Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

My wife and I raised two boys.  I used to state very confidently that parents who had only girls did not understand the activity level of having boys. I have argued the point.

You won’t hear me make that statement again.

Brenda and I recently took our Kentucky granddaughter to visit her two Georgia cousins for a big and wonderful family weekend.  The event is another story to be shared.  This story is about one night.

Both the Georgia granddaughters wanted to sleep in our room at the motel with their Kentucky cousin.  The room had two queen size beds, so my wife put duct tape over my mouth and said she thought that was a wonderful idea.  Before I could roll my eyes, she put duct tape there, too.

Granddaughters – ages 6, 8, and 9 – often like to be entertained.  All three can and have played beautifully by themselves.  I’m told.  However, as soon as I put the card key into the lock at our room, they began jiggling.  I have a hard time describing their movements.  The closest I can come is what happens when your pet dog sees you after a long absence.  The head and the tail both start moving – in opposite directions.  Every inch of their bodies move – from different points.

Hurricanes most likely are begun by less energy than my granddaughters expended – just at the very thought of going into the motel room.  Christmas doesn’t get that response. 

I opened the door and had the sense to move very very quickly out of the way.  In one sentence we heard portions of “I’veneverbeeninamotelroombefore. Whichbedisours?Canweopenthewindow?CanwewatchTV?I’mhungry.I’mhungry. I’mhungry.”

I stepped back into the hallway to let the three girls and my wife go into the room first.  My insightful and brilliant wife said to me, “You come back into this room right now.  You’re not leaving.”

By the time I got into the room, all three were doing triple gainers from one bed to the other, throwing stuffed toys, and giggling at a level that would have made California quakes seem tame.  I tried to crawl into my suitcase and zip it up.  Patience is not a real strong attribute of mine, and I felt somewhat overwhelmed.

Being a “pretend authority figure,” I barked out orders:  don’t jump on the bed; stop throwing the stuffed animals; turn the TV down; you have to go to bed now.  Rather than embarrassing me by handling the situation perfectly herself, Brenda let me embarrass myself by continuing to bark.  The girls continued to not pay attention.  Being a professional mother, Brenda shushed me aside and took control by making new assignments and diverting attention.

Finally, she asked, “OK now, who wants to take their shower first?”  Seizing the only opportunity I saw, I shouted, “Let me.  Let me.” While she was laughing, I quickly went into the bathroom and took my shower. I may be old, but even I figured out that (a) it would take three girls forever to take showers and (b) we would run out of hot water.

I took my shower, went to bed, and by the time the last angel was clean and in bed, I was asleep.

The next morning, the other grandparents and the parents of two of the sweeties asked, “How did it go with the three girls?”

Not missing a beat, I offered, “Perfectly.  They were wonderful.  Easy.”

My wife didn’t laugh, nor did she explain that I went to bed first and hid under the sheets.  But, she’ll get me. I know it. She’ll get me.

Date of Blog Story: 
May 8, 2008

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