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.

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.

 

 

 

Denny the Monkey Visits The Ohio Theater: A story for my grandson

Aidan, remember when I told you I lost the monkey I crocheted for you?  Grandma was sad because you hadn’t met Denny the monkey yet.

Good news! Grandma got a phone call from the  Columbus Ohio Theater and the lady on the phone said she found the monkey inside the theater

Denny ran away when Grandma  wasn’t looking. He snuck out of the car when Grandma  picked up a T-shirt for her next ushering job.

Since Denny was  waiting at The Ohio Theater , Bubbe and Papa decided to treat Denny to the 1965 movie, “The Great Race.” The Ohio Theater shows old movies in the summer time. It’s called the “Summer Movie Series.” Grandma likes this movie series a lot.

Grandma saw this movie with her mommy and daddy when she was 15 years old. She forgot most of it. (She did remember it lasted a long time.) It starred the actor, Tony Curtis, an actor Grandma really liked when she was young. The movie featured a very famous beautiful, actress, Natalie Wood.

Denny had such a good time. He saw a movie, sitting in the plush seats at The Ohio Theater. While he was there he looked around . During intermission he went to the snack bar, and looked at all the sugary treats people can buy at intermission: candy bars, popcorn, pop, and your favorite, cheese crackers.

He got to hear Dennis James play a big beautiful famous organ , better than a piano. He played it before the movie began, and after it was over. The organ seems to appear and disappear, sort of like Peek-a-Boo.

After intermission, Denny went back to his seat, and watched the rest of the long movie. After it was over, it was time to go home. He thought it was funny that everyone clapped when the movie was over.  (Grandma thinks it’s because they don’t make good movies like they did in the good old days.)

He was happy to say “Bye Bye ” to The Ohio Theater, and went home with Papa and Grandma.

He is very excited to meet you.

10 things my 2 year old grandson may be thinking…..

1. Grandma and grandpa are fun! They are so happy to see me every time I come over. They give me a big hello, and have big smiles on their faces. They really like me a lot. I can do a lot of stuff at their house that I wouldn’t try with Mom and Dad.

2. Grandma is always giving me new toys to play with. “I bought this stuff at a yard sale for practically nothing,” she tells me. I’m not sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with the new toys.

3. Grandpa is always teaching me new stuff. He showed me how to

I like to play with water.

I like to play with water.

play with a thing called a straw. He’s also showing me how to dip my food in ketchup. I like ketchup!

4. Every time I come over Grandma gives me a little stuffed toy she crocheted. She is so happy when I guess what it is. I did call a hippo a bear, but she said that’s okay. She says she’s hurrying up to make all of these  before I realize what the animals are really supposed to look like.

5. Grandma and Grandpa put me in the backyard with them. Sometimes, I  try to get out, but I can’t work the latch on the fence. Grandma mutters, ” If he’s  like his mom, aunt and uncle, it will be no time before he figures it out! ”

I do like it when Grandpa puts me in the pool. (It came with his tractor). He calls water activities, ” My Beach Club.” Last time I didn’t feel like going in the water, but I liked putting water in cups and toys. I also like watering the flowers, and chairs with the hose. The sprinkler is a lot of fun too.

6. Grandma thinks I need a nap, but Grandpa is not so sure. Last time Grandma tried a nap I screamed my head off. Before too long, Grandpa picked me up and took me downstairs.  It took me a second to be happy again. Neither Grandma or Grandpa like me to be sad.

7. Last time Grandma and I took the funny stuffed animals on a sidewalk walk in the Spiderman Lunchbox she got at a yard sale, for only a dollar. I really didn’t want to hold her hand, but she made me.

8. When it’s nighttime Grandma and Grandpa will take me outside, and we will all look at the moon and stars. I like to sit on the front step with both of them, me in the middle. Sometimes, I sit on someone’s lap. I like to find the moon.

9. Grandma and Grandpa don’t have the heart to just put me to bed. Grandpa will play the guitar, and they will both sing me to sleep.

