The Spoiler


The Spoiler

I have felt this way for years – at least since we had children of our own; it has only gotten worse since the grandchildren came along.  Now it seems to have reached a new peak with the youngest grandchildren – Molly, aged 30 months and Danny, aged 6 months, since it appears that they are likely the last little ones – at least until the great grandchildren come along.  I’m sure my wife feels the pressure.

It was confirmed today as preparations for Christmas in our household has hit full throttle.  Last weekend my wife made one of her seasonal treats, so she could bring some along to a holiday party that a neighbor was throwing.  She makes three kinds of flavored nuts: candied pecans and cashews, spiced pecans, and spicey pistachios.  Wanting to help, I dutifully shelled a large bag of pistachios.  After taking some of each out for the party, the rest were put in storage tins and stacked up on the kitchen window seat.  I was reminded that these were for Christmas and cautioned against further taste-testing.

The next evening, craving a salty snack, I filled a little glass dish with some of the leftover cashews.  My wife’s eyes were on me as I passed her on my way to my recliner.  “If you eat those cashews now, there won’t be any left for me to make the chocolate covered ones with.”  There it was – guilt complex. 

Today, my daughter Elizabeth came over with the two aforementioned youngest grandchildren to help bake cutout cookies.  As many of the older grandchildren that can make it will be coming on Saturday morning to decorate them.  Grandma had already mixed the dough, so all they had to do was roll it out and use the cookie cutters, so that all the necessary shapes (stars, trees, angels, Santas, candles, snowflakes, gingerbread men, and candy canes) were all well-represented.

Molly burst into the kitchen with excitement, spied the decorative tins of flavored nuts on the window seat, and promptly tried to climb up so she could check them out.  Grandma sat down beside her, popped the lids off of each tin, and let Molly sample as many nuts as her little fist could hold.  Grandma didn’t caution Molly that the nuts were for Christmas.  In fact, she even brought a little bowl over so Molly could sample every kind, and even put some extra pistachios in to aid with some counting practice.

The cookie bakers took a break for lunch.  A bowl of black olives was set on the table.  Molly asked for them.  Grandma quickly obliged and reminded her to “eat them like Grandma taught you.”  Molly promptly grabbed an olive, fixed it onto the tip of her pointer finger, and stuffed it in her mouth.  Hmmmm.  Molly reached over, fixed an olive to the end of Grandma’s finger. They both laughed when Grandma popped it in her mouth.  This was clearly not the first time they shared olives this way.  Who knew?  Not me.  I’m just the grandpa.

All this has left me quite conflicted.  It doesn’t seem right to be jealous of a grandchild.  Inside, I feel a bit like the two grumpy old men puppets that used to sit in the balcony and complain on the old Muppets television show.  I think I would be good at that.  Deep down I don’t want her to stop this spoiling of children.  After all, she clearly stated her intentions years ago when she bought the sign that denotes her kitchen as the “Grandma spoiling zone.”  No, I don’t want her to stop – I just want her to make sure that she remembers to spoil ALL the children, especially the old ones.  That only seems fair.

His Peace <><

Deacon Dan