Grandfathers Are An Instant Magnet For Toddler Boys

September 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm , by 

21 months.

Labor Day morning we drove 2 hours to Chattanooga to visit my dad’s parents. My grandfather was retiling the shower when we arrived.

All Jack could see was the backside of man in overalls, who was pounding something with a hammer, but he was sold.

Whoever this mystery man was, my son needed to met him.

I didn’t bother explaining that he was my “dada’s dada.” I just let him be enthralled.

We made our way into the living room and Jack barely gave my grandfather time to sit down before Jack was making him play.

As weird as this sounds, my son has never been exposed to a toy sword before. So after finding one in their toy stash, he kept flying the “airplane” all over my grandfather.

It’s pretty easy to get my son to think you’re cool- just be a grandfather.

I have no trouble understanding this attraction. Little boys are adventurous.

And who has seen more adventure than a Korean War veteran with a Purple Heart? Somehow Jack sensed this about my grandfather.

Jack loves grandfathers.

I’ve mentioned before that in some ways, no one seems to understand Jack better than my dad, who he calls Papa. Jack has always been obsessed with my dad.

When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. Though we live 2 and a half hours from my parents, Jack randomly says “Papa” in the middle of playtime for no apparent reason. Except for maybe that he associates adventure with his Papa.

This past weekend we hung out with Jack’s friend Henry, his parents, and grandparents. There was the train ride with Thomas, then breakfast at First Watch, and lastly we decided to tour the pet store next door.

After exploring several of the aisles with me nonchalantly trailing behind him, Jack saw Henry’s grandfather around the corner.

He lifted his hands up to him and said in his Todfather voice: “Up-eh!”

From there, Henry’s grandfather carried Jack around the store, as Jack pointed to the direction his new chauffeur was to take him.

I guess that’s one of the things that grandfathers are known for in the mind of a toddler boy; getting carried around in the likeness of a parrot on the shoulder of a pirate.

After a few minutes, Henry’s grandfather brought Jack back and sort of whispered like he was telling me a secret:

“When it comes to grandpa’s, boys just seem to know.”

dad from day one: Who Jack Resembles the Most Right Now- Grandpa Tuttle

Week 13.


Something always told me, during the pregnancy, that Jack wouldn’t really look that much like me.  He inherited my gender and my dark hair (though his hair appears to be lightening up a bit), but other than that, my physical traits have yet to truly surface in him.  And it’s not that he doesn’t look like my wife- people have said they see more of her in him, yet still no one says that he absolutely looks just like either of us.  That’s because, for right now, he looks like Grandpa Tuttle- my wife’s dad.


I see the resemblance most in Jack’s eyes.  Even when/if Jack’s eyes darken to brown eventually, he still will have the eye shape of his grandfather.  Bill Tuttle, my father-in-law and Jack’s maternal grandfather, passed away just a few months after my wife and I got married in 2008.  But I am constantly reminded of him when I look at Jack.  This helps me to better understand the concept of how children are truly an extension of their family.


The Invisible Touch, Yeah (The 3rd Installment)

As a kid I always looked forward to when my sister and I would spend a Friday night with my Italian grandfather, who lived just a few miles down the road from our house. I knew that dinner meant a freezer-burnt TV dinner and some freezer-burnt ice cream for dessert, along with some semi-flat Ginger Ale. As quirky as it was, on Saturday afternoon we braced ourselves inside of a big plastic barrel as he would push my sister and I down a hill in his yard, then let us push him down the hill afterwards.

I will never forget the “I’ve gone cuckoo” look he always made as he would dizzily crawl out of the barrel each time. Then, he would let us do it a few more times before stumbling back to the house with us.

My sister and I still refer to the many funny things he would do. Like the fact he taped WWF Wrestling, then made us watch it with him. I never got a good explanation why a 65 year-old Italian man from Wisconsin loved the Southern-fried “sport” of pro-wrestling so much that he not only taped it, but watched each episode multiple times. That was the sole reason he owned a VCR- to tape Ric Flair and the boys reek havoc.

I never remember having to sincerely ask him if it was fake, but we just always knew. And watched it anyway.

And just last week as I flipped through the channels to find a rerun of Friends like my wife asked me to do, I stumbled across pro-wrestling. The intro music. The backstage drama. I was in a trance until my wife helped me realize what was going on.

There’s just some invisible touch involved with pro-wrestling that causes people like me to stop and watch, and causes millions of others to go out and spend big money to see it live. Even though we all know it’s fake. It’s captivating.

I’ve caught myself in the same situation with infomercials late at night and on Saturday afternoons. So much joy can be found in sarcastically mocking the fact that the host of the infomercial is always so smitten by the product and surprised as the chef conjures up all kinds of new delicious treats in the kitchen studio in front of a live audience.

And while I can’t relate, daytime soap operas have to go in this category as well. Entertainment at its worst, yet still drawing in an audience.

So fake. So lame. So unbelievable. Somewhat enticing.

The Invisible Touch, Yeah


The 1st Installment
The 2nd Installment
The 3rd Installment

Tony Little

Being that this is the 3rd installment of this series and I have yet to explain the title, I am finally choosing to do so. I am a huge Phil Collins/Genesis fan. The title refers to the first and only #1 hit by the group, entitled “The Invisible Touch”, released in 1986. The first line of the chorus is “she seems to have an invisible touch, yeah… she reaches in and grabs right hold of your heart”.

It’s really funny to me that as Phil Collins wrote the song, he couldn’t think of a word to put after the phrase “invisible touch” to fill that line, so he just says “yeah”. That’s hilarious to me. And that’s what gives me the off-beat title for my series: The Invisible Touch, Yeah.