April's Real Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Remembered Eavesdrop

Here's the next bit of Mike's remembrances:

Formerly little sis. In today’s set of pictures I sought to teach my daughter one of the basic tenets of being a Patterson, which is: Until you have your kids with you, you are still a kid. This is something you will have to face as you get older, but hopefully you will not reach the point our dear sister Elizabeth has reached in being 26 years old and still a kid. I know mom thinks she would like to count Anthony Caine’s little Quebecoise girl as Elizabeth’s kid, once they finally get married. She is anxious to have an adult conversation with Elizabeth for once. I tried to explain this to my daughter, and she said, “Auntie Liz is still a kid? That must be why she hugged her dolly when she went to bed.”

To explain it more vividly, I showed my daughter this first picture of 4 pictures. In it mom has nestled a coffee cup to her elbow, while Gramma Marian is knitting with one knitting needle. The word balloon for mom says, “Mom, when I was here before Christmas, you spent a week lecturing me…” My daughter said, “What’s lecturing?” I said, “Lecturing is when someone tells someone else something they should be doing.” My daughter said, “A week! How could she spend a week doing that?” I said to my daughter, “You have to understand Gramma Marian was a very slow talker and she liked to repeat herself a lot and she never seemed to realize when a conversation was over.” My daughter said, “I thought you said she was great at everything.” I said, “She was great at lecturing too. Most people can’t lecture for more than an hour, much less a week.” My daughter said, “A week!! How did Gramma Elly survive?” I said, “She didn’t visit Gramma Marian very much.” My daughter said, “Smart.”

Then we looked at the next picture and mom decided to nestle her coffee cup in her hands. This time Gramma Marian was knitting with two knitting needles. The word balloon coming out of mom said, “This time, with the kids…our relationship is so different!” My daughter said, “Because she is knitting and not lecturing?” I said, “Exactly.” My daughter said, “Why do kids stop a lecture?” I said, “We’ll find out in the next picture.”

Sure enough, in the next picture, mom had put down the coffee cup and started playing with Gramma Marian’s knitting. Gramma Marian was back to one knitting needle again. The word balloon coming out of her mouth said, “Maybe that’s because alone—you’re my daughter…” My daughter said, “What is Gramma Elly doing?” I said, “I think she must be picking bugs out of Gramma Marian’s knitting.” My daughter said, “You don’t know about knitting, do you daddy?” I said, “And I never will, unless I write a book about it. Then I will be an expert.”

In the next picture mom was looking up at Gramma Marian, and she folded her arms across her knitting and her two knitting needles. The word balloon coming out of Gramma Marian said, “But with the kids---we’re both moms.” I said, “You see, daughter. This is the basic premise of being an adult Patterson: You must have kids and the kids must be with you.” My daughter said, “You mean if Gramma Elly didn’t have kids, then Gramma Marian could spank her or make her go to her room or not let her use the phone?” I said, “Exactly right. If you don’t have kids with you, you are just a kid yourself, and your parents can treat you just like you were a naughty little 5-year-old.” My daughter said, “Gramma Elly didn’t go to see Gramma Marian by herself, did she?” I said, “No, daughter. She didn’t. Did you ever wonder why it is that my mom hardly visits my Grandpa Jim in his apartment?” My daughter nodded. I said, “That’s the reason.” My daughter said, “Daddy. I thought it was because we don’t like old people.” I said, “No daughter. The ways of the Richards and Pattersons may seem harsh and cruel to some; but to others, it is a way of life filled with untold riches. Imagine if most people thought you had to visit a smelly, old man, who said bad words all the time, just because you were his only daughter and you lived in the same town he did. With the Patterson way, you can say you are avoiding visiting your father, because a visit gives him the right to treat you like a kid. And who wants that?” My daughter said, “Not me.” I said, “Exactly.”

More tomorrow, formerly little sis. I think I will talk about a fateful wrestling match between my sister and me and Grandpa Jim.

Michael Patterson
Well, I doubt Gramps has the physical strength to spank Mom, now, Mike. And with the aphasia, he can't lecture. I dunno, I think most ppl wd find Mom's xxcuse 4 staying away so much 2 B pretty lame!

Oh, ppl, guess what Mom just dumped on me this morning? Sumtyme tomorrow, Mike an' Dee R leaving 4 a vacation. They'll B gone till Sunday. Mom told them it was high time they started taking Mexico vacations, w/out their kids. And guess who's gonna B watching the kiddles while they R away? Me, that's who. Not only that, but Mom sez that it'll B MY job 2 go thru the foto albums w/Merrie. Mom AND Mike will B leaving me notes. Well, unless there's a sudden memo from Corbeil saying it's time 2 switch over 2 discussing Liz and Anthony, but I don't think we get 2 do that until @least Monday.


