The grandbaby turns one next week: what a joy he is!

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Almost one!

Almost one!

I can’t believe a year has passed since my grandchild, Aidan, was born. It’s been quite an adventure watching him grow. It’s a different perspective when the kid isn’t really your direct responsibility. I’ve watched him go from a sleeping creature to a real kid.

I remember from my past experience as a mother, than once that child turns one,  babyhood is over. Once the child figures out that they can get around on their own, things change. Once they crawl and walk, it’s away from you.

Aidan has been crawling for a couple of weeks.  He’s got the army crawl down, and he does use his knees. He goes after  the same things any curious child goes for:  the door stopper, the electric outlets, a tiny item on the floor.. He is really interested in the wheels of his high chair, and he loved his great -great aunts walker’s wheels. He has protested about diaper changing by moving onto his stomach. He figured out if he holds his body stiff, it’s harder for the adults to fasten him into his high chair, and car seat. Although he doesn’t do it every time, he does it enough to let me know he has a mind of his own.

 

He’s also started crying a little to let you know he is not happy with the situation. For example, his dad was feeding him, and he sorrowfully cried. It took us a little while to figure out that he was frustrated because he took away the dissolving cereal he was supposed to put in his mouth. He wasn’t doing that, but he was carefully examining it.  He also tried to feed it to me. At least he has the idea, in a way. I’m hoping that means he’s going to be a giver.

He does adore my husband. He likes it when he picks him up and talks to him. We were thrilled the other day when my husband played the guitar, and he sang along with us in a soft little voice. He sang, “dada,mama,nana, and other brilliant words. He also let us know that his favorite is still “wheels on the bus.”

I got a little misty eyed when my husband gave him his bath the other day. My husband was doing his shampoo trick, gathering the hair in a funny point on the head.  It was so reminiscent of our lives 30 years ago. My husband is an efficient bath giver. He used to get them washed and dried in 2 minutes flat. He hasn’t lost his touch.

I know what’s going to happen. He will learn to walk, than talk. He will become more and more independent. He won’t want to do what mommy and daddy want to do. He will go to school, find friends, and move further and further away from us. But I’m hoping he will continue to be a part of our lives.i

In the meantime, I’m glad I got another bonus in life, the chance to watch another child develop. Without all the responsibility and work. What a joy it is!

My grandson at 7 months old and growing, growing, growing!

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Today, we picked up our grandson at Daycare. We walked in and he smiled at us. The other little ones that were waiting for their mom and dads looked at us with adoring eyes. It sure would be easy to pick any one of them up and put them in your car. They’re all so trusting.  It’s been interesting watching them over the last few months. A real little one is crawling all over the place. My grandson is the only boy. I don’t think any of them realize this. They are all “too cute.”

We go in the room, and go through the ordeal of putting on his stuff and putting him in the car seat. He has almost as much luggage as I do when I go on a weekend trip. (The diaper bags, etc.) He stayed up longer than usual in the car. He didn’t take his eyes off me. I’m wondering if he remembers me from last week.  He just couldn’t make it though. He closed his eyes, just as we were pulling into the driveway. I noticed his jacket was getting little on him since he’s growing so much. He does have a variety of these jackets, so I’m not too worried .

I was happy he wanted me to carry him around when we got inside the house. I could smell his baby hair, and snuggle with him. He sat on my lap, pulled off his right sock, and  looked lovingly at my husband who was sitting next to me. He kind of bounces on my lap because he’s excited to see him. My husband is always moving, and who doesn’t want to watch that? He also tries his best to make him laugh with silly noises, etc.

Then, his daddy came in the door. We could just forget it after that. His daddy makes him laugh hysterically. All he has to do is just saying nonsensical words to him, make faces, and the child is a goner. Try as hard as he can, my husband only can get a smile out of the child, not a genuine laugh. I guess that’s the difference between being the parent and a grandparent.

We then got to watch this kid eat. We all take turns feeding him.  He can now sit in the high chair and is eating varieties of vegetables and cereal. There’s no problem with this. He will grab the bowl and spoon if you let him.  His cereal is a little hot, so he has to wait between courses. He is a big indignant and makes a frustrated noise. After he gets his cereal, he makes those mmm noises that babies make when they eat. While he’s eating, I can’t help but think about all the babies who are going hungry. It’s a sad thought. I’m glad this child has enough food to make him happy, healthy and keep him growing.

His mom is out-of-town for business, and she calls while he’s eating. He takes a little break and looks like he’d like to get inside the phone. He accidentally  turns it off trying to manipulate it.  At least with modern technology he can see her.  It’s a little heartbreaking, but she’s only on a short trip.  She’s lucky she has a good job and is successful.

