Grandparents (affectionately referred to as 'the Elderlies') have a tendency to believe that grandchildren are always 8 years old and never grow any older. This leads to the belief that zoos, pantomines and trips to feed the ducks will always fascinate. Hmm. The unfortunate thing for the Elderlies is that reality hits them hard when the grandchildren come to stay and what arrives is a surly, uncommunicative, teenage angst ridden individual with odd clothes and an even odder manner.
So, when we pitched up at the grandparents for a long stay this summer, I thought it best to prepare them in advance with a 'few rules to live by' when dealing with the older grandchild.
1. The grandchild, hereafter known as 'the evil one', communicates only through the interpreter (the mother).
2. Under no circumstances should you try to communicate with the evil one in the morning. The evil one doesn't do mornings.
3. Any communication with the evil one will illicit a response of 'uh' or if you are lucky: 'whatever'. This does not represent any failing on your part, nor indicate a lack of affection toward you.
4. Anything that you suggest doing, eating or wearing will be ignored or will illicit a response of 'no way'. Best to keep your ideas to yourself.
5. You should remember at all times that you know nothing: never have and never will.
6. Watching television all day long is normal behaviour for the evil one. Any attempt to break said routine will result in heavy sighing, stamping of feet and a retreat to the evil one's lair: the bedroom.
7. The evil one has selected hearing (if the grandchild is male then this extends into adulthood). All instructions or important information must be conveyed several times, preferably in writing.
8. An Ipod, attached to the ears by earphones at all times, is standard attire for the evil one.
9. Common vocabulary used by the evil one is translated as follows: Random (this means 'startling'), standard (again, an expression of surprise), Whatever (this reponse is used for pretty much everything), awesome ( an adjective describing anything good, this will, of course, never be used in reference to the elderlies, the mother, or any other member of the immediate family).
10. And lastly for your own personal safety, or to make sure that you don't wake tomorrow morning with your eyebrows shaved off, the evil one goes to bed when she/he decides, not when you decide.
Following these simple rules will enable you to continue to enjoy the company of your grandchild. Have fun!