Interview with Father and Grandfather, Mike D.
On our most recent episode of Whose Kid is That?!? we interviewed Val’s Dad!
Check out our interview with Val’s Dad:
Q: Mr. D, I would love to know, do you think that Val as a child was more like Cameron or more like Juliette?
A: So we had two children. Two daughters. And, like any young parent, you don’t know what you’re doing. Michelle, our oldest was extremely easy. She was just a good kid. Then Val came along and she was not good. She wasn’t that she was bad. She was just crazy. My wife liked to call her ornery.
So, anytime I was leaving the house, (back in those days, I was working two jobs) when I was home, it was not that often. But when I was home when I was leaving, she would be sure that she wasn’t left home with Val. She’d say. “You are taking her with you.” Val just had a mind of her own, she didn’t listen to anything. She just did what she wanted to do. She had to learn things the hard way.
I remember this one story. It’s a simple story, but it’s indicative of how she just didn’t listen to anything you told her.
We had a huge deck in the back of the house and a barbecue grill out there. No matter how many times I told her to stop going near the grill, she just wouldn’t do it. And finally, she went up to the grill and she just touched it and went “Oh, no”, and then I got in trouble for letting her touch the grill! Well, I said to my wife, and I’ll say it to you, too. I said it was because she wasn’t listening to me. Now she knows not to touch it.
So, you know, she got burned. She’s not gonna go near a hot grill again.
Q: What was the scariest moment for you as a parent of young kids?
A. So the scariest moment would have been one year on Thanksgiving or Easter. Val has a piece of turkey stuck in her throat and I had to give her the Heimlich.
She didn’t eat turkey for years after that.
I had first aid as a boy scout. I had first aid as a lifeguard. It was just something I knew how to do. She came up to me and she wasn’t able to expel any air or sound. That was a scary moment. I don’t think she was any older than 10.
That was an extremely scary moment.
The only other scary moment and this was really scary, was with Michelle. We are brand new parents. Michelle was a few weeks old, eight weeks old or so. And it was a night, this particular night, I typically on that evening, I was taking karate courses. And I was too tired to go that night so I stayed home. It was me, Roseanne, and Michelle. Michelle was on one of the swings while we were having dinner that night. And she stopped breathing. She was turning blue and gray and we had a nurse living downstairs she came and helped us but we had a race to the hospital with Michelle, turning gray and not breathing. Fortunately, the hospital was just two miles down the road. And everything was fine.
With that, they never ever, ever found out what happened, why she stopped breathing. That’s the type of thing as a parent that lives with you. Even when you come home, you’re afraid to be alone with her. They don’t know what happened. Can it happen again? Doctors use those frivolous terms. They said, “Sometimes these things happen. And they’ll never happen again. But you know, don’t worry about it.” Well, that didn’t work. We worried.
Q: What was the funniest moment you can remember from when they were smaller?
A. So the funniest moment, I think Michelle might have been 10 and Val was maybe 5 and it was Christmas morning. We wanted to videotape. Michelle and Val come down the steps and get their expression. The staircase was half closed and the bottom half was opened.
Something happened and all of a sudden, you could hear this sound coming from the closed half. It was like boom, crash, crunch and they slide to the bottom of the stairs together.
I think Michelle was carrying Val and it’s all on video. We submitted it to America’s Funniest Home Videos. What made it so funny was the combination of the video and the sound effects and Val landed on top of Michelle. I remember that like so clearly, it was so funny.
Q: Mr. D, I’ve got one more pressing question for you. I want to know what you’re enjoying most about being a grandfather.
A: I can’t summarize it. When we were young parents, Roseanne and I, were old fashioned in our thought process, perhaps, we made the decision that Roseanne would stay home, and she wouldn’t work. In those early years, I worked two jobs. Until I think Val was maybe three or four, then I left my position and started a business. When you own your own business, you’re not working two jobs for 100 hours, you’re working one job for 100 hours. I know I lost a lot of time there. There were many years, I didn’t get to even spend holidays with the kids because I worked as a waiter in a restaurant. I’m not trying to make it sound bad. It was great. There was no problem, that was just the way we chose to raise the kids.
As I started to have my own business, we made the conscious decision to sit down every night and have dinner. Now flash forward 40 years. Now, there are four grandkids. And, I don’t have those same pressures anymore. I’m not working two jobs. I have a job now that I work from home, I sold my business, and I don’t have that stress. I just get to relish every single moment with the kids and with the grandkids. I’m fortunate, Emma and Haley, we’ve always had them a lot, they get on and off the bus here. Juliette, Roseanne has been watching her. She’s actually watched every single grandkid since we’ve had grandkids. So she spent a lot of time with them. And, as crazy as Juliet sounds, she is a lunatic. And Yeti as I like to call her. She is the perfect angel when she’s here.
They’re all four totally different personalities completely different. Cam, already has his Master’s from clown school.
They’re all four completely different but, obviously, it’s coming from a grandfather, they’re four of the finest human beings around.