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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Holidays never dull with my three grandsons


December 01. 2013 4:00PM

One or more of the grandsons is often in evidence at the McQ. Mansion II. Sometimes it's the oldest, Ike. Sometimes it is the two younger ones, Mike and Spike. Witnessing all three at once is breathtaking. Here was the scene at their own home base, which I happened upon recently.

Mike, he of the quiet demeanor and shuffling gait, was holding a small American flag.

"Race!'' he decreed, whereupon big brother Ike agreed it was time for a race through the house.

This caught the ear of Baby Spike, who was at that point crawling across the kitchen table in search of Lord-knows-what.

Spike reversed gear, found a chair with his foot and joined in.

"Ready! Set! Go!'' yelled Mike, waving the flag and, for once, moving faster than an Obamacare website.

The route ran from the living room, where strewn toys were ready to trip the unwary, through the kitchen and front hall and into the dining room, which had been set up for the small (I lost count at 30) Thanksgiving Day feast, and thus back to the living room.

Ike easily outdistanced the field. Spike was last, having miscalculated his girth while trying to crawl under tables; and Mike, though finishing a respectable second, inexplicably held up one finger and proclaimed, "I number three!''

I looked quizzically at his mother.

"He gets his age mixed up with other numbers,'' she said with a shrug.

Mike also gets his food and eating utensils confused.

His mother has all but given up getting him to eat what he doesn't like, so while the others slurped up soup, Mike was presented with sliced apples and a side of peanut butter.

Pretty nutritious, I thought, until Mike proceeded to take a single apple slice and use it repeatedly as a spoon for the peanut butter. The other slices remained untouched, until Spike lumbered across the table and helped himself to all of them.

Mike, by the way, has been completely potty trained for quite awhile. He would have been graduated cum la dee da, too, had it not been for his failure to grasp one post-potty concept.

He sometimes forgets to pull up his Batman underwear before yanking up his trousers. Maybe that is why he walks so slowly.

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

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