Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Newborn baby fingers and toes, eyelashes and nose.  My first two sons were born 11 1/2 months apart - Irish twins.  One of my most vivid memories of Corey's birth is when Colin was brought to the hospital to meet his brother.  How did he grow so much in so few hours?  I know babies grow fast - I know it more now than I did then - but he went from my baby to my "big boy."  It is still the most amazing overnight transformation I've ever witnessed.

Years later when grandboy number one was born, I couldn't wait for my first opportunity to study ten perfect fingers equaled by ten wiggly toes.  I wrapped five of those little fingers around one of mine.  And he hung on tight,  It's a baby reflex, I guess.  But I hung on, too, with a Granma reflex of my own.

It doesn't take long, though just a little longer than overnight, before that same little boy learned to say, "no" and "I do it."  I said, "come" and he headed, fingers and toes, in the opposite direction.  Ah, toddler.  Hand holding gets further and further apart, and sometimes carries more of an air of punishment than appreciation - at least for the mini man I attempt to corral.

Now at 9 years of age and approaching 5' tall, Bryce is no longer a midget.  Somewhere around this age, little boys become squirrels.  If you ask for a hug, he will either run the other direction screaming or launch himself into you like a Chicago Bear linebacker.  There is no in between.  I know from experience that this squirrelliness will last for several years.  Rather than holding a hand, the little rodent will swing his arm at you, just barely missing - if his aim is good.  Or giving love "taps" if it isn't.

On a walk home from the park the other day, Bryce was testing his aim with mixed results.  At one point, I grabbed at his arm and came up with his hand.  To my surprise, it was half a block before he pulled his hand away to scratch his nose.  I was thrilled with the time I got, and would never have dared to hope for more.  But nose itch alleviated, his hand slipped back into mine as we continued down the sidewalk.

Newborn fingers are a marvel, indeed, precious beyond belief.  But holding hands with a squirrel - now that is the stuff of Granma dreams!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Road Trip!

Back in the early 80’s, I drove a Honda Civic.  It was decked out with 3 car seats, a few toys, something sticky in strategic locations, and the (not so) faint smell of sour milk.  Nothing more would have fit in that car.  One of the car seats was in the front seat, but that was in the day before it occurred to anyone that kids were safer in the back seat – further from Mom’s reach…

When their own sons numbered two, Court and Christine drove a Honda:  2 car seats, a few toys, no milky smell and nothing sticky.  But the biggest difference was that even with 2 adults in the front seats, this Granma could squeeze into the back seat between two love bugs in their hard shells.  That could change at any time by virtue of Granma gaining just a pound or two.

I went on a road trip with said family in said Honda 18 months or so ago.  Josiah got bored in his rear facing car seat – not much to see.  He expressed himself.  I jiggled the car seat and cooed and tickled.  He remained largely unaltered.  Aidan sang a happy song:  Granma, Car! Car! Car!  Bye-bye, car.  (second verse) Granma, Truck! Truck! Truck! Bye-bye, truck.  (third verse) Granma, Fire truck!  Fire truck!  Bye-bye, fire truck.  It’s like a toddler version of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.  Then there was adult conversation coming from the front seat, punctuated with, “Aidan, no more talking,” which had no effect whatsoever.

It was indeed a sweet symphony/cacophony of sound.  There was something magical, and frankly, quite comical, about that car going down the road.  After a long trip that hastened my need for hearing aids, we arrived at our destination – it probably took 20 minutes. 

I have found my motivation to never gain another ounce.  And I would even sit on something sticky if it found its way to my designated spot between those two car seats.  I like that kind of road trip.  I absolutely love that family.  I might even have 30 minutes of ride time in me.

Wonder where the twins will sit come October?  I was here first!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One for the Thumb

I grew up with three brother and a sister.  My dad was a minister in the years when they were moved every three or four years.  Many times those many siblings were my sole companions as we adjusted to a new address and before we established new outside friendships.

I always thought that five kids was a pretty good number.  Even when you were on the short side of as-evenly-split-as-five-can-be, you still weren't alone.  If it ever got to four on one, you knew it was time to give up the battle - you were hopelessly outnumbered.

When the five us get together, we still tell the same stories over and over and over again:  clam chowder (gross and disgusting and makes us laugh EVERY time), apple cider (oops, forgot to include the word "vinegar" in that drink offer - sorry, Dean), snow tunnels (after Dean's concussion we had to cave them in - grrrr - maybe he deserved the "apple cider").  If you have siblings, you know I could keep going.  We keep adding new tales, but the old ones are best, and apparently bear repeating.  We crack ourselves up!

So the happy Granma news is there are more babies on the way!  Yes, plural!  Court and Christine, of Aidan, Josiah and Elijah fame are adding to their family - with TWINS!!!  There will be five under five in that household!  I can't wait!  Of course, I get to love them up and send them home, which could have some distinct advantages at 2:00 AM.  And there is a possibility, scant as we all believe it to be, that there will be a grandGIRL!  At least there is a 50/50 chance - twice!  Does that equal 100%?  Might need to check my math on that one.

So the other day my mother was commenting that she wasn't sure how Court and Christine would manage:  five is a lot of kids!  Yeah, I know, Mom, I'm one of five, too!  Hmmmm, does that mean she has forgotten or that she remembers?

I love you, Mom!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Part of the absolute wonder of grandboys is watching them grow and develop at such a rapid rate.  It kind of reminds me of when my boys were little, but different.  Back then, I couldn't wait them to: walk, feed themselves, dress themselves, learn to read...  The list was ever changing and never ending.  Always the next thing, but not entirely for the wonder of it all.  Once they fed or dressed themselves, it meant I got to move on to something else as well.  It wasn't quite that cold and calculated - just a necessity of life with three boys three and under.

But with grandboys it's a different kind of watch and wait.  I want them to learn to walk because there is nothing cuter than a toddler taking those Herman-Munster-like steps with their Mini-Me body.  But I'm still going to pick them up and carry them around and love them up.  So the actual walking isn't the point.  It's fine with me if they can show off by putting on their own coat, but I still want to get down on their level to zip the coat, deposit tickles in the pocket and kisses on the cheeks.  And for your sake if they didn't do something new and different, you would only have adorable pictures to view here on Tuesdays - which would also be a-MAZ-ing!

So Adian, a precocious three year old, has learned all the letters and the sound of each.  (We shall ignore for the time being that some letters make more than one sound.  Or that English pronunciation rules are somewhat capricious.)  The next predictable step is to sound out words.  This necessitates finding specific words where each letter makes the sound that Aidan is expecting.  H-I-T is a possibility.  T-H-E is not.

Showing off his new prowess, Aidan was sounding out the word "sit."  You know how it goes:  "S....I....T."  Now say it faster.  "S..I..T."  Now faster.  "SIT!".  Perfect!  Same success with "hat"!  How about the letters on his jacket?  "C....U....B....S"   Then "C..U..B..S"  And finally "CUP!  Yes, please, I want a drink!"

Give that boy a (root) beer!  He's already a die hard  Cubs fan!  It runs in the family.  Here to the 2015 season.  Seems like the perfect year for a P...E...N...N...A...N...T!