decided that it was probably the whipped cream he wanted to begin with, and it was the texture of the pie that bothered him.
I finished my veggies and reached for the pumpkin pie he no longer wanted. As I raised a forkful to my mouth, he saw me and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Grandma, don’t eat that!”
I glanced around the dining room quickly, and I would be willing to swear that just about every grandma in there stopped dead with their fork halfway to their mouth.
As I popped the pie into my mouth he began to gag again. Now I must admit for a brief minute I considered gagging too, just to freak out my two daughters, but good sense prevailed, so I didn’t. Actually the pie was delicious, and Sonny was able to accept the fact that grandmas could enjoy some foods that kids didn’t.
Unfortunately my daughters had read my mind while I sat with the pie in my mouth. So came the age-old complaint, “Mo-ther!” Which was quickly followed by, “You were going to gag!” It’s really neat when you can freak your kids out by doing nothing. Some might call that pay back.
On another shopping trip I elected to stay in the car with Sonny while his aunt went into a store.
He was “driving the car, and somehow he hit the panic button. The headlights began to flash, the horn beeped, and I wondered if anyone in sight knew me.
As I sat there, red-faced, wondering what to do, Sonny reached down, pushed something, and everything was quiet again. I was grateful for my young grandson who could do something I couldn’t.
Then I put him in the back seat and suggested we play a new game I just made up wherein Sonny reproduced all kinds of animal sounds. He was particularly fond of the ee-yaw of the donkey since he hadn’t known it before.
When his aunt returned to the car, he looked at her and said, “No, go back!” He wanted to continue our game. That didn’t do much for her, but it made me feel pretty good.
That evening we went out for supper with some of the family including Sonny and his parents. I told them about the game I played with Sonny. Of course, everyone began to ask Sonny what sounds various animals made.
He loves entertaining people, so he happily responded with the oinks, moos, quacks and so forth they expected to hear. But after awhile he began to tire of the game. So, when his uncle asked, “What does the duck say?” Sonny hesitated for just a second, produced a wide grin, and with sparkling eyes he replied, “Aflac!” a sly reference to a then TV commercial. He was most pleased with the roars of laughter that erupted at his response, but I think his mom is going to cut back on his television viewing time.
Author’s Note: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate Nov. 1, 2006.