Unless You’re Dying, It’s Not Worth My Time

, , , , | Related | March 16, 2018

(My grandmother is a stern, no-nonsense matriarch with some rather peculiar ideas about health, from growing up in a time when castor oil was the only medicine available. I’ve dislocated my ankle the day before and I haven’t had any treatment for it. As I limp downstairs for breakfast, I feel in terrible pain and as if I’m about to throw up. I try and make it to the bathroom, but I fall in a dead faint halfway there. My mother later tells me she heard the thud from the cellar. When I come back to my senses, I’m white as a sheet, lying spread eagle on the corridor floor, and my parents are kneeling at either side with eyes as wide as dinner plates. My grandmother comes out of her bedroom and sees the scene…)

Grandmother: “What’s going on? [My Name], are you running a fever?”

Me: *still out of it, and it shows* “No… I don’t think…”

Grandmother: “Oh. That’s good.”

(And she literally walks over me on her way to the kitchen!)

Hammed Up That Story

, , , , , | Related | March 16, 2018

(I am a mother to a wonderfully cheerful six-year-old. Despite grasping things like numeracy and literacy very quickly, she tends to muddle them up after a little while unless they are quickly reinforced. On this day, I have promised her that we can go and see my parents a few miles away after school.)

Daughter: “Mummy, I learned a joke today from my teacher!”

Me: “Wow, really? Are you going to tell me what it is?”

Daughter: “No, I’m going to wait and tell Grandma!”

(The entire journey, she is squirming excitedly at the thought of this joke. I let her out of the car eventually, and she runs to see my mother.)

Daughter: “Grandma, I learned a joke today from my teacher!”

Grandma: “Oh, yes? What is it?”

Daughter: “What country can you put in a sandwich?”

Grandma: “Hmm… I’m not sure. What country can you put in a sandwich?”

Daughter: *with all the optimism in the world* “Ham!”

(It took us ten minutes to realise she meant Turkey.)

Hungry Never Forgets

, , , , , | Related | March 12, 2018

(This happens when my brother is four or five years old. We have a rule that it’s okay if you don’t want any dinner, but you won’t be getting anything else until the next morning.)

Mom: “Guys, dinner is on the table.”

Little Brother: “I’m not hungry.”

Mom: “[Little Brother], please eat something, or you’ll be hungry later.”

Little Brother: “No. I don’t want to.”

Mom: “That’s fine. Just wash up and get ready for bed, then.”

(In about twenty minutes:)

Little Brother: “Moooom, I’m hungry. Make me something, please.”

Mom: “No, sorry. You’ve had your chance. You’ll have breakfast in the morning.”

(After a little crying and pleading he goes to bed. Fast forward a few weeks later, when our grandfather comes to visit and stays with us for a few days:)

Mom: *to grandfather* “Dad, are you hungry? I can make you something to eat.”

Grandfather: “No, thanks, honey. I ate before I left home, and I’m not that hungry.”

Little Brother: “Pop, you’d better eat, or she will make you go to bed hungry.”

Had It Tickled Into Her

, , , , | Related | February 27, 2018

(I am babysitting my two-year-old niece. There has been an incident in the news where a child was touched inappropriately, and it has affected me more than I expected. I watch my niece, as she plays with her toys.)

Me: “You know, [Niece], if someone touches you and you don’t want it, just say, ‘Stop it,’ and they have to listen to you.”

(My niece doesn’t really respond and continues playing. I figure she is too young, and I am once again being an overprotective aunt. A few hours later, my parents come home — my niece’s grandparents. After dinner, my dad decides to play with my niece.)

Grandfather: “Tickle, tickle, tickle!”

(My niece doesn’t respond, so grandfather continues. Suddenly:)

Niece: “Stop it!”

Grandfather: “Tickle, tickle, tickle!”

Niece: “Stop it!”

Grandfather: “Oh? Can’t I tickle you anymore?”

Niece: “No.”

Grandfather: “All right. Then, what should I do?”

Niece: *in a tone where you can just hear her mother speak through her: low and articulating quite well* “List-en!”

(My father was baffled, while my mother and I couldn’t stop laughing. My niece can’t remember how she taught my father a valuable lesson, but we three do!)

The Demon Owls Of South Carolina

, , , , | Related | February 26, 2018

(My grandmother and I are sitting in a hotel room when all of a sudden she grabs the Bible out of the drawer and chucks it at the window.)

Grandmother: “The power of Jesus compels you to leave!” *looks perplexed* “Oh, false alarm.”

Me: *startled* “What the heck did you do that for?”

Grandmother: “I thought I saw a demon looking in the window from the tree, but then it flew away and I realized it was just an owl.”

(She then went back to silently reading a travel brochure. I have the weirdest grandma ever, and I’m proud of that.)

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