Posted by: jility | August 2, 2011

Not Fwushie! FWUSHIE!!!

 Parenting should come with a manual that outlines how to get it right as well as the pitfalls of getting it wrong. It should also have a flowchart to help you make decisions based on the behavior/response/age of the child. By the time many of us have it figured out, our kids are long grown and complaining to their friends and/or therapists about all the mistakes their parents made raising them.

Parenting is a tricky thing, especially when you were raised by wolves as I was. One parent didn’t speak much (but I adored him) and the other one spoke with her fist. It was a run, duck and cover childhood and I was not, nor am I now, somebody who backs down from confrontation which, of course, made it a lot worse.

Anyway, by the time many parents figure out they sucked, their kids usually have teenage kids of their own and are thinking their parents might not have been so bad after all. The parents are apologizing to their kids for being crappy parents and the kids are apologizing to their parents for being crappy kids. The timing on the whole thing REALLY stinks!

Some people are born into idyllic families. Those lucky ones are rare but worth studying when you see them! They know what to say in every situation and how to parent without raising their voice or making the kids feel like shit. Their kids respond accordingly and everyone lives happily ever after. There are no guilt trips or blame or anger. There is only joy and happiness; roses and waterfalls; love and peace…


Grandparenting is a whole nutha story!

Baby Julia on the left and Sicily on the right sporting their painted faces and stuffed "quarum" toys

These beautiful, perfect, joy filled, loving, Gramma and Grampa can do no wrong, bundles of joy are nothing short of amazing! They run to greet their Gramma and Grampa with open arms. They love everything you do for them and behave like perfect angels! There is no need for reprimanding or scolding or anything else negative! It is all light and happiness with them.

Then, if things even hint of sliding south, they go home!

It just doesn’t get any better than that!

We are blessed with quite a few incredibly wonderful grandchildren. The youngest live here in Washington so we get to spend quite a bit of time with them in the summer and fall. The oldest of the two, Sicily is 9 and the youngest, Baby Julia (or “JUST JULIA” as she reminds us) is about to turn 7 in a couple of weeks. They are the joy of my life and make me smile whenever they are near.

Yesterday, Sir Cussalot and I took them on a trip to Seattle, 2 hours to the north of us. We left at nine in the morning and got home about five in the evening. We started out at the aquarium, then went on the Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe where they have mummies and mermaids and two headed calves and all kinds of wonderfully ridiculous things and finally to our favorite vegan Thai place, Araya’s for all-you-can-eat vegan buffet for $7.95.

It was a most excellent day. Seeing the wonder on their faces as they saw otters and seals up close and personal for the first time was priceless. They fed sea urchins and stroked star fish. They wanted to see great white sharks but all they had there were small, lame two footers.

Sir C mumbles something fierce. He has a big fat moustache which makes it even more difficult to understand him. He tells me I can’t understand him because I have old ears that can’t hear shit! I tell him that NOBODY can understand him to which he responds with unprintable words strung together in very creative ways.

So yesterday, Sicily asked him a question. Just as he was about to answer, she says, “AND DON’T MUMBLE GRAMPA! I can’t understand a word you say most of the time because you mumble so bad!”

I thought I would fall out of the car laughing! It was PERFECT! I think it even got a smile from Sir C.

The girls have gotten to know him a little better lately helping him play Angry Birds on the computer so they are becoming more comfortable around him. They used to be a wee bit scared of him. I asked them why and they said because he mumbles and never smiles. Well, can’t argue with THAT!

SIr Smilesalot

Last month I went away for a week to a seminar in Northern California. While I was packing, the little one said, “Gramma: Grampa is happy you are going away you know.” I smiled and asked how she knew that.

 “Because he smiles when you talk about leaving and Grampa never smiles.”


At the "Quarum."

I love some of the things these girls come up with. I giggle inside every time the little one leaves off the first (or several) letters in a word and how she fuses other words together to make her very own words. They make perfect sense most of the time too. As a parent, I would have corrected those mistakes. As a Gramma, however, I just smile and enjoy them. For instance, “afore” takes the place of “before” and “quarum” instead of aquarium and, for the blended words, “versited” has replaced “very excited” and so on.

My favorite mispronunciation happened a couple of years ago. Julia, then about four, was unable to pronounce the C or the R in Crushie so she called her Fwushie. It stuck and we all began to call Crush Fwushie. Julia would listen for just so long before she could no longer stand our ridiculous mispronunciation. She would put her little hands on her hips, jerk her shoulders up and down and yell in the most disgusted voice she could muster, “Not Fwushie! FWUSHIE!!!” emphasizing the second Fwushie as strongly as she could to make sure we got it right. The whole thing was reminiscent of the old Get Smart shows and the bit with THE CRAW! “Not the Craw! THE CRAW!!!”

Around that same time, Julia had entered preschool. When asked her name by the teacher, she replied, “Baby Julia.” The teacher told her she was in school now so perhaps it was time to drop the “baby” portion of her name. The next time I referred to her as “Baby” Julia, she snapped, “I am NOT Baby Julia Teacher says I am JUST JULIA!”

Well, being a relentless teaser, of course I started calling her “Just Julia” because I knew what was coming next. “Not JUST JULIA GRAMMA! JUST JULIA!” We had fun with that until she no longer reacted to us calling her “Just Julia” and soon her name became, as she wished, just Julia.

Sicily, who is nine going on fifty-nine in the wisdom department, reminded us at lunch yesterday that we shouldn’t tease Julia. “But it is so much fun,” we responded! To which she replied, “But it might not be so much fun for the one being teased.” Well, that took all the fun right out of it!

Having grandkids rocks. It will be no time at all before they have kids of their own to tease. I hope we are still around to see that.

Riding the Orca fin!


  1. […] to think I had only been worried about Godzilla…Practice, practice, perfection….for nothingNot Fwushie! FWUSHIE!!!BBC: Amy Winehouse found deadGo ahead, rub it in… to hair.And how is your summer going so far?The […]

  2. I was really looking forward to seeing hem this year. They have always been one of the biggest highlights of Poodlepalooza. I was looking forward to their interaction with Dori, as she LOVES kids.
    They are two of the coolest little girls I’ve ever met. Wish I’d known they were up here, I would have loved to see them. Thanks for sharing the stories and photo’s.
    Glad you are well.

  3. pretty amazing, eh? and an endless source of amusement as well. can’t ask for better.

    my 4&1/2 yr. old step grandson LOVES agility. he lives in the netherlands and has never seen it in person, but the whole time i visited he’d ask repeatedly to watch agility videos on youtube, they never ceased to amaze him, lolol. kid after my own heart. next time i visit i’m taking him to a trial.

  4. I hope you are too!

  5. Cool! Very cool. I do better with my baby grandaughter than the grandson, probably because she is only a year old and he is 5. I keep hoping I will still be around and active when Jack gets to the fun age where we can train dogs!!

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