He can call me anything he wants, as long as he spells it right

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

Thanks to the latest hit animated feature movie, our youngest grandson has a new name he’s calling me.

Nolan went to see “The LEGO Movie” with his parents and his brother, so when he spent the morning at our house recently, he decided he was going to start calling me “Emmet” instead of “Grandpa” or “Tickle Monster” or any other name he might have for me.

I did have to point out to him that the name doesn’t fit since they spell it wrong in the movie – and yes, they spell it wrong, because I’ve been around a lot longer than the character in the movie.

Let’s face it, I’ve been around almost as long as LEGOs have been around.

That didn’t seem to phase Nolan, since he spent the entire morning saying, “Hi, Emmitt” - this is my column, so I’m going to spell the correct way – and “What’cha doin’, Emmitt” and “Goodbye, Emmitt” when I dropped him off at school for his afternoon kindergarten class.

I should probably be glad he identified me with that character in the movie – the hero of the piece, even if he is bumbling and inept at times.

After all, he could have started calling me “Metalbeard” - which might fit if I haven’t shaved for a day or two - or “Uni Kitty” or “Bad Cop.”

Actually, I should take it as a compliment that Nolan equates me with a character from “The LEGO Movie” since they are one of his favorite toys – and his big brother Ty’s as well.

Between the two of them, they probably have more than enough LEGOs to build an entire LEGO universe, let alone a movie.

They come by it naturally, since it was also a favorite of their father, their uncle and their aunt.

So much so, in fact, that stray pieces were the demise of probably several vacuum cleaners around our house – and it’s likely there’s still a few lost or misplaced pieces hiding away in various corners of our house.

That’s one reason why I don’t go barefoot around our house too much – I’d be likely to find one of those long-lost pieces by stepping on it in the middle of the night.

At least when his dad dropped Nolan off for us to watch him, everybody in the house was already awake.

That’s because there’s another generation of Feldners disrupting my sleep patterns.

I had one grandson playing alarm clock for me over the weekend – way before my alarm clock ever goes off on a weekend morning – then had to roll myself out of bed early a few days later for another grandson.

Both of their fathers and their aunt were all adept at wreaking havoc with my peaceful rest – and their mother’s as well – but that was decades ago, when I was a lot younger and more adaptable.

Aiden was with us for the weekend, along with his mother, and he apparently hasn’t learned yet that weekend mornings are for sleeping late, whenever possible.

It was a Saturday morning when Mee-Mee had to work early, so of course, Aiden got up when she did.

It meant that, when Mee-Mee left for work, she sent Aiden up to wake Poppie up to keep him company.

He makes a good alarm clock, but is not so good at stealth mode, so I heard him coming before he reached our bedroom.

I jumped out from under the covers at him, which quickly had both of us wide awake.

I did it out of self-defense, as Aiden has been known to wake Poppie or Mee-Mee up by jumping on the bed on top of us.

It’s something, again, in which the previous generation of Feldners specialized.

There was the memorable Christmas morning when his Uncle Ethan tried to get his parents moving to get downstairs to open the presents by jumping on the bed – and breaking it.

We all wound up on the floor in a pile and I got to finish that Christmas Day gluing and nailing the bed back together.

A few days later, Ty got dropped off at our house for an hour or so before heading to school one morning when his regular baby-sitter wasn’t available.

This happened to be a morning when I usually head in late to work after covering a meeting the previous night, so he showed up well before I was ready to wake up.

And since his grandmother was working early that day as well – is there some kind of pattern here – it fell to me to spend some quality early morning hours with another grandson.

Actually, Ty spent quality early morning hours doing schoolwork on the computer while I tried to shake the fog out of my head.

I wonder, do characters in animated features have to deal with these kinds of problems?


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