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How close is too close

I wrote a post early on about how the boys crowd me like puppies. Well, that still happens. I attempted to take a nap yesterday while Tio and Doc were home. Before five minutes passed, they were crowding me so close I could smell lunch off their breath while they pinched my beard and stared in my ear. Puppies. In fact, both Bunnie and Gulliver were vying for the same space so I ended up with a dog on my feet, one on my chest and two boys crammed in my ear. This morning, I hadn't been up more than five minutes before all three boys flocked around. Tish and I both shooed them off but they kept wriggling their way back under foot and arm to spill my coffee, read over my shoulder and share my space.

All well and good if that was only as far as it goes but somewhere along the line they've lost the perspective that I am, in fact, an adult and should be treated with a certain respect. We can kid and joke and be intimate to a point but I'm not one of their 10 year old friends that they can swap gross insults and truly tasteless remarks with. The point could be made no clearer than Tio dropping his drawers to moon me last night. Fortunately, he kept his boxers in place or I'd have been tempted to paddle his bare behind until it was bright red. He thought this was hilarious and when I told him he'd gone too far he laughed - for five minutes. I sent him to his room for the remainder of the night and the smile fell of his lips in a hurry. He didn't get it.

So, Grammo is restoring some order. No more nicknames, no more outrageous comments, no more acting like we're all just kids together. There needs to be some respect for adults. I agree totally and to a degree they understood but it's eroded away these past months. I couldn't imagine talking to or behaving that way to my father. He'd have knocked me into next week. More than that, it simply would not have crossed my mind to even attempt it.

I always enjoy the closeness and casual candor that I share with the boys. I like being their friend, even while Taking on the parenting job. But I also know that a lack of respect will take us down a road we don't want to travel. This is one of those forks in the road I've spoken of that a parent has to take but a grampa shouldn't have to.

So here I stand one step further down the parent path with a bit of heavy heart knowing that this is a marker, a turn I can't retake, one of many that separate me further from being just plain ol' fun Grampy and make me "the one who must be obeyed".