Like father, like son

Susan Manzke
Grandpa Bob shares a bowl of popcorn with grandson Harrison during a recent visit.

We were lucky to have company recently. Our son Russell and Harrison (2) came for a weekend on the farm while Mommy was away on a work trip.

At first, our little grandson was quiet and shy. Coming out of the car after a long ride, Harrison was still sleepy. Mostly he wanted to hang onto his Daddy — he was also missing his Mommy.

It didn’t take long before Harrison woke up and started talking — I should say, he started asking questions. His favorite question being “Why?”

I couldn’t help comparing the two-year-old standing before me with his daddy at the same age. Back in the 80s, Russell’s favorite word was why, also. He wanted to know everything and demanded answers that made sense to him. Today his son is doing the same thing.

“Why is Sunny smelling our bag?” was one of his questions. Of course, I told Harrison how dogs like to smell things. “Dogs can smell better than see and Sunny wants to know who that bag belongs to.”

“But why, Grandma?” And on and on we went, until I changed the subject and then he asked why about the new subject.

Harrison is in the midst of potty training. He is doing so well he often doesn’t wear a diaper. His potty chair came along for the weekend. It never failed, as soon as we settled down at the kitchen table to eat, Harrison had a call of nature. Of course, only daddy would do to take him to the potty.

Susan Manzke's grandson,Harrison, brought back many memories of when her son, Russell, pictured at the age of 2, was a young boy.

Again I remembered potty training Russell. That little boy of ours gave little warning. When he asked to ‘go’ I tucked him under my arm and raced for the bathroom, leaping over toys and other children in my mission. After a successful run, Russell always needed to be praised. “Good, boy.” If you happened to forget those two words, he reminded you.

I remember when Russell asked when Santa was coming — this was in July. I told him when it snowed, that Santa needed snow for his sled. He seemed satisfied with that answer and for once there were no more questions.

Months later when the first snowflakes fell, little Russell had his nose pressed to the window. He was waiting for Santa. “It’s still too soon,” I told him. “But you said he came when it snowed.” It took me awhile to remember that I had said that. Boy, did he have a good memory.

Harrison has a mind of his own, too.

Daddy brought his son’s favorite foods, except for peanut butter. For that, he used ours. “And jelly,” reminded Harrison. Both peanut butter and jelly had to go on the bread and properly spread.

For a special treat, I made popcorn. He wanted to watch our electric popper work so we pulled a chair up to the counter to let him watch. Harrison laughed when the action started and was ready to eat some with grandpa as soon as the popping stopped.

The popper filled one of our plastic bowls, which I set on the table. There we filled individual soup bowls with popcorn for everyone.

Harrison didn’t want his bowl. “But you love popcorn,” said Daddy.

“I don’t want this bowl. I want that bowl.” Harrison pointed to the big mixing bowl. He wanted it all.

Soon he was sitting on grandpa’s lap and they were both eating popcorn out of the big bowl.

It was so much fun having company. Harrison livened up our place and wore us out, too.

More memories were added to my stash of family stories this weekend. It was so much fun being with my two ‘why’s guys.'

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;