Friday, January 31, 2014

Conversations With My Grandson

 My eldest grandson turned three this past week.  I’ve been watching Grant on Tuesdays since I officially ‘retired’ from my job.   He loves coming to bumpa’s daycare since I pretty much let him run the show.  Whatever he wants to watch on TV, I turn it on for him.  Whatever book he wants me to read to him, I do.  Whenever he wants his breakfast and lunch, that’s when I get it.  He’s a little prince in my house on Tuesdays.
     What has been most interesting in the months I’ve been watching him has been to see his communication skills develop.  He can’t tell me what he wants unless he communicates it to me.  Like last week when he was watching his favorite movie of late, Attack of the Crab Monsters, he complained that it was “too loud.”
      I knew that’s not what he meant because I had purposely turned down the volume on the TV.  So I ignored him.  Pretty soon he put his hand up to his ear and declared, “I can’t hear the monster.”  That was better.  I turned up the volume on the TV.   By the way, I’m not sure how this fascination with my crab monster DVD developed.  I got it for Christmas as I’m a fan of vintage science fiction movies I saw as a kid.  Grant spotted the DVD case lying around, thought the monster looked interesting so I put it in the DVD player just so he could see the clips that accompanied the menu screen.  He was hooked, eventually wanting to see any scene that featured the lumbering, mechanical crab.

     He has made some interesting observations on the crab.  For example, he tells me that the crab monster eats, “Apples, vegetables and an orange.”  Not people, he insists (though the plot of the movie says otherwise).  And he says, “You have to pay for the crab monster.”  That one threw me a bit.  I can only assume that had something to do with someone buying me the DVD for Christmas.
     Crab monsters aside, he sees things from his own little world, the world of a toddler.  It's just simple observations and requests mostly.  I just listen or offer a simple response—'yeah', or 'is that right', or something like that.  One time I was driving him in the car and he was babbling on and on about where he wanted to go.  Particularly, he wanted to see two water towers (like crab monsters, water towers command a particular fascination) and he wanted to go to the store and get two donuts.  The number two is another favorite concept.
     Eventually, I stopped listening as I had to concentrate on the traffic around me and he didn’t seem to be asking anything in particular.  But then he ordered, “You need to answer me.”  Sheesh.  It’s a different kind of backseat driver.  At this moment, the word "just" is frequently creeping into his vocabulary as in, "I just want to go home" or "I just want to watch the crab monster."
    He’s too young to have deep conversations with, of course.  As in why is the sky blue or will Obamacare eventually work.   He just reports the world he observes and makes requests depending on his mood at that moment, which can change the next moment.   I do remember when he saw a picture of his uncle Scott on the mantle.  He’s fond of Scott though he sees him infrequently since Scott lives in Maryland.  “That’s uncle Scott,” Grant observed.  Then after looking at the picture a few seconds he followed up with, “He come back?”

    That's about as thoughtful as his comments get.  But it is pretty touching when you think about it.


Blogger CAROLDEE said...

It must be wonderful to see him change before your eyes and continue to be excited about things and communicate with him.My sisters grandchild will be 3 in July and cannot speak sentences yet. They are having him tested more. Not sure what the problem is. Sad deal for sure.. Enjoy your time with him. Stay warm and well.. I think Spring will be here in JUNE!!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

See the world the eyes of a child is a wondrous thing; and what is equally as good is allowing one's self to do so.

Cherish your Tuesday. By the sounds of it, you do. :)

Best wishes.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Carine Nadel said...

it's one of those wonderful life events to watch our grandchildren grow and change. Love their observations and what they decide the both like and not like.
we're just about to start over for the 3rd time and we're loving it.
Dyl and Aidan have pretty good conversations with us about why I look older than grandpa. "mom says you don't look old that you have lots of pain and that makes you look extra tired"

Nice. They did tell me that no matter what I'm beautiful. Gotta love that. They also decided my parents Chihuahua who is morbidly obese isn't going to live long because "grandma, I'm worried. Cisco's too fat and he can't be a Chihuahua like Lucky. He must be very sad"

Listening to their logic is touching, funny and heartwarming.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CAROLDEE--Our youngest son couldn't speak in sentences at three, at least ones that could be understood by anybody except his mother. Spring needs to come earlier than June. I am so sick of snow and ice.

LEE--Sometimes I think I'm just a big kid anyway, at least at heart. Before you know it though, he'll be going to pre-school. Maybe then I'll watch my younger grandson on Tuesdays.

CARINE--Grant once said that this character Roz from Monsters Inc looked like grandma. If you've ever seen Roz, you know that's not a flattering reference. But you're right, you never know what they'll say.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Dike said...

Your grandson sounds like a brilliant child. You should consider sending him to Michigan State University. Perhaps you've heard of it? They are the recent Rose Bowl Champions.

Also, I just want to swear that I had nothing to do with the Post-Superbowl Victory couch burnings in Seattle. Excitement reigns, or rains, in Seattle's case.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

MRS DIKE: Grant's brilliant at getting what he wants from grandpa, that's for sure. You already commented about the Spartans winning the Rose Bowl but I repeat myself too now that I've hit 60.

Big-time congrats to the Seahawks on winning the Superbowl. They join the 1979 Supersonics and the Seattle Metropolitans (before your time) as pro sports league champions. We have a few more than that in Detroit though.

6:40 AM  

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