Friday, April 25, 2014

Who's In Charge Here?

In our house, the cats are very obviously in charge. Fortunately, our two grand-nieces and one grand-nephew in South Dakota (Tom and Linda's grandchildren) are being raised differently.

Linda and Tom quite often take care of the kids when their parents are traveling or need some extra help. They adore the kids and the kids adore them. Linda was a second-grade teacher for more than 34 years and she can handle anything. She finds every moment with her grandchildren a joy and she never runs out of energy.

Bennett, at 10, is a breeze. Eloise, at 6, has become very responsible and cooperative, as well. The youngest, Alice, is 4. She was named for her great-grandmother (San Geraldo — and Linda's — mother). The original Alice was more than a little spunky. And so is her namesake.

ORIGINAL ALICE AT OUR HOUSE IN GUILFORD, CONNECTICUT, 1992.

You know how Dudo and Moose tend to ignore San Geraldo when he calls them to come inside? And how they immediately come in when I call them? Well, that's kind of how it is for Linda and Tom.

ORIGINAL ALICE WITH BIG SISTER MILDRED AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO IN THE 1980s.
MILDRED WAS DEFINITELY NOT A GOOD INFLUENCE.

One day, Alice was playing in her sandbox. Tom called to her and said she needed to come inside for lunch. She ignored him... Three times...

In frustration, Tom muttered to Linda. Linda walked to the door and said, "Alice, Grandpa told you to come inside. Get in here right now."

Alice quickly brushed the sand off her clothes and walked inside as if it was the first she'd heard of it.

ALICE THE YOUNGER.

One day last week, Tom was on his own with the kids while Linda ran some errands. It doesn't happen often (Tom being left alone with all three, that is). Tom heard the kids arguing heatedly in the den. Then he heard Alice say, "Grandma's not here. So, no one's in charge of me!"

Tom walked into the den and told Alice that he was very definitely in charge. (But we all know the truth.)

TOM ON THE TERRACE NEXT DOOR LAST MONTH.
(I THINK HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET ME TO COME IN FOR LUNCH.)

24 comments:

  1. That's what I love about little girls, and cats, they know exactly where the weakest links are: who can be exploited and who should be obeyed. My mother was an Alice, she was quite a ...strong character too! They sound a lovely family. ps The giraffe is superb.

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    1. Elaine:
      I loved that giraffe! I had a thing for giraffes (because when I was young I had a neck like one) and San Geraldo bought me that one as a gift. He then played too roughly on it and squeezed the life out of it between his thighs!

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  2. Don't know which I love more.. the giraffe or the camel... but I do know for sure that I'd love to have known the "original" Alice...

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    1. Sharon:
      I prefer the giraffe. It was a surprise to see the photo a long time ago and discover that the San Diego Zoo used to offer camel rides. By the time we joined in 1993, that wasn't going to happen. You would have loved Original Alice!

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  3. That giraffe-and-Alice-in-the-pool photo is a great one :) Great stories :)

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    1. Judy:
      I learned a lot about living from Alice. She refused to grow up.

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  4. Small girls prefer grandfathers but grandmother are better at babysitting.

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  5. Alice is just honing her skill of selective deafness. Can be quite useful in adult years.

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    1. Andrew:
      We haven't seen Alice in nearly 3 years now. My understanding is that she's way beyond something as basic as selective deafness.

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  6. Isn't it funny how kids/cats/dogs know who the boss is and they don't ever consider questioning that. What a sweetie Alice the Younger is! I was, and still am, called 'Little Jimmie'.
    Around here Mitchell, can you guess who Sophie listens to immediately and whom she doesn't listen to right away?

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    1. Jim:
      When the cats listen to me and not San Geraldo, I just say it's because I'm the New Yorker and he's the nice one.

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  7. Maybe Grampa just needs to "Go ask Alice..."

    In re: your comment about my visitors...I rather thought that my green teeshirt with a rainbow banner and the words 'LGBT Mom' might have gotten my point across. *hugs*

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    1. Jacquelineand....
      I knew you'd think of that song. I almost included it and then thought it might not be appropriate when talking about "little" Alice (or the original for that matter)!

      As for your green T-shirt, I had no idea! No wonder I immediately fell in love with you AND the kidling!

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  8. Children or cats? What a difficult choice - NOT!!!!

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    1. Raybeard:
      How about cat-loving children?

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  9. Great pictures, and a wonderful stroll down memory lane. Take care and have a terrific weekend.

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    1. Stephen:
      Just back from the beach. Glorious. Great brisk walk in the sand and in the water, three more pieces of sea glass, relaxing read of my latest mystery. Time for another stroll down memory lane.

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  10. Alice's are the best! My grandmother was Alice and Paul had an aunt and a sister named Alice, so of course, our first born dear daughter became Alice as well! You and Jerry have a great extended family!

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    1. Kristi:
      Jerry's mother was an absolutely amazing woman. Because of her, I immediately take a liking to any Alice I meet.

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  11. And as they say, dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

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  12. Both those Alices look to be FULL of personality and fun!

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    1. Knatolee:
      I've written before about Original Alice. She changed my life. I haven't seen her namesake since she was 2 but, according to the totally unbiased reports of her grandparents and aunt & uncle, she's amazing

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