Getting Turned Around

While both of my parents are easy going sorts, their parenting styles were quite different.

My mom had very elastic limits. You could push her quite a bit before she pushed back. And even then she would go out of her way to help you make a good choice and avoid getting into trouble. My dad on the other hand, although an extremely patient and quiet man, had clear limits. No meant no the first time.

Sean learned this the hard way when my parents were here visiting last month.

Wivian and Papa Ed were walking behind Sean as he screamed down the jogging trail on his red Radio Flyer tricycle. As they approached the street, my dad told Sean to stop and turn around. Being stiff-necked and headstrong like his mother, Sean decided that he’d rather go on ahead. My dad gave him one last warning to turn back, which is one more than I ever got. When Sean still refused to yield, my dad picked up his tricycle with Sean on it, still pedaling furiously like the Wicked Witch of the West, and turned him in the opposite direction. He set him firmly down and then gave his tricycle a little shove from behind with his foot for emphasis.

Sean was a bit taken aback but he got the message that Papa Ed meant business. And he hasn’t forgotten it either.

When I told Sean that Wivian would be here in a few weeks, he said, “Well tell her not to bring Papa Ed. He turned me around!”

Yes, Sean. Papa Ed turned you around. That’s what good parents do. They turn you around when you are heading for danger and get you back on the path.


32 thoughts on “Getting Turned Around

  1. I have to find more time in my life. I’ve missed reading your blog. You are good for my soul.

    This is such a great story.


  2. MEAN MEAN Papa Ed.

    I love that kids hold on to those memories forever. My 3 yr old STILL talks about the first time she heard the phrase “See ya later Alligator” which was over Christmas last year. “Remember that guy who said See ya Alligator!!? That was Silly….”



  3. Good thing Papa Ed took the initiative! During my mom’s recent visit, my daughter dumped nail polish all over the carpet. When asked WHY she would give my daughter open nail polish, my mom replied, “Because she wanted it!” This, coming from the woman who never let her kids get away with anything. I think grandparenting can make you soft. 🙂


  4. Great story! I love your parents.

    I, too, believe that lack of respect is a *HUGE* issue nowadays. Something else is selfishness; parents don’t seem to take the time to teach The Golden Rule or how to think of anyone else. If you think for a moment about all that’s wrong in the world, it can almost always be traced back to selfishness. You know?

    Anyway, I too spend a lot of time teaching respect and consideration for others to my kiddos. They probably act old-fashioned compared to most of their friends, but I don’t care!

    I wish you lived near. 🙂


  5. I LOVE it. I love how at they age, kids just say “he turned me around” without any context or background information. So many times their one line ends up being so profound. Like this. “Tell her not to bring Papa Ed” is hilarious.


  6. AM— Just a note to say LOVE.YOUR.BLOG. I’ve been reading for a while and you have brought many laughs and smiles. Thanks.


  7. Good for Grandpa Ed. I am absolute putty in the hands of my grandchildren. It can make for long days when I’m babysitting:)
    I’m such a wimp. I don’t want them to tell my husband to leave me home!!


  8. Neither my parents or AD’s parents would spank Sean, so not an issue for us. However, I have impressed upon them that they are not to allow Sean to be disrespectful to them or disobedient. I feel strongly that one of the things that is sorely lacking in our culture is respect for others, but most especially for older people. I want to change that.


  9. Papa Ed sounds like a great grandpa – kids do have to learn that not everyone is a big squishy grandma.
    Having said that, spanking is only the parents’ perogative in my house.


  10. Every kid needs special adults who will turn them around, watch where they are going, point them in the right direction, offer firm directions and not fuss around with important stuff.

    Your little boy is lucky to have grandparents who take time to watch him at living life.


  11. LOL! That was a comical visual. That sounds like something my Diminutive One would do. Your parents were obviously wonderful role models. It’s good when grandparents can recognize that pampering and spoiling are not in the best interest of their grandhcildren, no matter how beloved. Sean will come around. I bet he and Papa Ed will make-up before long.


  12. Wivian and Papa Ed obviously did a good job with you. I’m happy to see that they haven’t changed their parenting style, because as grandparents they have special license. Many parents and grandparents are allowing kids to run their own show to remain popular with the kiddies.


  13. I still can’t stop laughing over the name “Wivian”. Same here with the parenting thing, though. My dad always had very strict and rigid rules and we could always coax mom to change her mind.


  14. “Well tell her not to bring Papa Ed. He turned me around!”

    A great quote like that, first thing in the morning, tells me it’s going to be a good day. That rivals “I’m just so very hungry!”


  15. “They turn you around when you are heading for danger and get you back on the path.”

    Thank God for those kinds of parents who seem so clueless and ruling, but really are the most brilliant and loving people put into our lives.

    Love this analogy, AM. You said it quite perfectly.


  16. My girls have two sets of grandparents: my in-laws, who are gentle, adoring and permissive, and my parents, who spank. My oldest has already had her first experience with “spanking Grandma.” She is none the worse for wear, and a little better behaved.


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