When my children were still in school, they used to visit their grandparents on school holidays. I would drive halfway to Pensacola to meet my mother and place my children in her care. The first few days seemed like bliss and then the house gradually seemed way too quiet. By the time I would pick up my children, I was more than ready to have them come home again.
My mother was always rather rigid while I was growing up and had a very diplomatic way of handling punishment. If the guilty party didn't confess the first time when we were asked "who did it?", we all suffered the consequences. As I grew older and eventually became a parent myself, the woman who raised me seemed to change. Had I broken her spirit? Possibly! But each time my children would rave on about the fun-loving person who they perceived their grandmother to be, I knew it wasn't the same person who raised me. My mother was proof that aliens do exist! Ask anyone from my old neighborhood! They knew Rosalie Goggins was a force to be reckoned with.
Each time my children would go for a visit, it took weeks before I could straighten them out. My mother waited on them hand and foot and made them do nothing but fun things while they visited her. When they came home sassy and quite lazy, I would want to pull my hair out. One time while driving home, my children seemed quite mesmerized by the joke book one of them had gotten while in Pensacola. One of the visiting rituals was to take my three children (her angelic grandchildren) to Hawsey's, a used bookstore and let them each purchase a paper bag full of books to read.
Since they were quiet on our trip home and this was an oddity, I tried to engage them in conversation only to be told they were reading jokes. That explained the occasional chuckle I heard from the backseat. I asked them to read aloud some of the jokes. My youngest child, Matthew spoke up and said he would read one. Although he was only 7 at the time, his reading skills were quite advanced for someone his age. As Matthew read, I almost drove off the road.
Whats' the definition of "confusion"?
Twenty blind lesbians in a fish market!
What? Now, with glee they started reading more jokes from the book until I asked them where they got the book. In unison...HAWSEY'S! And your grandmother let you buy that? Well, she never screened the books that were bought, so the book titled Truly Tasteless Jokes was easily purchased by my son, Daniel (age 9). When they all went on to recite the dirty little ditties my mother had taught them I knew she had lost her mind or maybe the rules that apply to being a parent were different from those being a grandparent. It definitely was a gotcha moment lovingly given to me by my mother. To this day, my mother just smiles innocently when this story is told.
A flock of birds
Chocked full of tirds
Flew over my father's castle
They stretched their necks
And shit a peck
Then closed up their assholes.
Gratitude statement: I'm thankful I don't live in a castle near a fish market.