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Grandpa G's Life Lessons Through Art - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Drawing a guillotine with Grandpa
Published on October 29, 2009

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For our first entry, we would like to run a favorite past post from our blog. Even though Heidi debuted this piece back in July, it seems fitting to run it again around Halloween/Day of the Dead

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love my dad with all my heart. And I also want to kill him sometimes. And I also can’t imagine what I would do without him. And I honestly can’t wrap my mind around why he does the things he does.

Case in point: Grandpa G was put in charge of watching my angelic (note sarcasm) boys one evening. My husband and I come home with our baby girl, fling open the door and prepare to hear about the latest adventures our 7- and 5-year olds have endured with Grandpa. Past adventures have included: canoeing for literally hours (note plural) on the Missouri River, hiking on trails, swimming at water parks, rough-housing on the lawn, etc. Basically, anything to get them off their TV-hypnotized butts and out of the house to explore and exercise.

So, you can imagine my surprise when my 5-year old, Austin, practically plows me over with excitement. And, before he can even get two words out of his babbling mouth, I catch a glimpse of my 7-year old, Owen, flashing his all-too-familiar devilish smile. And then there’s my dad just sitting back on the couch waiting for the exhibit to begin. What exhibit you ask? Here is the sequence of comments/events that ensued:

Austin: Mommy! Mommy! Come to our room and see what we did with Grandpa!

Me: Ok…ok…take a breath, settle down.

Owen (looking up from iCarly): Yeah, it’s cool (for the kid to take a sacred pause and utter three words to me is out of the ordinary and proves something really is up).

And, then, we open the door to find pictures drawn on construction paper and taped all over their bedroom walls. I initially thought, "How cute. They really spent quality time together and created some special memories." Then, reality sets in as I begin to look closer at the pictures. (Make sure to read the captions I inserted below every photo to truly understand my train of thought.)

Owen drew a ghostOwen drew a ghost. How funny…and surprisingly proportional. I hope the ghost won’t scare Austin when night time comes.

Oooo! A mummy!Oooo! A mummy! Good job of cutting out the arms and legs. I guess Halloween is on their minds.

Wow. This one is a classic Grandpa G drawing.Wow. This one is a classic Grandpa G drawing. Liittttttle bit creepy, Dad. Can’t you at least give the skeleton a smile when he is in the process of being tazed?

a giant getting ready to either torture or eat a small manHold up. Why did Owen feel the need to draw a giant getting ready to either torture or eat a small man? Did the giant snatch up a golfer? Is that a club in his esophagus?

tanks getting ready to shoot that guyWhat the…? Why are a couple of penises closing in on that tiny helpless person?! Owen tried telling me that those are actually tanks getting ready to shoot that guy and, despite the clarification, I am not feeling any better about the direction we are heading.

Another priceless offering from my 7-year old Picasso.Another priceless offering from my 7-year old Picasso. And I quote, "That bird is taking that guy away to eat him and that other guy pushed the man yelling ‘HELP!’ off the cliff."

My dad explained to them what a guillotine was?Oh heavens no! No he did not! My dad explained to them what a guillotine was? And is that a HEAD I see rolling around at the bottom? Seriously, Dad? Do you think that by simply inserting a smiley face severed head you will cancel out the fact that you just stole a piece of innocence from Austin’s precious little mind?

Holy hell...it keeps getting worseHoly hell…it keeps getting worse. Austin, reading my stunned expression, looks up at me and declares, "We asked grandpa to tell us what ELSE was scary back in the olden days."

This guy is stuck in a lion's den with sausages wrapped around his neck.Owen, not to be outdone by Grandpa, tossed this gem into the mix. His explanation: This guy is stuck in a lion’s den with sausages wrapped around his neck. (I cannot make this stuff up if I tried.)

Death, death and more death. Quality time with Grandpa.Death, death and more death. Quality time with Grandpa.

Last, but certainly not least, Owen reminds us all that torture can still occur in the twenty-first century.Last, but certainly not least, Owen reminds us all that torture can still occur in the twenty-first century.

So, I offer up the question to all our readers…should Grandpa G be left in charge of the boys again? Let’s be honest. He will be. My freedom trumps the cost of future therapy sessions for the kids. So, maybe the better question is: What’s your favorite piece of art from the exhibit?

heidi-hiHeidi Woodard Co-Contributor to Pediatric Asylum

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