September 15, 2011

Family Resemblances

...this one is for you, Dad.
My Grandpa (right) and my Great-Granddaddy (center), two people that DD strongly resembles

My grandfather was deeply humiliating.  Seriously.  Don't get me wrong, I loved him dearly.  In fact, just about anyone who ever met him thought he was just wonderful.  He gave some of the best first impressions known to man.  He did some really amazing things during his life.  We was, fundamentally, a really good man.

He was devastatingly embarrassing.

Just ask my uncle, who as a teenager had to hide from the entire movie theater when his father stood in his seat next to him to sing along to the Internationale.  My grandfather was, in fact, completely and utterly tone deaf.

My grandfather, about to pull a quarter from my friend's ear
Yesterday, my sweet, charming, adorable daughter reminded me of him vividly.

You see, one of my favorite stories of my grandfather in his later years was the time he wandered off from his house because he's lost his belt.  Or his sweater.  Or something.  I must assume that at the time, he was actually simply bored.

At any rate, Grandpa was living with Bev (my emergency auxiliary back-up mom).  She came home one day to find him missing.  Not only missing, but having left a few very mysterious messages on various family members' voice mail.

He needed a sweater, and it was very cold.
Or the heat wasn't working (which I'm sure it was).
Or that he was just thinking about something that happened at the library.
Or that the pea soup in the freezer was... well... frozen.

In any case, he decided the thing to do was to stop in and see the neighbors.  Who didn't have whatever he was looking for.  So he went back out the door.  And he just kept walking.  He kept walking until he wandered in to a senior center a few blocks away.  And he sat there reading the paper, cracking jokes with the residents and desk staff, and generally charming everyone.

...while Bev ran around in a panic trying to locate her lost ward.

Eventually, somebody from the community center called her.  This person informed her that my Grandpa "couldn't stand up."  Naturally, she was extremely concerned, and came running.

To a small child, his magic tricks WERE magical
He was sitting in a chair, holding his papers, and looking very sheepish.  He was surrounded by very concerned looking little old ladies.

"You want to come back with me. Stan?" she asked.
"Yes, but I have something to tell you, and I don't want anyone else to hear."

She came close so he could whisper in her ear, and he shared the very secret information.

His pants were falling down.

In fact, that was the only reason he'd gone in there in the first place.  He needed a place to sit down before his pants fell around his ankles.

Why couldn't he pull up his pants?
Why, his hands were full.  That's why.

So Bev stoically held onto his handful of papers, while he made an enormous show of standing up and hoisting his trousers back around his waist.  And then with a cheerful farewell to the crowd that had gathered around him, he followed Bev back home again.


Yesterday morning, I failed to retrieve our latest bag of clean diapers from the basement before heading off the class.  That meant that our sitter was unable to put the girls in cloth diapers.  That meant they had to wear disposable diapers.

Disposable diapers are much slimmer.

"My pants fell off!"
So you can imagine the instant mirth and hilarity I experienced when, as I scarfed down a little late breakfast, I heard a little whimper off to my right... and who should be there but DD, clutching her blanket and frog in both hands, unable to pull up the pants that had slipped down over her disposable-diapered bottom.

She looked so forlorn, so lost, so utterly disturbed at the slipping of her pants.  And she had no idea what to do about it.

As she looked plaintively up at me, I saw generations of my family in her face, in her olive skin and her curly hair, and I just plain lost it.  I laughed and I laughed, trying as hard as I could to show her that it was good natured laughter.  That I wasn't laughing AT her, but that she was just a part in a generational joke that was playing out around her.  And as she slowly, tentatively shuffled towards me, and her pants dropped to her ankles, she couldn't help but smile a bit too.

Because it was ridiculous.

Any her great-Grandpa totally would have understood.


  1. PJ loves walking with his pants around his ankles. He cracks up laughing every time.

    Great, great story.

  2. Hello, I'm your newest member from Tag Back Tuesday.



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