Handling Him

By Joanne Miller


A young couple discusses discipline; only it applies to her grandfather who is living with them, which is not evident until the end.


Matt and Jen a young couple.
Grandfather (voice only)


(Scene opens in living room.  Matt is seated, reading the newspaper.  Jen enters.)

Jen:  I am exhausted!  How can this be so hard?

Matt:  Is he in bed for the night?

Jen:  I think so.  But, of course, we had to go through the usual ritual.

Matt:  First he had to watch the Cosby reruns.

Jen: (gives Matt an exasperated look) Of course.  Then it was the snack routine.  Anything I suggested he didnít want.  I finally had to say, ďO.K.  no snack then.Ē  He decided a bowl of ice cream is better than no snack at all.

Matt:  I bet it took a while to eat the ice cream.

Jen: Did it ever.  Then it was the pajamas.  Wouldnít you know it, I forgot to wash his favorite pajamas today.  Naturally theyíre only his favorites today because theyíre the ones that arenít clean.  Yesterday it was the other ones that hadnít been washed that were his favorites!

Matt:  Let me guess what came next Ė his teeth.

Jen: How did you know?  (Said sarcastically)  Iím out of Crest and he ďdoesnít like ColgateĒ.  I told him he could use baking soda instead.  That went over like a lead balloon.  He finally agreed to the Colgate.    Then we said our prayers.  Itís funny but heís fine for prayers.  He even prays for me, somehow he must know I really need it by that time.

Matt:  Then he got into bed?

Jen: Yes.  I thought I was home free, but oh no.  He had ďforgottenĒ to go to the bathroom.  So he had to get up again.

Matt:  But heís in bed now, right?

Jen: Yes, but before I left the room he asked for a glass of water.  I tell you Matt, I thought by now, after almost 5 years, all Iíd have to do was tell him to get ready for bed and he would.  I pictured him coming to give us a kiss and wandering peacefully into his bedroom.   Do you think I was being woefully unrealistic?

Matt:  It would seem so.

Jen: Well, I tell you, Matt, I donít know how much more of this I can take.  By the time I get him into bed I feel like Iíve been through a world war.

Matt:  What do you think you can do to change it?

Jen:  Nothing, but I think maybe you could help.

Matt: Nothing doing, Jen.  I told you before we had him Iíd help with a lot of things but getting him ready for bed was not going to be one of them.

Jen: I know, honey, but he listens to you so much better than he does to me.  He wouldnít act that way for you.

Matt:  Only because he knows I wouldnít let him get away with it.

Jen: Thatís what I mean. Couldnít you just do it for a week or two and by then heíd be used to getting ready on his own.

Matt: Jen, you and I donít agree on this, you know.  Itís better if you just work it out yourself.

Jen:  But how, Matt?

Matt:  Do what you expect me to do.

Jen:  You can just tell him what to do and heíll do it.  He wonít listen to me.

Matt: He will if you persist.  Give him firm guidelines with consequences and rewards and stick to them.

Jen:  You know I canít do that with him.  He wraps me around his little finger.

Matt:  Thatís where youíre wrong.

Jen:  What do you mean?

Matt:  Itís not that you canít do it, itís that you wonít do it.

Jen:  I know, I know, but wonít you help me just this one time?

Matt:  I have been helping, you know that, just not with bedtime.

Jen: I know youíve helped me an awful lot, and Iím very grateful, but please, Matt, I need you for this.

Matt: Iím sorry, Jen, but youíre going to have to deal with his bedtime yourself, after all he is your grandfather.

Voice of grandfather:: Jen, I need another glass of water.

(Jen shakes her head in despair.)


Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
This script may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entrance or for programmes. In return, the authors would like to be notified of any performance. For further information regarding performance rights, they may be contacted at: joannesmiller65@gmail.com.