After a while, we know this kid is getting tired. We know this because he starts pulling at his hair. He’s doing a little cry thing, so I take him in his room and rock and sing to him a little.  Like his mother before him, he likes this. I like it when he rests his little head on my shoulder and relaxes. He’s so tired tonight that I think he would be asleep in another minute or two. Usually, he likes to coo while I’m singing, but tonight he is just laying there listening.

Then its bath time. He’s getting big for that baby bath thing they use, but he still fits. He likes to kick and splash. The two men work as a team and wash him all up. I just sit and watch. He does a few kicks when I say kickee kick, but he’s getting water all over the place. I don’t see him staying in this bath thing much longer. Unless they want to flood the kitchen.

Finally, he’s about ready for bed. We say goodbye.  I’m happy I get to see him again tomorrow. Babies are nice when you’re older, especially when you have a frustrating day.  I might as well enjoy him as much as I can. I feel lucky to have this little one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking my grandson to The Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights

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Cover of "Goodnight Moon"

Cover of Goodnight Moon

I love my new grandson.  So do a lot of people.  This is the first grandchild on both sides of the family.

This kid has one huge following. I don’t think King George himself gets more attention.

Ever since he was born, we’ve all been clamoring for his attention. He’s already used to flashing cameras, and face time on the I-phone and I-Pad .  We all want him to adore each of us.  It doesn’t hurt that he is smiley, and pretty good-natured.  I’ve been excited about him since my son-in-law and daughter showed us that first ultrasound. He looked as big as a small tadpole. But, we fell in love with the idea of being grandma and grandpa right there and then. It was almost as exciting as finding out about the upcoming birth of your own kids.

The baby is now 6 months old, and is getting more interesting. Yesterday, we went along when they took him to the Columbus Zoo to see the Christmas lights. It was an elaborate display, and it was more crowded than usual.  My husband drove, and it took us an hour to drive 3 miles. Under ordinary circumstances, my husband would’ve turned the car around at the first opportunity and leave. (Neither of us have the patience for traffic.) But, we were with my daughter, and son-in-law, and our little prince. He didn’t mind the traffic. He took the opportunity to take a nap.

We finally got in the zoo. There were virtually a million or so lights on the grounds, maybe more. I looked at the baby’s reaction. He kept staring at his parents while they were strolling. He did take a look at all the lights, but who knew what he was thinking. He doesn’t talk yet.  We all kept looking at him. No wonder he was staring at all of us!

They had a big musical show, and the Christmas trees twinkled to music. My husband was so excited to show it to him. He did look straight ahead, and seemed somewhat interested. I couldn’t really tell.  My husband sure was animated, showing him the lights.

We finally went home, and his parents got him out of the crazy car seat they have these days. His mother took him into his bedroom, laid him on his changing table, and he spotted us. Suddenly, a look of some kind of recognition came across his face, and he smiled his sweet, big smile. Then she put him in his bed, and read “Goodnight Moon” to him like she does every night. He sure reacted to that. He was smiling and cooing all over the place.

She laid him in his crib and he kicked his feet with glee and happiness.  I think this is the reaction I was hoping to see at the zoo. But, I took this reaction instead. It was priceless.

The baby tastes real food. A tiny step toward independence.

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Today, my husband and I went to watch our grandson eat his first  bite of oatmeal. Why did we go to the other side of town to do this?  There’s something momentous about watching a human being eat their first solid food. It’s one tiny step toward growing independent.

He's getting bigger

He’s getting bigger

We all sat down at the table with a bowl of oatmeal mixed up with formula. He knew something was up because my husband and I were holding two different cameras, and we were grinning like goons. The child is used to us doing this, but we were especially silly about this. He looked at everyone at the table with a definite look of puzzlement. It was  almost like he was saying, “What’s going on family?” He had almost the same look when we tried to give him a bath in our too small sink last week.

My son-in-law had prepared his formula with the cereal mixed up in it. He is a very specific kind of guy, so I knew it was done to perfection. Then, they sat the kid down with his bib My daughter cradled him in her lap. . (He’s been wearing the bib in case he spits up, but tonight it was for real. )My daughter sat him on her lap, and the first spoonful went in his mouth. It’s always fun to see the look of surprise that comes across their faces when they taste that oatmeal stuff for the first time. It’s like, what is this stuff? Do I like it or not? Where’s my bottle that I guzzle down in 10 minutes flat?

It took a few times, but he seemed to get into the whole thing. (In between swallows, I noticed he was rolling up his tongue)  Some of it didn’t make it into his mouth. We were all excited about the whole thing. It was almost as much fun watching his parents, as it was him. For one thing, they are doing a terrific job being parents and love the baby to pieces. They were proud of their little son. ( That’s how it should be, but it doesn’t always work that way.)

