Ellis Alexander Stiebel. (Courtesy of Joan Stiebel because Rick can’t get close enough to take a picture without him screaming)

Ellis Alexander Stiebel. (Courtesy of Joan Stiebel because Rick can’t get close enough to take a picture without him screaming)

Rickter Scale: A grandson like no other

The Rickter Scale is an irregular column in the Goldstream Gazette

Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat.

Ellis certainly had his ESP skills refined to an art form for the first three months, pepper-sprayed in fifty shades of brown.

Once he got a hundred days under his diaper, though, he began to add subtle nuances to his regular routine.

The fixed stare into space has been replaced by eyes that sparkle as they flit from face to face, or, when he looks at me, overflow with bewildered suspicion. That only exception is on those special occasions when I get to steer the wheels of his perambulator. He grudgingly tolerates my presence whenever I serve as his personal chauffeur during our family strolls to the park. Whenever I venture too close for his comfort, however, he reverts to Hell Boy mode, a persona he shared with me at full volume the first time I held him.

Ellis absolutely loves it whenever the Bride takes him in her arms, however, or gently bobs him up and down on her knee. A glow such as I’ve never seen before cloaks Joan like a favourite blanket every moment she’s with him.

A detailed description of the goofy grin that’s stapled to the face of my son Chris, amazing mama Rochelle and Ellis when they dance together will remain a family secret. For now.

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I would trade the Kardashian’s family jewels in a blink for just a little peek into what the little guy is thinking when the four of us are within earshot.

Ellis Alexander Stiebel, in his own words…

“It’s been six months plus since I busted out wailing and flailing; still adjusting to life on the outside. Mom and dad are super awesome so far, but they remain a work in progress, with lots of training ahead. Feigning the occasional tantrum still gets great results. Before I forget, thanks again for getting the three of us through the perils of a pandemic pregnancy. Couldn’t have done it without the two of you.

“Joan hasn’t decided what she wants me to call her yet, but we’ll settle on something before I let them know I’m ready to talk. She’s honey-sweet and I love those pony rides, so I may let her have some say in her naming rights.

“I heard Papa really looked forward to my arrival, so I’m having quite the hoot freaking him out every time he gets close to me. He’s a little too hipster wannabe to me, so sadly stuck in the ‘60s. Not a fan of the hair, either. A little grey is okay, but that total whiteout just ain’t working. Not sold on the goatee yet, but he does have the perfect face – for radio.

“Finally, that alliteration fixation in what he peddles as prose is particularly perturbing and profoundly perplexing.

“And what the hell’s up with that voice, anyway? Sounds like it’s straight out of a Halloween horror movie.”

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist.

Columns are the opinion of the writer and do not represent the viewpoints of the paper or Black Press Media.


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Rickter Scale