December 30, 2012. — I suspect this will be the last of the series about raising my daughter. I will use this to talk about home life, her dating, and any other random story that may embarrass her even a little. As much as I am writing this for my enjoyment, and your amusement, please remember that the underlining reason is to give my granddaughter fuel, to give her the ability to say (long after I am gone “but Grandpa told me this in his blog,” and to share with her stories I won’t be here in person to tell.
Allison is a good, a very good daughter. And she has been a source of joy since her birth. She has also been a source of amusement, a pain in the butt, and some grief. Not always in small dosages, but rarely in overwhelmingly large dosages. I suspect this can be said for just about any kid in 99 percent of families. It’s all part of the event, the process, the changing environment of raising a kid.
My reflections will be quite random and not in order of their occurrence.
For years and years coke had been the drink of choice in the household, but times change and attitudes change, and sometimes habits change as a result. Coke moved out of favor, the sugar, the caffeine, the calories all played a part. My wife started drinking diet caffeine free coke (which I can’t help but feel is dark unflavored water), but because it was a healthier choice, it mandated that Allison also drink diet caffeine free coke. I was allowed to continue to drink the real stuff because I am a lost cause, and hard-headed. But Allison was pushed towards diet coke. Allison claimed to be okay with this, and took to the new drink, while in the presence of her parents all she drank was diet coke. But, ……. As Paul Harvey would say, “Now for the rest of the story.” Allison was drinking Coke on the sly, and it could have been years before she was caught, but like most criminals (I say this with a smile on my face, because I am joking, she isn’t a criminal) she is dumb. When she drank a coke, she would slide the empty can under the couch, or the bed, or even a chair. I suspect she did this for 1 of 2 reasons; 1 she heard footsteps and wanted to hide the evidence, or 2 she was too lazy to throw the can away. She could have also thought her parents would never look under something, but even as a kid she wasn’t that dumb (I hope) anyway she was caught, after a stern lecture, she said she would “Never” do it again. Steph and I also rolled over a bit and allowed for her to have “X” amount of cokes a week. But I also, clearly remember telling her in front of her Mom, that no matter what the empty cans did not go under furniture they when in the trash can, and had she been smart enough to just discard the incriminating cans, in the 1st place, she would never been caught. She agreed to the new rule and said she would only have the allowed amount of cokes during the given period. But memories are short; it wasn’t long before I began to find coke cans under the furniture again. After another stern lecture, (me screaming I am sure) we were again assured that she wouldn’t drink the unauthorized cokes, and promised again to not put them under the furniture. Our daughter is now 33 years old, she lives with her daughter and husband, and I would be willing to bet that if I walked into her home unannounced that I could find a coke can under the furniture someplace in her home. Heck it wasn’t that long ago that I found a coke can under the sofa in our home here in Florida.
Let me spend a little time talking about dating. Allison is a very lovely woman, and when she was a kid she was knock down gorgeous. And for whatever reasons she didn’t seem to date a lot. She hung with her group of friends most weekends. That group was 6 or 8 teenagers, boys and girls that hadn’t paired off. They went everywhere together in mass, the movies, the junk food places, high school sporting events, and on and on. I knew most of the kids in the group and they were all good kids, I liked some more than others, but that was to be expected, I was a dad. I remember Allison having only 3 boyfriends during her high school years. It could have been significantly more but I suspect not, but in some areas I am clueless, and want to remain that way and this might be one of those areas. And just like her boyfriends, I don’t remember a lot of her dates, being honest I don’t remember any LOL LOL. I do remember her kissing me good night when she got home, as proof that she didn’t break curfew. Also, I know Allison and I didn’t have a lot of conversations about boys. I suspect those conversations were reserved for talks with mom. And being quite frank I am happy with that. I do remember telling Allison one time to never describe a boyfriend or potential boyfriend as “Dad, he is just like you were at this age.” I will swear on any stack of bibles that is the last thing I wanted to hear. I knew what I was like as a kid, and I knew then why Dad’s didn’t care much for me. I remember I met each of the guys she dated. I remember they had to come to the door, and that I wasn’t tolerant of her missing her curfew. I do wish I had paid more attention, but I also suspect that Allison is even happier that I didn’t. I do kinda remember talking to why her “boyfriend” never came to our house to visit. Allison replied because I had been known to intimidate the guys. I also kinda remember a smug smile, thinking my work here is done.
As everyone knows doing laundry is a PIA, on a scale it has been at least a 9 on the PIA scale. But it is a chore that must be done. The whites need to be washed with other whites, the darks with other darks, or you end up with a bunch of grays. One of Allison’s chores was “helping with the laundry.” She wasn’t expected to do it all herself, she wasn’t expected to fold it all by herself, and put it away. If those had been the expectations, then we would have always had a house full of dirty cloths. I don’t know why, but even when Allison was an early teen she hated doing laundry, she hated it with a passion. And even today it is still her single least favorite chore. We lived in a 3 story home during her growing up years, the laundry was in the basement, and we all slept on the third floor. Cloths were brought down, cleaned, folded, and carried back upstairs and sometimes put away. I say sometimes because unless Steph or I watched Allison put it away it was usually dumped on the bed, on the bookcase, on the dress drawer, or on the floor of the closet. I will not go into the amount of conflict the simple process of doing the laundry caused the family, I won’t speak of the times I screamed about it, I won’t address how I wanted to rub her nose in her dirty clothes from time to time, I won’t talk about the times her mom got so upset she dumped all of Allison’s stuff in the middle of the room and would not leave the room until Allison manage to “neatly” put it away, nor will I admit to finally giving up, and just telling her to do her own damn laundry.
One more brief (I don’t use brief often) story and I will stop bending your ear bragging about my daughter. Not to say, that she won’t be mentioned again and again throughout my writing, both in a good light and bad light.
I call this “Not Me.” One time an incident occurred in our home, I don’t remember what happened; I don’t remember how old Allison was at the time. And I don’t remember the final outcome of the incident. I do remember quite clearly standing over Allison (so she had to be young) and asking her why she did this thing (whatever this thing was). She looked up at me with those big beautiful eyes and said “Not Me.” I don’t know why I had expected a different answer, but I did. I looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Allison if you didn’t do it, and I know I didn’t do it, that means your mom did it, cause we are the only ones living in this house.” Continuing and reaching for her hand “so let’s you and I go and ask your Mom why she did it.” After seeing the look on Allison’s face, and actually watching the gears work in her head, I don’t remember much else about this story. I do know we didn’t confront mom, but I know that it was settled between Allison and I without Mom’s involvement. Over the years I have shared the “Not Me” story to just about anyone that would allow me to. Smiling, by reading this you also allowed me to share it. Thank you.
As I said at the beginning this will be the final part of the Raising Allison saga. I hope you have enjoyed reading about it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my post. As always your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Again thanks – Bill