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Inspired Living: June 2021

Let’s laugh

by Roxanne Henke


The past 12 months have felt SO serious. This month, I’m going to ignore COVID-19 and politics in exchange for some funny and true tales gleaned from my kids and grandkids.

Let me begin with a story from about 35 years ago. Our youngest daughter had a bed-wetting problem. (Don’t worry, she tells this story all the time.) Almost every single morning, I’d be washing a set of sheets. In the summer, I hung them outside on the clothesline. One day, my daughter and I were on a walk around our neighborhood. As we passed the house of a widow, who just happened to have sheets on her line, my daughter looked over and nonchalantly said, “Oh, I guess she wets the bed, too.”
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As I tucked my 3-year-old Superman into bed (my first night of babysitting), he said, “Grandma, you forgot to sing ‘You are My Shwunshine.’” I enthusiastically sang a verse, then patted his cheek. “There. How was that?”

He shook his head. “Not that great.”
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Our lake place used to be part of a resort, so we have two rustic cabins where the kids stay with their mom while they are visiting. Most days, they run down the hill and eat breakfast with me. One day, they ate in their cabin and I walked up to get them. As Axel, Simone and I walked down the hill, I asked Axel, “What did you have for breakfast?”

Axel: “Tuna.”

Me: “Tuna?”

Axel: “Yes, chocolate tuna.”

Me, practically gagging: “I’ve never heard of chocolate tuna.”

Simone piped up. “It’s called NUTELLA!”
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Axel was chomping on a thick, juicy pork chop fresh off the grill. With his mouth full, he said, “This is the best steak I’ve ever had.”

“It’s a pork chop,” I said,

“Yup,” Axel nodded, taking another bite. “Pork chop steak.”

In-between bites, he said, “I could have a cooking show. It would be called ‘The Axel Chef Show.’ I’d wave a spatula in the air and slap it on the table and I’d make this.” He held up his pork chop on a fork. “I’d call it ‘I’d Smash My iPad Steak.’ It would be my secret recipe.”

He stopped talking, looked around the table and quietly said, “Well, it wouldn’t be a secret to us, because we know the recipe.”
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As long as Chef Axel is giving food commentary, I’ll share another critique. One night, I told the kids we were going to have “snacks” for supper. I put out a tray of shrimp and cocktail sauce, olives, pickles, a couple kinds of crackers and dip. Axel took a few of each of the two kinds of crackers. Trying to be polite, he held up one cracker and said, “I love this kind!” Then he held up the other. “I don’t hate, hate, hate these crackers. I mean, they are really bad, but I don’t hate them.”
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And finally, near the end of their summer visit, the kids and I pulled a this-will-go-down-in-history prank on their mother. We were trying to come up with a clever trick. “Oh,” Axel said. “We should color some milk so Mommy thinks it’s…” He trailed off. He couldn’t think of what it could be. But, he planted a seed. Simone and I filled a nice wine glass with water and put one drop of yellow food coloring into the water so it turned a “nice Chardonnay” color. I put it in the fridge to chill. Later in the day, I texted my daughter, “I have a new Chardonnay you can sample when you come down for dinner.”

The kids couldn’t WAIT for dinner. Simone had another idea. When Rachael walked in, I pulled out her chilled glass of “wine.”

Before Rachael had a chance to lift it to her mouth, Simone begged, “Mom, can I have a sip? Just a tiny sip? Please? Let me try it. Please?”

Rachael gave me a sideways glance. “OK, but just a very tiny sip.”

Simone nodded as she carefully took the glass in both hands. She put it to her mouth and proceeded to CHUG the “wine.”

“Simone!” Rachael shouted. “A tiny sip!” Simone continued gulping. “SIMONE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” She gulped some more. “SIMONE! STOP!”

As this point, Simone was laughing so hard she spit a whole mouthful onto the floor. Rachael grabbed the glass from her, pointed to the floor and said, “What were you thinking? Clean that up!”

As I handed Simone a paper towel, Rachael took a sip of her “wine.” And burst out laughing. “YOU GUYS! You totally got me!”

Roxanne (Roxy) Henke lives in rural North Dakota and loves sharing her grandkids’ antics. Hopefully, they brought a smile. You can contact her at roxannehenke@gmail.com.