Parental Observation #5

January 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm (Icepick) ()

Donna B. left the following comment to an earlier observation.

You are doing well to document these times. You can refer back to this when you are the grandparent of a 3-year-old. It will help you in teaching them to better master the skills that drive their parents nuts. Payback is fun!

The moral of the story: Revenge is a dish best served old.


  1. Icepick said,

    I had the following reply to Donna B.’s comment:

    Yeah, a part of me always wanted to go straight to being a grandparent. However, pesky biology prevents that from happening.

  2. karen said,

    Sometimes God gives us oasis in the midst of strife.
    Kids can be that 2. Especially one son among 3daughters.
    Sanity in the midst of hormonal angst:0)

    My son is here today:

    EWTN – March For Life 2014 – LIVE
    If it doesn’t glow- it’s on youtube.

  3. karen said,

  4. Donna B. said,

    Frankly, I have so much fun with my grandchildren that I’ve almost forgotten about the revenge. Almost…

  5. Icepick said,

    Donna, I will be in my sixties (at least) before becoming a grandparent. I’m likely to be so worn out playing with the little demons that I won’t have the energy to plot and scheme properly!

  6. karen said,

    Had a conversation w/a salesman today about parents(not grandkids).
    How he felt his Dad was almost like another kid- can’t work alone, but can’t ask for help outright. Hems-n-haws about how he’s intending to do this or that soon… his own way of asking while saving face.

    My folks were and still are- into their 80s- still the biggest help and cheerleaders i have ever known. They always kept the kids when i was swamped or behind- especially when i was a single Mom- and they were just hitting their stride at 60ish.

    There’s hope for your revenge yet:0)!

  7. karen said,

    Because i can’t help myself by hogging the thread and going O/T:

  8. wj said,

    Karen, I have to say that the article you link to is utterly missing the boat. Bush is not behaving as Commander in Chief, he is acting like a politician.

    Watch a general officer in a similar situation. He will return salutes. But beyond that, if he is going to interact with someone who is standing at attention (other than to give orders or to dress him down), he first commands “At Ease.”

    And, at least when I was training to be an officer, I was taught that any time you, as an officer, are going to touch an enlisted man, you first say “Permission to touch you.” Always. (Not that anyone ever declines. But you are required to ask.) You never just go up to someone standing at attention and clap them on the shoulder.

    All of which is to say that, in a civilian context Bush might be right. But in a military context like this, Obama was actually the one behaving correctly. The picture is worth a thousand words . . . but only if you actually understand the military — which the author clearly does not.

  9. karen said,

    I don’t understand the military- it seems an unwritten code of valor.

    Since Bush has his back to us- he could be saying simultaneously- at ease.

    He was in the military, though- so… i wonder if he is aware of what he does toward the enlisted?

    If Obama’s behavior is accurate and acceptable- i stand in amazement.
    And, i stand corrected:0).

  10. wj said,

    I suppose Bush might be in the process of saying “At ease” But the troops are still braced at attention. (And you are correct. As someone who was a military officer, he ought to know the rules.)

    I suspect the best word for what Obama is doing is “unexceptional” — unexceptional for a senior military officer. There is also the circumstances: both Presidents are is passing by an honor guard. How either of them might behave in less formal circumstances is another question. And one more relevant to their respect for the troops.

    The military certainly has a culture all its own. It is extremely heirarchical . . . but those in positions of authority have to exercise both responsibility and respect for those under their command. Respect, both up and down, is heavily conditioned by on one thing: does he (or she) do his job and do it well?

    The heirarchical nature is confused by having two separate heriarchies. The part most people are familiar with are the officers. But the heirarchy which actually runs things, and most imposes on the everyday lives of the troops, is the non-commissioned officers (NCOs). (Officers get addressed as “Sir.” Stereotypical response of an NCO so addressed: “Don’t call me Sir. I work for a living!”)

  11. karen said,

    We have friends that we go to church w/- who’s son is stationed in Germany.
    As a military man himself- and his wife’s brother was in Special Forces- they were greatly underwhelmed by the less-than-stellar display by officers in charge of their son when they visited him. Especially, the awareness of the soldiers. Yet, telling.

    I know you know- everyone here knows- my soft spot for Bush. Because i really believe he cared for the human beings below him.

    Unlike Obama.

  12. wj said,

    I would say that both cared about other people. But one was very outgoing and the other much less so. Being pretty introverted myself, I know how easy it is for people to mistake lack of a lot of very visible actions for lack of empathy and caring.

  13. Donna B. said,

    wj — I have a daughter, a son, two sons-in-law, and a daughter-in-law all either active duty now or in the past 15 years — enlisted as well as officer (one son-in-law is a West Point graduate) and what I hear from them now is… almost nothing. That’s about as far as a military person can go in expressing disregard for a President.

    When Bush was president, they were visibly and verbally proud.

    “Unexceptional” as a description of Obama… why, that’s almost a compliment.

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