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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 9


Dee's grandchildren, Elsa and Randy were so jealous of each other. When they were together there was a need to keep close by in order to referee.

No one but Dee was home that day and it was a bit of a trial to keep the peace.  She was knee deep in the noon meal preparation but this didn't stop the fighting and bickering. The children  became more and more embroiled in their private war.

Bang, bang slammed the back screen door.  She knew it was Elsa to complain about Randy's calling her a name. Along with the three R's he had learned something else at school.

“Gramma!  Gramma!  Randy called me a boo boo head!”

“Oh dear.  Ask him to please,  not  call you that, although I don't think it means anything. Just something he made up.”

Elsa  slammed back out the door and Dee heard her say, “Gramma said you better not call me that again.”

Under her breath Dee muttered.  “Not exactly the advice I gave!  Let's see where was I?  Oh yes, slicing the tomatoes.”

In what seemed like less than five minutes Elsa was back through the slamming screen door.  “Again, with the door!”  Dee noted.

“Gramma!  Gramma!  Randy called me a cyclops!”

“Cyclops?  Where did he hear cyclops?”  Dee thought out loud.  Elsa go back out and ask him what is a cyclops?”

Elsa   was out through that same door and Dee heard her say, “Gramma said you better not call me that again!”

“Oh well.”  Dee muttered.  “I think I was mashing the potatoes.”

Again came the banging of the back door.  “Gramma!  Gramma!  Randy called me.............”

Dee caught her in mid sentence.  “Elsa, I need help here.  Grab those glasses out of the dishwasher. They were never put away but at least they are clean.  Here, you can finish mashing these potatoes.”

Elsa   was glad to get the opportunity to plop around in the mashed potatoes and she was temporarily distracted.

Somehow, it always seemed a miracle to see the children sitting around the table with shiny clean faces and hands. Elsa was the mistress of reading. This year she had won two awards. One for reading one hundred and twenty-five books and one for top grades. With this new skill she was reading a story to the children.  With grown up decision making she had chosen a Mother Goose rhyming book.

After the meal was mostly finished Dee felt it was the time to speak to Randy about this newly learned name calling  he was practising.

“Randy, I know you have just learned this fascinating new thing of name calling.”

Something in his conscience told him it was wrong and he was quietly looking toward his Gramma Dee.

“You know we do have to think about some things.  Let's say you are all grown-up. Can you picture this.  Say you are all grown-up.  Maybe you have studied hard at school and you are a doctor or a lawyer.  You are sitting behind your desk waiting for your next patient or client.  When they come in and sit down what if you say, “Hi there!  Boo-boo head!” “What do you think will happen?”

Randy was very quietly listening, but could not decide on an answer. The silence of the room was golden. If it had been something they tried to achieve it would not have been this perfect.

“Do you have any ideas about it?”  Dee pressed the issue.  Still there was silence but this time Elsa in her grown up newly achieved reasoning ability piped up.

“I know what will happen!”  Elsa  was knowledgeable.   “Randy, you will loose all your money.”

This wasn't exactly the answer Dee was trying to pull out of Randy, but it  seemed to make more of an impact on the child. He rolled his eyes around and suddenly had an alert look to his half grin. The grandmother realized the acumen of these space age children and,  although,  she had no way to identify with them what did it matter?  The point had been made, and taken.  From that day forward there was a total end to the name calling problem.


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