Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Grandparents arrive

When the Chief was a mere slip of a redleg, he had something of the reputation among his peers as one who had a loose tongue around his social and military betters, as well as being noted for his somewhat creative strain of invective.

In other words, his military superiors thought him a smartass.

He was famously quoted at length for his summary of a particularly scathing After Actions Report wherein his battery had been accused of failing to meet Army Standards by a rather gaping-chasm-like margin.

"Well..." I told the Regular Army evaluator "...there are good days and bad days. Some days you get the bear. And some days the bear gets you. And then there are the days when the bear just pulls your T-shirt over your head, bends you over and bloops you up the dumpster until the eyes pop out of your head."

Yesterday was one of those days.

I had hoped to post lots of pictures of the fun we had at Vancouver, Washington's "Dozer Days" riding the big trucks, working dozers and graders and excavators. Ummm, no. The Peeper was very excited on the way over but became more clingy and less happy with every minute we spent in the immense, noisy, busy sandlot. He hated the horns and sirens and seemed bothered by the people all around him. By the time we finally got to the excavator he refused to let go of Mojo and had to be carried off looking like a very frightened little monkey.

I have to say that I was a rather wretched Daddy, irked with my son for his lack of enthusiasm about something we had planned and expected him to enjoy. And a particularly lousy husband, taking out my ill humor on my wife, who had done nothing to deserve it except try and comfort her child, who was distraught with the noise, confusion and bustle of the event.

So they left, and I tried to stay with our friend Courtney and her sons, but they soon reported themselves tired and hungry and cashless. That ended "Dozer Days". Too bad - it's a fun event. Maybe we'll go next year. I promise to be less of a butthead.

Things went downhill after that, if you can believe it. Peep was a little serpent's tooth all day, Mojo was harrassed and angry, with him for being a little pill, with me for being a jackass in Vancouver; I felt frustrated and ill-tempered...just one of those T-shirt-over-the-head-bear-sodomy-days, and then Gramma and Grampa Mojo (let's call them Chickie and Bubba for short) arrived after midnight, their flight out of the East Coast having been cancelled and the rebooked flight over four hours later. I fell asleep on the couch and missed their first two phone calls before waking, stumbling out and driving in a sort of dazed frenzy across a darkened North Portland to the airport. Chickie was desperately chatty on the drive to the motel, while Bubba sat silently beside me, either as grumpy as I was or just at a loss for conversation. Which is perfectly possible - my father-in-law isn't exactly the Dorothy Parker of auto mechanics.

So here I am at 3 a.m., still sleepless, hoping for a better day today.

1 comment:

walternatives said...

Hoping for a better day tomorrow? How could it possibly NOT be better than yesterday? Proud of you for recognizing and admitting that you were being a less than gold-star Dad, husband and even son-in-law. Not many people can/will/easily do that and a helluva lot more of them should.