He didn’t seem thrilled with how it sat in his stomach after he ate it. I actually walked around with him because he seemed to be happy in the vertical position.  It might be that he just likes to be carried around after he eats. Who knows? The child already weighs 15 pounds, which isn’t much, but is enough for me.( I don’t remember thinking my kids were heavy, but I was a lot younger and my back was a lot stronger. I can still do it with ease,  but I don’t know how much longer this is going to last. A good incentive to keep lifting those weights in the gym).

After a few more minutes, his mom was able to comfortably sit down with him, and we went through some of his toys he has accumulated. The cool thing is he’s actually playing with them now. His other grandfather sent him some musical toys for Christmas. He banged on the toy drum, and seemed very happy about the cool noise that it was generating. . It wasn’t so long ago that the child was sleeping 16 hours a day, but that’s not the case now. There’s no doubt that this kid is growing out of infancy. Only six months till he’s a year old, and this baby stage comes to an end.

What is great about being a Grandparent is you get to watch this stuff, but it’s at a bit of a distance. It was time for us to go home.  As we were leaving, the child was drinking his bottle. He seemed happy to be drinking his old friend, the formula. He doesn’t have to work hard at drinking that. Another plus about the Grandparent gig; we won’t have to change the diaper when it all comes together at the end.

Watching a baby grow into a kid


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I started this blog when my grandson Aidan, was about 4 months old. What a difference 2.5 years can make.

In a way, having a grandchild is like going back in time. The song I sang to my own children, “High Hopes” resurfaced. I rocked him in the same rocking chair I rocked my own babies. I cuddled him the same way, but I knew he was not really all mine.

I did know what was coming: the first rollover, crawl, walk, and talk. Learning things: puzzles, crayons, and his first amusement park. It’s been delightful and fun.

Like my own children, these stages have gone at warp speed.

The other day my husband and I went to babysit, and for the first time he said,”I want Mommy and Daddy!”

He now has a will of his own, and he can clearly express his wants and needs. He is on his way to reaching 3. If my memory serves me correctly, that is the age where the children really start to grow into big kids.

We watched “Fraggle Rock” together, and it made me feel melancholy. There were the “Fraggles” who liked to play all day, and the “Doosiers” who work all the time. It’s the miracle of Netflix and Hulu to find those good gems.

I know Aidan’s mother remembers watching that show with her Mommy, Daddy, brother, and sister, when she was a little girl. I look at it as a compliment that she wants to share that very same show with her little one.

I’m glad I got another go round watching a baby turn into a little child. This time I got to see it from a distance and really mull it around.

June 10, 2016

 

Breaking in Grandma and Grandpa takes time

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Our grandson is now 2 years and 8 months . No more baby! Two months ago he couldn’t press down on the Playdo plastic mold to make little figures. Now he can. Just like that! You can almost see that brain developing at triple speed.

He helps my husband make pancakes and cookie dough. He stands up at the counter and earnestly stirs the ingredients. He also talked me into letting him stand there to eat his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  (He’s quite a talker)

He likes to use crayons, paper and pencils. He prefers markers, but this was not a good idea. There were more markers on him than on the paper. (Quite colorful)

To change the pace, I downloaded a kid’s movement Cd. We were fire engines. We had to freeze when we got to the fire, then onto the next one. It was a sweaty workout! I recommend workout clothes, and a  nap before attempting this activity.

Once we offered him a McDonald’s hamburger and he refused it. No more fast food for him.

His latest game manipulates time. He turns off the lights says “good night” then turn them back on and says “good morning. ”  This is also a good workout, since we have to get up and lay down to represent morning and night at least 30 times. ( a good month)

Grandpa composes songs for him on his guitar, and my grandson has a special favorite about the moon. He is showing off his talents too.  Lately, he’s  been singing us all his top 10 favorites. This includes “Abc, Twinkle twinkle little star , Happy Birthday and Wheels on the bus.”

This grandchild is patiently and lovingly teaching us grand parenting skills.  We’re almost broken in, but it’s going to take more time.  Continue reading

Selling memories at a yard sale

Before my grandchild I wrote this. He rides the horse now.

My Life in my 60's

My husband is a nice city boy, but you would never know it. He likes country music, and having yard sales. I really think he likes all the people, and rearranging stuff. He’s one of those working types.

I noticed his love of yard sales shortly after I  married him. This was in 1973, when yard sales were not as socially acceptable as they are now.

I was sitting in our old rented town-house,  I looked out the window, and there he was, outside with a bunch of junk. He was pricing stuff that was more suitable to be put in File 13, otherwise known as the garbage can.

Not only was he selling junk, but he was selling stuff we still needed. Like casserole dishes, appliances, etc. At one yard sale, he even sold the guitar that my parents bought me for my 16th birthday. (Okay, I never really…

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How a 2.5 year old manages his grandparents

imageTonight I’m seeing my little grandson. It’s been a while since I started this “Grandmother’s Diary.” Aidan is officially 2 1/2.

