Advertisement
Share

Let Inga Tell You: My favorite column openers, Part 2: Kids, grandkids and pets

Inga still has the now-slightly-moldy handmade Mother's Day card that her son Rory gave her when he was 10.
Inga still has the now-slightly-moldy handmade Mother’s Day card that her son Rory gave her when he was 10.
(Inga)

This fall will commence my 14th year of writing “Let Inga Tell You.” It’s been the best retirement gig ever. I’ve covered a lot of topics, some of them repeatedly: technology, kids, husbands, aging, rats, weight, parking, appliances, COVID and a host of La Jolla-centric issues.

Over the next few columns, I am recapping some of my favorite leads from the time I started this column. Last week, I covered husbands (particularly Olof). This week we’ll cover kids — my older son (the irrepressible adopted Rory) and my younger son, Henry — single parenthood, grandkids and pets.

Kids and parenthood

• When I became single after my divorce, it was a sobering thought that if I wasn’t murdered on any given night, it was only because no one felt like it. [Sept. 29, 2021]

• There are times when you just have to lie. All right, I can hear my many lovely devout friends shaking their heads and saying, “No, it is never OK to lie.” So let this be my mea culpa: I lied. But if I hadn’t lied, I’d probably still have a dead possum in my front yard. [Dec. 2, 2010]

• I still have the now-slightly-moldy handmade card my older son, Rory, gave me for Mother’s Day when he was 10: “You’ve been like a mother to me,” it read. [May 11, 2017]

• My husband has always maintained that I married him for his skills with a sewer auger, but that’s only partially true. [March 11, 2010] (Rory loved flushing myriad objects down the toilet so he could watch it overflow.)

• A few months ago, I wrote two columns regaling my readers with stories about how my older son, Rory, managed to terrorize me repeatedly by re-enacting scenes from horror movies he’d been allowed to watch at his father’s. I personally think my ex hoped I would suffer a heart attack and die, thereby absolving him from further child support payments. He denies this. [Nov. 18, 2020]

• Every teenager at some point ponders the question, “Just how stupid are my parents?” [June 6, 2013]

• I get that teenage sons need to separate from their mothers. But do they have to be so mean about it? [April 13, 2014]

• Of all the fantasies one has as a new mom, one never imagines that someday that adorable blob will be assigned to write a paper for his abnormal-psychology class analyzing the psychopathology of someone he knows well. And will choose you. [Nov. 4, 2010]

• Recently I had the pleasure of meeting my son’s mother for the first time. [March 24, 2011] (I had to wait 32 years to use that line.)

Grandkids

• Over the holidays, it is always our hope to have the company of our four preschool grandchildren. And after they leave, it is always our hope to someday get all of our electronics working again. [Jan. 24, 2013]

• Recently, we spent four days in L.A. babysitting our grandchildren — 5, 4 and 14 months — paroling our son and daughter-in-law for a much-needed getaway. Overall, it went well. There were, however, three heart-stopping episodes but fortunately nothing that could not be resolved by either (1) acetone (2) phenobarbital or (3) the realization that the house wasn’t on fire after all. [Sept. 10, 2015]

• I was thinking about writing a guide on how to be a good mother-in-law, but truthfully it can all be summed up in two words: “Shut. Up.” [May 9, 2013]

• Preschool is a whole new world since my sons went. Two of my grandchildren go to a preschool in L.A. that is not only rabidly environmentally conscious but also has a zero-tolerance policy for sugar (bad for you) and nuts (someone could be allergic) on school grounds. (Knives would probably be OK.) [May 11, 2016]

• I’ve finally come to understand the basic connection between grandparents and tiny grandchildren: diapers. They really want to get out of them, and we fervently hope never to get into them. [July 10, 2014]

• At my granddaughter’s first birthday, her mother tore off a small piece of the baby-size chocolate cake and gave it to her. My granddaughter ignored it, picked up the cake itself and buried her face in it. I knew absolutely at that moment that my genes had been thrown forward. [Oct. 11, 2018]

Pets

• A few years back when I wrote about our birds, I cautioned that one should never let kids get a pet with a longer life expectancy than yours. I really, really mean it. [Oct. 16, 2014]

• Call me naive, but I really thought neutering a dog was supposed to make him, well, uninterested. But even after Winston went under the knife, there would be the odd occasion when we’d be having a dinner party on our patio and a guest would suddenly exhibit a certain telltale twitching indicating to us that Winston was under the table having a close encounter of the interspecies kind. [March 2, 2016]

Inga’s lighthearted looks at life appear regularly in the La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com. ◆