Visits with Grand-daddy, the pincher

Oh yeah, I was allergic to milk at this stage. So that’s a different kind of formula.

The positive aspect of my grandparents taking me to school was spending more time with them.

Grand-daddy was sick a lot and spent a lot of time in bad. But I’d go up to their room and visit with him. One of their dresser drawers housed a couple of baby dolls, and we would play. We played a few board games too on the bed or using a meal tray. But mostly I remember getting out those dolls.

Outwardly smiling, but the eyes scream “I want to hurt you!”

I loved him dearly but he always pinched my cheeks and hard. And it really hurt. Most adults pinch cheeks of young ones. It’s like a rite of passage or something. And most kids are annoyed by it, but it truly bothered me in a deeper way.

I finally got the courage to address this with him and asked him not to do that anymore. It was scary to bring it up. I didn’t know how he would react, but I did it!

I think he gave me a slight laugh and agreed, perhaps not realizing how much it bothered me but humoring me nonetheless.

Big cheers for little Lindsay, right? For vocalizing an irritation?

Well, it should have been. But I don’t remember that happening. I feel it was an important teaching moment that got overlooked. I don’t know if I shared with my parents beforehand or not, or even after the fact.

I don’t remember anyone saying “I’m so proud of you for telling me. I didn’t know it really bothered you” or “I’m sure that wasn’t easy to say. Thanks for letting me know.”

Maybe my parents and other adults did offer me that. However, if they did, it wasn’t something that made a lasting impression.

I could have used something to help me better identify positive and appropriate ways of sharing and addressing problems BEFORE losing emotional control, so that I wasn’t merely reacting. There needed to be some modeling of calmly addressing concerns. Modeling and reinforcing positive communication would have been great.

Sadly, Grand-daddy died when I was 6. But I’m grateful for the relationship we were able to have.


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