Grandkids! Love those boys!

Published 3:33 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

The philosopher Plato once wrote: “Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.”

You know what? Plato was definitely smarter than I am, but he was wrong. I taught school and also had two boys of my own, and I’m here today to tout the adorable qualities, including manageability, of little boys.

The recent Cardinals weekend in St. Louis with our 9-year-old grandsons, Wilkins and Jacks, was totally without tears and drama. They enjoyed running through the hotel lobby and they were particular about meals — other than that, they were angels, as easily managed as pups on a leash.

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These two still don’t mind holding adults’ hands when crossing busy streets. They’re funny, friendly, lovable, and close observers of the world around them. Not only that, they’re smart kids. They kept us entertained the whole weekend.

For example, hubby G-Man and I were a tad apprehensive about the long drive to and from St. Louis. We shouldn’t have worried. The boys were both immersed in books about the Titanic. They know more about the Titanic than hubby G-Man once knew about his long gone bass boat.

“Bebe,” said Wilkins, “did you know that hundreds more people could have been saved when the Titanic sank if they’d just filled up the life boats? Each lifeboat could hold about 65 people, and some of the lifeboats were lowered into the water with only 30 or about that, so that was really a shame.”

“Yeah,” said Jacks, eager to contribute his Titanic knowledge. “Here’s what I think is suspicious. All the kids but one in first class were saved, but only 27 of the 79 kids in third class were saved. Something fishy going on there.”

“Part of the problem for the men,” Wilkins said, “was that they were all about that ‘women first’ thing.”

“Yeah,” said Jacks, “like Caleb.”

“What about Caleb?” said Wilkins. “You talking about Caleb in your class?”

 Uh huh. Caleb sat at my table last year and he thought girls always had to go first, so that meant I had to let ’em go first too, and that meant we were always the last ones to get anywhere. That’s what happened to the men on the Titanic.”

G-Man and I just grinned, listened and learned. Exhausting the Titanic topic after a couple of hours, they, of course, began to discuss baseball, cautioning me about my ballgame conduct.

“Bebe,” said Jacks, “be sure you don’t lean over the rail to try to catch a home run. Seriously, if you do, they’ll throw you out of the ballpark.”

I promised. And I didn’t.

Friday night’s game was a win for the Cardinals, and the next afternoon was exciting also. Jacks and Wilkins were allowed to go down on the field to watch the Cards take batting practice. Did we have to discipline them for climbing where they shouldn’t climb, for being loud and unruly, for being . . . boys? Not at all. They were little gentlemen, and we were proud.

After the Saturday night game, we took a carriage ride and passed a group of good-looking girls on a street corner. As we passed, I heard the girls scream with laughter, pointing at us. Why? Wilkins was doing the telephone thing, pinkie at his mouth, thumb at his ear, mouthing silently to the girls, “CALL ME!”

Obviously, the weekend was one good time after another . . . and maybe you had to be there to appreciate the humor. I know, grandparents always think THEIRS are the cutest and most amusing — but they are, aren’t they?

 till, I’ll defend boys in general all day long. They may be made of “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails,” but they’re more fun than a good stomp in a room full of bubble wrap.

And really, ask me anything about the Titanic. Go ahead. Thanks to two sweethearts, I know some stuff.