Grandpa and Uncle Greg
Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner. Being that we live in Utah this is the first time we have had them over since we moved here almost two years ago. So to celebrate the occasion we invited my Grandpa over to join us.
Whenever Grandpa comes it is a signal for John's to turn on his worst behavior switch. Of course, it isn't just when Grandpa comes, John reserves some of his best material for guests of all sorts. I suppose the missionaries were ammo for him as well.
Why is this? Very simple. We cannot beat him in front of other people.
OK. Not exactly. But you know what I mean.
To say that John is stubborn cannot be overstated. He is completely unbending. We choose our battles carefully and use The Nanny's "naughty chair" on a daily basis. Some days are better than others, but over Christmas John morphed into a new and more advanced state of "naughty."
At the dinner table last night he was sitting between a missionary and Grandpa. Somehow he always ends up next to grandpa. I don't know why I haven't been more strategic--some of us are just slower at catching on I guess. I turned just in time to see him poking Elder Ely in the face with a pen. Grandpa observed that he has never seen John eat his food. He merely sorts it, flings it, mixes it, and just makes an overall mess. I assured Grandpa that I had never really seen him eat a meal (that consisted of more than cheese) myself. Unless I starved him all day--which has proved motivational from time to time.
And when you have people over forget conversation. If John isn't banging on the piano for attention he is running laps around the guests. My aunt and uncle came for a little Christmas party and were the most fortunate witnesses to a punishment Peter and I reserve for John when he pees in his pants ( evidently because he is too lazy to take the ten steps to the bathroom). This is the cold shower method. It is quick, painless, and effective--and we enforce it very consistently. That's when aunt and uncle decided to make their exit.
For the record--really, he isn't this bad when we are alone. It is kind of like our dog Charlie. Stick around for a while and he'll calm down. Only John takes longer.
A lot longer.
Poor Grandpa. Peter and I did ponder one thing though--We bet Uncle Greg was at least as bad for Grandpa when he was a kid. As I recall Grandma once broke a wooden spoon over him. Occasionally his behavior would cause my mom to fear for her brother's life.
One of my personal favorites was Grandpa and Grandpa's method of keeping control over Christmas morning. Grandpa would tie the door of a room containing all the kids shut on Christmas Eve and then cut the rope in the morning to release the madly excited kids into the living room, where in a torrent of wrapping paper Christmas was over. Hilarious. I love it.
My parents even did it with us one Christmas.
Ahhh--the good ol' days . . .