Mrs. Malaprop’s Kin

Mrs. Malaprop’s Kin

From Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul

Mrs. Malaprop’s Kin

“Grandma!” yelled four-year-old Cody from my bathroom. “There’s a spider in the bathtub! Hurry! Can you fix it?”

Pans clattered as I rushed to get the Thanksgiving turkey ready for the oven. I hadn’t wanted to baby-sit this busy morning. But I was drafted. Both parents were working. “Yes, I’ll fix it as soon as I can. Don’t worry.” Grandmas are great fixers. “That faucet is hard to turn, but I can do it and the spider will go right down the drain.”

“More Valium,” came the worried voice from the bathroom. “I can’t hear you.”

In a few minutes, I rushed into the bathroom to confront the spider.

“Fixed it!” Cody proudly announced. “Grandma, close your eyes. I don’t have my wonder wear up yet.”

Shutting my eyes, I squinted toward the tub as the last of the yellow stream went down the drain. “You’re right, Buddy, that spider is gone.”

Firsts are memorable—first bike ride, first evening gown, first kiss, first grandchild. I couldn’t wait to become a genuine grandma.

At long last, I got my wish. Cody was born. What an angel. I loved his pink cheeks, bright blue eyes, tousled hair and chubby arms wrapped around a stuffed bear. It was a fact: This was the most adorable grandchild in the world. He was perfect.

When Cody began talking, however, the problem surfaced. He had Mrs. Malaprop’s biological genes. You remember Mrs. Malaprop from Richard Sheridan’s play, The Rivals. She made verbal blunders an art by replacing words similar in sound with those different in meaning.

His ailment became confirmed. Cody, a daredevil on his tricycle, let out a yell one afternoon. I rushed to open the back door when I heard him fall. He was doubled over.

“It really hurts a guy when he hits his tentacles,” he cried.

I hugged him and said the reason for his accident was that his jeans were too large and had slipped down. He agreed. “Maybe I should wear expanders to hold them up.”

Further proof of his malapropism came when we went to get my driver’s license renewed. “Grandma,” he warned me, “make sure your license doesn’t perspire. I think you might get unrested.”

As his condition advanced, he asked me an important question. “Will Santa’s little dorks still make me toys when I’m older?” He paused. “Wait a minute . . . I forgot. The dorks live with Snow White. I mean the other little guys.”

Yes, Cody definitely had the affliction, but I hope he has it for a long time. It’s wonderful having a grandchild with this enigma. He gives me so many good chuckles.

Since the spider invasion had been resolved, Cody and I went back into the kitchen. I groaned. My giblets had boiled dry and were turning black.

“Don’t worry, Grandma,” Cody suggested. “We could always get some food at the delicate intestine.”

Sharon Landeen

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