Babies come and babies grow – tall. Just ask my 2-year-old grandson. He may still be sorting out how to pronounce all the words he knows, but when he knows the meaning, he will not tolerate any mistakes. This month he pulled himself up to his full 36 inches and emphatically told his mother, “NOT a gickle (little) boy! Me, tall boy.”
Tall enough and smart enough to have learned to sing the Happy Birthday song from beginning to end – with a few extra repetitions of “Happy bu-dy to dyu.”
He sang it to his St. Louis cousin – after he got home from her first birthday party. He saw her picture on the refrigerator, said her name and began singing for her birthday.
She can’t sing, but his now 15 month-old St. Louis cousin, according to her momma, “is playing around with words and sounds more and more each day” – and evidently, people. Her parents took her to a casual family restaurant recently and allowed her to get down from the high chair. Little Ms. Congeniality walked up to folks at nearby tables, smiling waving and calling out “Hi!” Several returned the grin and greeting. Others gave her a baby high fives.
The little socialite even tried to help her mother prepare for a party as her mother wrote in a recent e-mail:
“I had things going on the stove and in the oven, mountains of dishes to do throughout the day. I kept looking in on her every three to five minutes to make sure everything was okay. At one point I looked in the living room and saw that she was sitting in the middle of the floor with what looked like dirt all around her. Upon closer investigation – I saw she had chocolate cupcake crumbs all over the place. My darling girl, in the course of five minutes made her way through the kitchen, stepped up on her chair, knocked a cupcake off of its cooling rack on the dining table, carried the cupcake through the kitchen into the living room – ALL WITHOUT ME SEEING HER! I was truly amazed. All I could do was shake my head and laugh. I actually was fairly proud of her determination, speed and climbing skills – but I decided to put the baby gate up to keep her out of the dining room after that.”
Some areas have to be off limits to children, but for curiosity’s sake, I keep a shelf of oddities for visiting grandchildren – including the shell of a large star fish I found at a yard sale.
During a recent visit, the two-year-old grandson explored its spiny bumps as he turned it around in his hand.
“Poke,” he looked up at his mother.
“Yes, it does poke,” she said and talked with him about star fish. He wanted to think about this new discover. Even if poked, he wanted to sleep with it that night. After he fell asleep, his mother eased the poke-y shell out of his hands.
Fortunately for Grandpa, the child just studied the tools used at his house last week.
At that same age, his only boy cousin fell in love with Grandpa’s favorite hammer and carried it everywhere – including to bed. I persuaded Grandpa to give the child the hammer and buy another one for himself.
Considering the hammer he bought, I don’t think Grandpa minded too much that he gave his hammer to a “tall boy.”
(Joan Hershberger is a reporter at the News-Times. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)