16 May 2007

The Grandpa Gene

I have made an important discovery in the field of genetics recently, and wanted to share with the world.

The trouble is, this gene does not get passed on from parent to child, as with most genetic exchanges, but rather from infant to grandparent.

An ordinary, everyday man can hold their first grandchild, and the genetic exchange has immediately taken place. This ordinary man undergoes a genetic mutation, through which he loses all memory of past experience, and is converted into a instant pacifist / apologist.

I began to suspect my father had undergone such a transformation a few years back when one of my siblings (for the sake of time and sanity, I'll refrain from trying to explain the logistics of how they're related to me) had a child, and he became a grandpa for the first time.

Small things began to change. Suddenly, he became rather kind-hearted toward others and less upset (but not to where he never does) by the small things in life.

But it was not until we became foster parents that the truth behind the mutation had come forth. For months, he has spoken with me about the way in which we attempt to mold the young child's (not the infant) behavior through corrective techniques, claiming that all kids are like her.

The final piece of evidence in the puzzle, however, was the other day, when he made a statement about how "all kids are like that. You were a kid once, too, you know."

I call bulls---.

One must realize, when I was a child (perhaps a little older, but not by much), that my behavior had to be top notch. If I backtalked, ignored, or disobeyed instructions by either of my parents, woe to my backside...spankings were threatened, and then carried out (sometimes with a belt). There was no way I would stomp through the house in anger (at least not until I was a teenager, which is a separate post entirely). And if even a hint of a raised voice was in the air, I knew enough to stop what I might be doing and figure out how I needed to correct my behavior.

Of course, with foster care regulations the way they are, spankings are not an option, so other negative consequences have to be enacted (timeouts, removal of toys, removal of priveleges, etc.). One thing I do know is that with spankings, I had a lot of disincentive for misbehavior.

At least I knew (learned) enough to try and misbehave when:
a) my parents weren't around,
b) there was no way of them knowing what I'd done, and
c) there would be no physical evidence that my brother and I had whooped the s--- out of each other.

But when I hear my father try to gloss over my childhood behavior (and punishments in particular), it confirms my fears that he has been genetically mutated by

The Grandpa Gene