My maternal grandmother raised 9 kids on a fruit farm in Ohio, and the stories that my mom and aunts and uncles tell about growing up out there are fairly amazing. I thought I’d heard them all, until my Uncle Joe posted a story on facebook, in honor of Mother’s Day, about my Grandma Hug.
Uncle Joe is the youngest, only 8 years older than me, and the story goes that one of the older brothers (who shall remain nameless) once grabbed Uncle Joe’s leg and stuck his bare foot into a pile of dog poop. Uncle Joe went in the house to tell Grandma, who marched out into the yard, grabbed my other uncle’s foot, stuck it in the same pile of dog poop, and said, “There. How do you like it?”
Then she took my Uncle Joe’s foot, stuck it back in the dog poop, and said “That’s for tattling.”
In the comments of this story, my Aunt Barb posted this teaser, “Reminds me of the time mom stuck my face in a lemon meringue pie.”
Don’t you want to know more about the incident with the lemon meringue pie? I do.
I’m sure that discipline was not always so much fun and games in that house, but really, these are endearing stories about my grandmother, always told with fondness.
There is a lot to love about my Grandma Hug, and this slapstick-comedy routine that was her parenting style is not the least of it.
I love my kids and all, but they are maddening, frustrating creatures. I only have two of these small monsters, and they pretty regularly push me to the limits of rational adult behavior.
I mean, nine kids. Sheesh.
So, I’ve decided that from now on, I’m taking a cue from Grandma Hug. Instead of yelling or grumping or debating, I’m just going to go ahead and start the food fight.
At the very least, it will make for better stories when my own kids grow up.
Also, in contrast to everything else I’ve tried so far, it might actually work.