After 84 years of life, Grandpa has finally achieved the emotional maturity of an average seven-year-old, and we’re throwing a party to celebrate.
I’m sure you all remember some of the fearsome tantrums Grandpa threw during his terrible eighty-twos, like the time he saw a vegan cupcake shop or the great Happy Holidays incident of 2018 that got the family permanently banned from TGI Friday’s.
But Grandpa has been working very hard to learn to use his words to express himself when he sees something uncomfortable or confusing. Now when somebody claims that black lives matter, he doesn’t do that AEUWNNGH screaming grunt thing that always makes little Jason cry. Instead, he’s learned to close his eyes and quietly recite some of the slogans he heard from Sean Hannity until he is able to regulate his heart rate and speak normally again. We’re very proud of this development, and we tell him so every day.
He acted out a lot when we first started taking him to the senior center, screaming about what ungrateful children we are and saying the activity coordinators are “dirty illegals who want to steal my socks.” But the caregivers tell me that he has since adapted well, and now he spends most afternoons happily complaining about participation medals with the other boys and making effigies of Jane Fonda in arts and crafts. He’s brought home so many ripped, blood-stained collages that our refrigerator looks like the set of Klute!
We’re very grateful that Grandpa has learned to help with the dishes, and to put his soiled clothing neatly into the hamper. Just the other week, he even made his own sandwich! I had to spend an hour scrubbing the mayonnaise he spilled out of the carpet, and the relish did some horrible things to our cat, but all the books say we need to stay patient and calm and build his self-esteem by celebrating every little bit of progress he makes.
One especially pleasing development is how Grandpa has started taking responsibility for his actions. A few days ago he knocked over an 80-bin organizer full of assorted screws and bolts, and he didn’t blame government overregulation once. Instead, he just yelled for me to sweep them up and spend two hours organizing them by diameter, length, material, finish, intended application, head shape, and thread type. And after he crashed my minivan into the heritage locust tree in front of City Hall, he only had to shout at me for six hours before he agreed it might be for the best for him to give up driving.
The party should be lots of fun. We’ve rented four lanes at Grandpa’s favorite place, Hair Trigger Harry’s Gun Range and Patriot Center, for a target-shooting competition. As a special treat, we’ve ordered the Hillary Clinton targets he’s always wanted. He’s going to be the most popular grandpa there!
If you need a quick change of subject, you can comment on Grandpa’s new ponytail. He recently grew it to show that he considers himself a sovereign citizen not subject to the laws of our nation. All of the books tell me that increased expressions of individualism like this are completely normal for people with the emotional maturity of a seven-year-old and not something to be terrified of.
We hope to see you there!
P.S. Oh dear. We’ve just had a bit of a setback. Grandpa managed to sneak his way onto the internet, and he’s spent the past two hours on the porch shouting “Where we go one we go all!” at passing trucks and squirrels. We’re going to have to postpone the party until we can get this under control.
With any luck, he’ll be dead by next Thanksgiving, because I can’t do this much longer.