As we neared our seventies with no grandchildren in sight, my husband made a provocative statement: “I want our grandchildren to drool on us, not we drool on them.”
Well, it was close. Then, in 2007, our first grandchild arrived. I expected to be like all those other grandmas…whip out pictures, oozes platitudes, and go positively nutty. It didn’t happen. Then, around three months when this little darling…Regan… smiled up at me. I knew that I would lie down in traffic for her.
Like my counterparts, I too, was sailing through the toddler departments and oohing and aahing. “Do you have Elmo in the giant size?” I asked at one toy store. Even boys’ clothes looked cute.
The same parade of characters our kids enjoyed when they were little once again marched before us…, Elmo, Big Bird, and Oscar. They paraded around the TV, or in some form of walking and talking fuzz. Nowadays, it seems children’s’ toys all do, something. It raises their vocabulary to a new level; Regan’s favorite phrase is, needs batteries.
Of course all this reverie came to a sudden halt when I realized that there was another person who was equally Regan’s grandmother. However, I just wouldn’t think about that.
Hmmm, I persisted, Did Regan stop crying when the other grandmother took her on her lap?
Fourteen months after Regan’s birth, her little sister Amy arrived. Now we had two. Out came the array of infant furniture that had so recently been put away.
Two year-old meltdowns were in full swing on Regan’s part. When my daughter left to go shopping, she collapsed in a heap….Mommy. Sob. Mommy. Sob. This could go on for a half-hour. I calmly returned to my crossword puzzle and looked at her over the top of my glasses. Funny thing, she was peering at me too. Finally things just got too boring and over she came to hear a story.
Speaking of stories, one of their favorites is, “The Three Little Pigs” It started out calmly enough…and the Big Bad Wolf went, Grrrrrrr. As a little time passed, we added, I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” The other day I read the end of the story. I had forgotten. The wolf eats those dear little piggies. What do I do now?
Of course they will like what you give them! Well, not always. I found some red loopy material, just perfect, I thought for an Elmo hoodie. I found Elmo like eyes, an orange nose and a black mouth…100% Elmo. Regan finds it scary won’t go near it. Later? Maybe. Sometimes you just have to take chances. It was the same with the Ernie cookie jar. Take off Ernie’s head? Well, you’d better not!
Crayons are the greatest invention ever, especially the big chubby ones. They are contented to go back and forth forever on the paper. I have some of these drawings on my refrigerator just as I did thirty-five years ago, when their mother was little.
I was baby-sitting a week ago. My daughter said, Good-bye. No answer. Repeat. No answer. They were too busy; we were reading, “The Three Little Pigs” again.