It’s been interesting watching a 2-year-old develop from a distance. Since I see this child only once a week, sometimes two go by, I notice progress.

Watching Aidan try to separate from his parents is a revelation. Asserting independence, and testing the limits. This has included eating, getting dressed in a timely fashion, and not wanting to go to sleep. This kid is a big tester. I think his mom and dad have found appropriate ways to outsmart him.

Pushover grandparents

When he comes over to see Bubbe and Papa it’s a different story. First of all, we are both complete suckers for this child. I think when you’re a parent, you know it’s your responsibility to teach your kids that life is not always sunshine, so you can be strict.

When you’re a grandparent, if the child is not really living with you, it’s a whole different story. I do not want to cause this child to pitifully cry when I leave the room. I just can’t stand it. My husband is just as bad.

Last time we put him to bed, we just couldn’t walk out. We sing, he sings, We lay down, he lays down. We start to tiptoe out, and he pops up. He look at us with a puzzling look. He’s thinking, I know I’ve got them both under my thumb. Time marches on. Hours go by. Somehow we outlast him, and he falls asleep.

In the morning at 7 a.m he can’t wait to start a new day. If only we could all stay like that!

Getting him dressed is a real drawn out affair. He runs around and refuses.  Letting him pick out what he’s going to wear seems to speed things along. I do put on my sterner grandmother voice, and he seems to respond.

Only 6 months ago, he was saying only a few words. Now he’s talking in paragraphs. Now, I know what he’s thinking. So do his parents. “Mommy don’t leave, stay.” (My kids used to just cry, not talk.) Sometimes, he does tell them it’s time to go, and looks forward to us spoiling him. “Go now mommy,” he says.

This child is adored by both sides of the family. That’s a lot of responsibility for one little kid. He seems to sense that he has to spread himself around. I am happiest to see this empathy showing through.

I am shocked how much a child develops in 2 1/2 years.

It’s pretty cool to watch.

Are you a pushover for your grandchild? How?

The two-year old acts his age ! 

imageOur little one is talking up a storm. He tells you what he’s doing, even if he thinks it’s naughty. ” I’m going to stand under the table now.”

He won’t fit under there long. Every time we see this child he seems to have a new pair of shoes because he’s growing so fast!

He has a little stuffed bear that is programmed to say his name. Aidan pretended with that bear and other stuffed animals. He gave them hugs. He lined them up inside his little toy tent and showed them his “Paddington Bear” book.

There’s also the other tell -tale signs of the two -year old. “I want to do it myself! That’s mine! This formerly good eater is now reluctant to try every food put in front of him. He is developing his own taste for food.

It’s difficult to ignore the signs of independence. We wait and wait for them to crawl, walk, and start growing up. Then, we are startled when they grow so quickly. We see their world expanding every time we turn around; nevertheless, this age is fascinating and fun to watch.

It’s really fun when you’re a grandparent and can keep a distance.  The disciplining is left to Mom and Dad who are real pros!

The Columbus Zoo provides fun, happiness, and amazement

 

1.Entering the zoo, and watching all the toddlers in their strollers. It looked like a kiddie parade. Children of all sizes, shapes, and colors, looking so delighted to be at the Columbus Zoo.
2. My grandson laughing aloud at the little bonobo monkeys playing, almost like him. (They are better swingers). He liked one little bonobo who was playing with a haystack.
3. Watching him looking at the penguins swimming around. Thinking he can say “hi” and they can hear him. He also said “hi” to the animated pirate that greets us when we enter and leave the park. (Does he knew he’s not real?)

4. Enjoying the  new African area where the animals don’t look quite as caged. I really could’ve watched them for a while, the giraffes looked so free, powerful and tall.

5. Going on the little train that makes a circle in the zoo. Hearing the whistle blow, and sitting on the shiny train. He moves his little shoulders and sits up really straight when he’s happy, and he did!

6. How delighted he was to sit in between his mommy and bubbe with Grandpa sitting behind us.

7. Watching my daughter plant kisses on him, just like I did

on her. Waving at people at the stops and having them wave back. How nice if life always was like that!
8. Going to the carousel; my grandson was not so sure he wanted to go on a horse, but he knew his own ” Grandpa” would keep him safe. He weathered it.

9.Remembering  my father waving to me when I went around the carousel. I always think of him when I see one. A tear always comes to my eye, and I treasure the memory.

10. Eating a picnic that my daughter thoughtfully put together. Feeling the tables are really turned. I still feel almost the same, but things are different. I am older and slower.

11. Watching my husband talk to my grandson about the animals; just like he did with all my children.

12. Knowing it was time to leave because both my grandson and I both needed a nap.