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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Deciphering grandsons an exercise in word-play


August 04. 2013 4:24PM

Grandons Ike, Mike, and Spike have taken over the McQuaid manse this summer. Not that I'm complaining. The kids are good for almost as much column material as is the lady of our downsized house.

Ike stayed over the other night. Kicked me in the head about a dozen times in his sleep, and helpfully told me in the morning that he had already taken a shower the day before.

"Yep," he said with a knowing, grave nod of the head. "I had to. I have cradle crap."

This caught my attention. A quick glance to his grandmother provided the explanation.

"He means cradle CAP," she whispered.

I wish I knew what Mike means.

The middle boy doesn't say much, but he knows what he wants.

He and Spike invaded the house the other morning and Mike immediately started hunting for the TV remote.

"Show! Show, Pop-Pop!" he commanded, handing me the device.

But when I tuned in to Curious George, he frowned. When I switched to Oozey Susie or Oomie Zoomie or whatever it's called, he wailed.

He kept repeating something, which I take it was the show he wanted. It sounded like "Wiener press conference," but I couldn't find that one on C-SPAN and I wasn't sure it was age-appropriate. I never did figure it out. Instead, I left the remote with his grandmother and headed for work.

I told her to call me if she figured out Mike's mumblings. I knew she could call on account of I found her cellphone.

She had lost it the previous day. She told me she thought Mike or Ike might have taken it home with them.

"Sure," I said. "Mike is probably using it to call his bookie or to turn me in to the youth authorities because I can't find him the show he wants to watch."

I called her number but to my surprise, Mike didn't answer. No one did. Awhile later, I went to check in the garage, on the hunch the phone might have been left in the car. No luck. But when I re-dialed the number, I could hear a faint ring tone.

It was coming from the garage, but not the car. Talk about trash-talking, the phone was at the bottom of the recycling bin. I'm sure that's where the two-foot tall kid had slam-dunked it after texting his girlfriend.

What I couldn't understand is why there was also a bag of garbage — not recycling but garbage — in the bin. I have got to teach Mike about going green or he will end up with cradle crap, like Ike.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or via Twitter at @deucecrew.

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