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  • At 8:21 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    That seems to be an odd yardstick to measure your fellows at that, especially when you consider that means Gordon made the grade as an adult before Mike did. As for Liz, she'll still be a provisional adult according to the Orthodox Way of Pattersons until she has a child of her own. Raising someone else's child just won't cut it with Jim and we all know it.

  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike wd prolly just say that his being a patterson trumps gordon becoming a parent 1st. mike thinking, u know?


  • At 1:46 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    That sounds about right, doesn't it? Since he's too big a deal to motice what's going on around him or admit that his ideas are nonsense, he'd think that doing what any animal can do and create offspring is the only thing of significance that's happened since he was born. That first occasion, of course, trumps everything that's happened since the Big Bang.

  • At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Today going over mom's old photos with my daughter I covered the reason grampas exist. You see, April, when mom and I and Elizabeth took that trip to Vancouver all those years ago, one of things which was drilled into my head was, “When you see Grampa Jim, be sure to jump on him and torment him. That’s what Grampas are for!” My daughter said, “I never do that with Grampa John or with Grampa Wilf. I miss Grampa Wilf.” I said, “As I have told you before, daughter, now we live in Milborough we will probably never see Grampa Wilf again.” My daughter said, “Why not?’ I said, “Because he’s married to Gramma Mira. Now let me show you the pictures.”

    The first picture showed a marvel of coordination. I leapt onto Grampa Jim’s lap, which was normally one of his favourite things for me to do; but not when Elizabeth was right on top of me to grab his nose. You may think it’s an easy thing to leap on a lap with your baby sister on your back, but it’s not. It requires planning and precise timing. Grampa Jim had a book out, preparing for us to come to his lap to read. Little did he suspect what we had planned in terms of a frontal assault. It worked perfectly, and Elizabeth even threw in a “Ga-Ga!” as she grabbed Grampa Jim’s nose. Mom was in the picture too. I think she might have been trying to stop us, but she got her right arm confused with her left arm, as you can tell in the picture from the fact her right hand is the closest to the photographer, when it should be her left. My daughter was impressed. She said, “Can Robin and I do that with Grampa John?” I said, “Certainly. Whenever dad is in a chair getting ready to read you a book, then go for it.” My daughter said, “Oh, well. Grampa John never sits in a chair to read us a book.”

    In the next picture mom is pulling me off Grampa Jim as I was trying to check his belly for internal injuries. The word balloon in front of her says, “Stop it, you two! You’ve been tormenting and jumping on Grampa all day!” My daughter said, “Grampa Jim looks funny. His nose shines like Rudolph.” I said, “You’re right, daughter. And he wasn’t even drinking that day.” My daughter said, “Rudolph doesn’t drink.” I said, “I mean Grampa Jim.” My daughter said, “Why is his nose all shiny?” I said, “I believe Elizabeth broke it, if I remember correctly; but Grampa Jim refused to go to a doctor until after we left.” My daughter said, “Is that why you stopped tormenting and jumping on Grampa Jim?” I said, “No. But it is why Grampa Jim stopped sitting to read us books.”

    In the next picture, mom has Elizabeth in one arm, while she has me by her right arm, but her left hand. I don’t know why mom’s thumb moving from one side of her hand to the other didn’t bother me more in those days. It bothers me now. In the background is Grampa Jim trying to go into the fetal position from all the pain. The word balloon in my mouth is my complaint, “But, Mom! –That’s what grampas are for!” My mom has a startled look on her face, and this is what she told me, because she was remembering times with her grampa. I guess she didn’t realize how brutal Elizabeth and I were. I think all told, Elizabeth broke his nose, I cracked one of his ribs, and he had some kind of head injury; but I forget which one of us did that. Probably Elizabeth. My daughter said, “Why did you say that’s what Grampas are for!” I said, “That’s what I thought before I learned it takes months for a grampa’s cracked ribs to heal, and no grandkid wants to see his grampa whimper when you go to hug him.” My daughter said, “I like that. That sounds funny.” I said, “Maybe you should go and visit dad then.”

    I am off to my Mexican vacation, sans rugrats. I think I will spend the whole time sequestered in my room working on my latest novel Breaking the Windjammer, since I have gotten no writing done ever since I started going over the photo albums. Thanks for agreeing to take over the kids and the photography coverage with my daughter, while I am gone, formerly little sis.

    Michael Patterson


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