Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the art of communication, and other stuff

One of the funniest things I have observed in my lifetime is how kids learn to communicate.  From that first "dada" to " Dad can I have the car tonight?" they spend their whole lives trying to get their ideas across to parents and grandparents in a way that will score them what they seek.  My grands are no different, and a couple recent incidents proved that to me.

I got a call the other day.  Normally this would be fine, but I had a busy week at work and had laid down to catch a quick nap in the early afternoon on Saturday.  Just as  drifted into lala land, my phone rang.  Because I am on call on the weekends, I had to answer the phone.  I was not a happy camper.

It was Maddie.  Practicing her phone skills.  On me.  When I least felt like assisting her.  But because I adore her, I decided I would make the effort.  And I did.  Sort of.

Maddie: hey Grammy!
Me: hey Maddie.
Maddie: whatcha doin?
(I hate this question, usually from Stevie Wonder, when it is obvious what I am doing because he is standing looking at me.  Then I realized Maddie couldn't see me, so I calmed down.)
Me: well I was taking a nap.
Maddie: where is Gramps?  (this was when I realized it was Gramps she wanted to talk to and I was her second choice.)
Me: he went to town to do some shopping.
Maddie: oh.
Me: what are you doing?
Maddie: well I am sitting here watching TV and decided I was going to call and see how you and Gramps were.
Me: oh.  (At this point I am done assisting her with her phone skills and I let dead air take over.  I am going to kill this call with silence.  I also hear Jen snickering in the background on the other end.)
Maddie: (after a long pause) well I guess I will let you go Grammy.  Tell Gramps I called.
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: oh, and tell him I love him!
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: and umm...I love you too Grammy!
Me: I love you too Mad. Bye.
Maddie: bye!!

Maybe you are thinking I failed at facilitating this conversation, but as sleepy as I was, Maddie was lucky I did more than grunt a few "uh huhs".

That same weekend, Steve and Jim double teamed me and set John in motion.  John loves to give kisses.  He sucks in his cheeks and makes big fishy lips, and will smack you with those fish lips, right in the mouth.  No cheek sugar for this boy.  I usually love to get these fish kisses, but on Saturday, Steve had John in the garden, and gave him a tomato, which John proceeded to eat, like an apple.  By the time he made it to the house, he had the tomato in a death grip in his hand half eaten  There was tomato juice puddled in his hand, and running down his arm I noticed.  The juice was dripping on the carpet I noticed.  Jim came in the door right behind John.  I was sitting on the couch. 

Jim: give Grammy a kiss John.
SW: yeah big boy give your Grammy a big kiss.
(This was all the encouragement John needed.  I looked up at his face as he came toward me.  And noticed tomato juice and seeds on his face, dripping off his chin.  I draw the line at second hand food, and threw my arms out and said "NO!" in a loud voice.  It was pure instinctive reaction.  And I saw John's mouth drop open in shock and disbelief.  And dismay.  That was when I realized he had never been denied a kiss.  And at the same time I realized I wasn't going to be the first one to tell him no, and make him cry.)

Me: ok, come give Grammy a kiss... (I braced myself)
John: ok! kiss!  (and he proceeded with a big grin and gave me a big wet kiss, which left me with tomato juice and seeds on my face, dripping off of my chin...)
Me: oh that was the BEST kiss ever!  (ok, sometimes a Grammy has to lie to salvage the conversation...and all this time Jim and SW were laughing their heads off, enjoying it all a bit too much.)

What a Grammy won't do for her grand kids...giving up sleep and hygiene for them...that is dedication...


I am adding this last picture because it means so much to me...a recent trip Jen and I made to California.  She was on business, and joined me at my sister's house, then we flew home together.  Usually I am flying solo, so this was a treat.  So was watching her purchase a blanket and pillow, then realizing she had to inflate herself when we got to our seats.  Priceless. :D

...life is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter
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