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Jonny, Jonny
Notes on Substitute Grand Parenting: Part 1

Megan and her daughter and granddaughter Emma, live in a mid-income apartment with other folk in exile from the Baltimore war zone. In many ways this 95% Caucasian habitation brings back notions of my boyhood, except for the fact that there are so few boys among the children, and that among the children ebony martyrs run to 30%, which means that mob violence is only 10 years away.

Emma has just turned two years old. For the three years I have known her father, he has been in drug rehab for 28 months. He is mostly absent, and with his propensity for getting a hold of a car on the pretext of driving his son [he has a neglected 7-year-old son by another woman] somewhere and then having the child do a ride-along on a drug deal, I am sometimes called upon to be present when he is known to be AWOL from rehab or released from lockup. Both of Emma’s grandfathers are passed and her other grandmother is a junky.

On arrival yesterday in this apartment I was greeted with the widest of innocent smiles from Emma and once again rejected the doctrine of Original Sin I was taught at Immaculate Heart of Mary church. Admittedly, Emma is my chief reason for visiting. She has captured my heart where my own granddaughter runs and hides at my approach. Where my own grandson now avoids me like the plague, as I bring with me notions of mechanical play that threaten his immersion in video games, Emma wants to play and learn about the real world.

Seeing my cane she gets her wand and wished to walk around with me, using her pink princess wand as a cane as she groans softly, “Me so old.”

Seeing me in sunglasses, she says, “Oh” and runs to the light beaming in the window and screams softly at it like it is a monster and swoons, and begs, “Rampa” [I have been promoted from Uncle Beast to Rampa Yim] Yim, me eyes,” pointing to her own sunglasses on the dresser. I grab them like a life-saving antidote and she puts them on, white starburst frames, becoming remarkably healed from the light attack.

Seeing me take off my sunglasses and pocket them she mimes for me to provide her with a pocket in my jacket for her glasses and wonders where my friend [Mescaline Franklin] is.

After I tell her we will be turkey vulture hunting as soon as we find a vulture stick she runs and finds a comb to brush her mop of hair, reminding me, as she pats her head and looks at my bald dome, that I need no such preparation.

Then Emma begins leading me in a song, far outside my skill set and as I stall dumbly and she looked up at me with coy pity and says, “No sing? Poor Rampa Yim.”

Megan then joined Emma in the performance of one of the songs she has taught her granddaughter, a duet, which they repeated often enough for me to record:

“Jonny, Jonny?

Yes, Papa?

Eating sugar?

No, Papa!

Telling lies?

No, Papa!

Open the mouth!

Ah, ah, ah!”

There are other songs that Megan and Emma perform, dances as well.

Soon Emma was wondering about the Ranmpa world, where hairy white-beards walked with big sticks and took the bus with a new and fancy kind of person which Emma—having heard a brief story related to Megan by myself about a fellow patron—Christened a “pup-a-rican” proving that innocence can bring some of the best comedy to a jaded world.

Masculine Axis: A Meditation on Manhood and Heroism

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Tony CoxApril 29, 2018 10:40 PM UTC

Looking out for the youngsters, keeping them safe, and showing them the way is what makes a man a man. I don’t care how many fights you’ve won, if you’re not there for the kids, I view you as less than a man. You gotta look out for all kids, no matter if they’re yours or not.
LaManoApril 27, 2018 1:31 PM UTC

I have a two-year-old Emma of my own, as well as a few more.

They're sweet to Grandpa - they also LOVE to use their power to manipulate you with smiles, tears, whatever, to get what they want, and even though I know it's happening, I pretty much go along with it.

Anyone who doesn't believe in the "born depraved" doctrine will become a believer, however, the first time they spend a few hours managing a roomful of two and three year olds.

Every human failing, they already have. They weren't "taught" it by anyone, and the kids grew up in all sorts of different environments, so they didn't "learn by example".

All you have to do is watch one sweet, lovable two-year-old who wants a toy that's in the hands of another sweet, lovable two-year-old. First they ask, second they look around to see if they're being watched, and thirdly they will take whatever weapon is at hand, whack the other two-year-old with it, take the toy ... and then lie like a big dog when asked how they got it. "Sawa GIVE it to me, yes!"

These are kids that never saw another adult do that. They were born with it, and they have to be taught better. The fact that so many kids grow up to be little monsters is because no one ever taught them different than to take by force and lie about it ....
responds:April 28, 2018 7:45 AM UTC

Yes, even with one at a time this is obvious. Emma has a different adult control protocol for each adult in the room and plays us off against each other.

After the God Emperor's time is up America should elect a toddler as president.