Just Being Papa

My Beloved and I had our four year old grandson Thomas today while his parents were at the Sharks game. In the middle of lunch, Thomas looked up from his meal and said with a solemn expression on his face, “I know Duke is dead, but maybe he’ll come back next week.” What a blessing he is!

On a completely different note, when the the three of us were in the car headed home I got  a bit bored of a very repetitious song he’d been singing, so I decided to make up a silly song on the spot to distract him from the one he was repeating. I wanted it to be as silly as possible so it would crack him up, and easy for him to learn. This is what I came up with:

“If I drink stinky soup

From a cup

I might get sick

And throw it all up!


I sang it once and exaggerated the last line as though I was… (uh, what’s the polite word for puking?). He and My Beloved exploded into laughter. Of course she caught herself, and in a scolding voice said, “Papa!” But Thomas obviously has better taste in songs than she and yelled, “Papa! Sing it again!” So, being the good Papa that I am, I belted  it out again, with even more emphasis on the last line.

Each time I finished he was convulsed in laughter and yelled, “Sing it again.” Having once been a little boy myself –though very long ago–I knew the repetition he sought wasn’t just for the entertainment value, he was learning more of the song each time. So I kept going, singing the same words but in different tones, volumes, accents, etc. Soon he was singing along with me.

When we got home I sat in my special Papa chair and he sat on my knee. I suggested that he sing the song and that My Beloved make a video of it and send it to them while they were at the game. She went along with it and texted the clip to them.

When they saw the video, their text to us read: “Oh. My. God.”

I replied, “No need to thank me. I was just doing my job as Papa.”

With Love,








About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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23 Responses to Just Being Papa

  1. Your Grandson, agree – what a blessing.

  2. ksbeth says:

    i love the comment from him about duke. that is so true of children that they don’t yet understand permanence, and it is something that i think is a gift and makes difficult things easier to bear for them. as for the song adventure, i think that is wonderful )

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Beth. I think you’re right that not understanding permanence can be a gift for young children. Hope is a powerful thing and permanence removes it.


  3. “I know Duke is dead, but maybe he’ll come back next week.” Wow.
    Bless his little heart. ❤ ❤ ❤

  4. And a GREAT job you’re doing, Papa!! PS – do you think your video will go viral?? 🙂

  5. You are perfectly suited for his Papa job.

  6. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Ohhh, you’re a bad influence, Papa. Too funny!

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Cathy. I’ll treat that as a compliment. The way I figure it, he’s got most of the world telling him to be quiet, sit straight, don’t touch, etc. He needs an ally that can help him to relax and just be a fun and funny little boy. He’s lucky that he also has two great parents and three other wonderful grandparents.

  7. You are a great Papa and what I wouldn’t give to be there when Thomas sings that tune at the top of his lungs at a most inopportune time. His parents will definitely send you a text of Thanks. You certainly have a poetic way with turning a phrase, Russ! Please continue to keep that imagination always at the ready. Clare

    • russtowne says:

      LOL! Thank you for the wonderful compliments, Clare! I plan to do so, and am sure I can do something with pea soup and a word that rhymes with soup. ;-D!


      • You’re welcome, Russ. Ah, yes, the Poop word. So beloved by children all ages. I’ve used it in my little verse poem about the baby carnivorous plant who refuses to eat meat.
        “Poo in a Pitcher? That doesn’t sound Kosha!”
        “It’s called symbiotic” explained Aladosha. One of my best poetic lines, if I say so myself. Emily D., eat your heart out!

  8. Mél@nie says:

    touching and emotional… ❤

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