10. I am glad to see Mommy and Daddy when they come to pick me up, but it’s fun taking a little break with Grandma and Grandpa too. They hug me and kiss me when I leave, but  they do look like they need a little nap themselves.

 

All you need is love!

 

It’s been fun and interesting watching my grandson, Aidan, develop in the last 2 years.

He’s turned from a needy creature that required food, sleep, comfort, and love. At first, he was fighting the fight we all go through, survival.

I watched his parents go through it with him. They did the best they could to comfort him, and they did it together. I watched things I hadn’t seen before: babies sleeping in a comforting sleep wrap, diapers that register colors when the child is damp, and squeeze bottles of yogurt.

A loving family

A loving family

I saw the progression of rolling, crawling and finally walking. I heard sounds turn into words, and understandable sentences.

The most rewarding thing I watched was my daughter and son-in-law evolving into responsible loving parents.

Love is the answer

Today, while interacting with Aidan, I clearly saw empathy.  I’ve seen flashes of it all along. Starting very small, he always wanted to give us turns: feeding him, and even playing with him.

Before putting him to bed, I told him a story about me. I told him that once upon a time his mommy lived with Grandpa and me in our house, the one he stays at sometimes.

” Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Brian lived there too,” I said.

He really listened to my story and repeated parts of it back to me. His face showed a new type of understanding that I’d never really seen before. Maybe he picked up on my sentimentality about those days being long over.

I told him it made me sad when he cries. He usually protests when we put him to sleep. He does enjoy our company.

My husband decided to get the guitar from the basement and sing Aidan some songs. While my husband was getting the guitar, he clapped his hands anticipating Grandpa’s impending concert.  Then, he sat down Indian style waiting for him to start.

He looked me straight in the eye, and said, “See Bubbe, no crying.” After the concert, spur of the moment Grandpa songs about Aidan’s day, we allowed him play before bedtime.  He cooperatively got into his crib.

I couldn’t help thinking that the world would be a better place if every child got their needs met and was given boundless love by all the caregivers around them.

It’s as simple as that.

 

Two year old Aidan’s birthday party 

Today was the grandson, Aidan’s, second birthday. After having my own sixty-fifth birthday several days ago, I reflected on how lucky I was to fully enjoy this treasured child’s milestone birthday.

All day Aidan waited for the cake moment when we would sing “Happy Birthday” to him. He was so excited that he loudly protested taking an afternoon nap.

I left the whole scene and went to pick up his 93-year old great great aunt, Rochel, at her apartment. She perks up every time we include her in our family celebrations concerning her nephew.

After returning home, I slipped up the stairs to see how the nap was going. What I found was his grandpa (papa) almost asleep in his room, and Aidan standing up with his arms extended for me. I, being a reluctant disciplinarian, swooped him out of his bed and allowed him to play with a toy lawn mower, I’d acquired at the neighbor’s yard sale.

Throughout the day, Aidan would approach the table where he knew we’d recently celebrated other birthdays, eaten cake, and sung “Happy Birthday.” I kept saying, “not yet”, and pretty soon he was saying it too.

Aidan also burst into a melodious version of ” Happy Birthday” every time he approached the table.

It was so sweet when he opened his presents. Unlike last year, he understood what was under the wrapping paper and ribbons. Toys!

My husband and I gave him a tool set mimicking Papa, who is a fix-it person, and Aidan became very excited by the toy drill. It made noise, and he wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it. At first, he was running around with it and waving it in the air.
After Papa pointed out it was a fix-it tool, not a weapon, Aidan pretended to fix things. It was particularly poignant to see his 93- year old, Aunt Rochel, patiently allowing him to pretend to fix the bow that came with the present. She did the same exact kind of thing with my kids who still adore her. (Aidan is named after her husband, Al, who was equally patient and kind.)

Other favorites included a fancy wagon, pretend grill and basketball hoop.

We finally all sang “Happy Birthday” and brought out the cupcake cake. A big smile lit up his face. Aidan liked the icing, ice cream, and cupcakes. All of us enjoyed watching him blow out his candles, and eat his cupcake.
I couldn’t help thinking that by next year Aidan will be older and wiser. Maybe, by next year he won’t need as much help blowing out his candles.

A two-year old birthday party!

Aidan at his two-year old party. ( His auntie stuck the bows on his head.)

I hope we will all be there to see it.

A Day at COSI

COSI provides fun and learning.

Today we went over to our grandson, Aidan’s, house. We were going to spend the day at COSI (Center of Science and Industry). This museum has been in Columbus for a while. It’s a very innovative, hands-on, science museum. There are shows, and explanations of science included with the admission place. There are also 3D movies for an extra fee. It is well-worth the cost.
We knocked on the door and we could hear Aidan getting excited behind the door. He loves us! And he enjoys going to COSI. There is a

flat membership family fee, and the family can take him there any time they want. The family can bring two guests with them too.

We went to the car to start our fun day at COSI. He pointed to the seat next to him, and said, “Bubbe, sit down right here. Let the talking really begin! It is so cool to watch speech development. It goes from sounds to words, phrases, sentences, and finally strong requests.

COSI is cool

We finally got to COSI where all kinds of trucks were parked

 

Making memories at COSI

COSI provides fun and learning.

COSI provides fun and learning.

image image image

Making memories at COSI

Making memories at COSI

outside, and the kids and parents could get on them and pretend to be truck drivers. There were also yellow, plastic pretend hard hats available for everyone.  (This was a special event for Father’s Day. )

Aidan couldn’t decide if he wanted to wear the hat, so he kept taking it on and off. Since we all wanted him to wear the hat, we put the hard hats on too. What people will do for their children and grandchildren!

His Papa and Daddy, David, seemed to be just as excited about the trucks as the youngsters. They took Aidan’s hand and led him from one giant truck to the other.

I looked around and saw a few enthusiastic girls.  I did see a lot more excited boys and men.

Kid space

Kid space  is the most imaginative place for little kids.  There is  a pretend kitchen, doctor center, barn, doctor office, car, ambulance, play water tables, and an inside playground.

Aidan’s other Grandma, Gerry, and I stayed there with Aidan while his parents went to the planetarium with Papa. Aidan has a fair sense of play already. If he gave me a plastic banana, Gerry got one. He already knows that he shouldn’t show preference for one grandma over the other. How smart is that?

His favorite place was the water area. They have all kinds of water tables, boats, balls, and different contraptions powered by water. He was drenched even though they have little plastic blue aprons. All the kids playing there seemed so happy.

I couldn’t help but remember taking Aidan’s mom, Stacey, to COSI when she was little. She loved it just as much as he does. It’s nice to be able to go back with her little one. It’s almost like getting that golden time back again.

Columbus, Ohio, is so lucky to have such a wonderful place to take children! Like Aidan says when he gets there, “Wow!”

Making memories at The Columbus Ohio Zoo

There’s nothing like a toddler grandchild to make you feel wanted. My husband and I returned from a 10 day vacation and we got a great reception from our little one.

“Papa, Bubbe,” he shouted, while jumping up and down. I felt like a rock star. It’s more like my husband is the lead singer and I am in the backup band, but that’s okay.

The next day we all went to the very cool Columbus Zoo. My daughter took us with her Columbus Zoo membership. Yes, the tables have turned. I guess the next chapter started a while ago. (When I wasn’t looking.)

Now, the zoo added an African exhibit that gives the animals a big giant space to wander around in; maybe they don’t even know they’re captive, maybe they think the humans are on display?

I discovered something in the African exhibit that my grandson really liked, a music area. A xylophone like thing and some big drums. Pounding those babies was delighting him, and his sixty-something Bubbe. Papa showed up and they both were beating those drums together.

No more animals for our toddler after he discovered that music section. Just finding and

Beating the drum at The Columbus Zoo

Beating the drum at The Columbus Zoo

following that beat!

Afterwards, a group representing African music showed up, and we all tried to get into it.

So, there we were at the African exhibit: animals looking free in the wild while the family is moving and grooving.

Memory making at its finest!