Can a Child be Too Bright?

Irene Ryan

Irene Ryan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grandparenthood is a wonderful thing to be blessed with.  You get to observe and plump up your peacock bragging feathers at every brilliant word that falls from tiny mouths as though their brilliance is somehow a direct result of your genetic presence.  Somehow it is a time for wonderment and while you are pretty sure your own children went through the same development you were too busy working, cleaning, teaching, disciplining and just generally being a parent.  Observation and contemplation of small miracles are definitely a bonus when one considers your offspring’s offspring.

I have mentioned previously G2’s commentary on life and living and learning.  One of my faves of course is when his older brother taught him to never say the ‘F’ word and he didn’t even know what that particular word was but you got a scolding if you used the letter in any word until one he proclaimed, Granny fish begins with F and you can say it!’

I have noticed just how keen his observation skills are, rapidly developing, whilst my seem to be declining.

Granny (Looney Tunes)

Granny (Looney Tunes) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So – we were in the car the other day and I noticed a woman walking down the street and as we passed I noticed her tired looking too blonde dye job, her slight gimpy walk and thought that she generally looked weary and more round than lean.

As we rounded a corner G2 shouts out excitedly – Granny did you see that lady?  She looks just like you.  SHE has your face and everything!

Of course this is the same child that looked at a pic in a magazine that showed a very attractive young female standing next to a seated very elderly lady.  Jokingly I asked him if the beautiful woman looked like me and very seriously he said no and pointed to the very ancient, must have been 90 lady and said that’s you Granny!

Making It Look Easy

I’ve been thinking a lot this week which may or may not account for my absence in the daily post club. I prefer to think that thinking indeed was the reason. And what was I thinking? So glad you asked.
A lot of this great cerebral tickling of the grey cells centered around old family movies, Betty White and avoiding curses.

Twice now I watched Betty White’s 90th Birthday party and have been wanting to post something, but not the usual something. I wanted to avoid listing her accomplishments as they can be located, in depth, easily enough through our fav Google search engine. Lord knows the list is long. Nope there is something more. What is the key to her successes? At first I considered her primary characteristic to be resilience. you know what I mean. Her ability to endure life, the sad, the mad, the glad of it all, with grace and even joy. Then I thought it was her energy – the lady started in the business in 1939 right out of high school and when you look at every project she has had little down time doing multiples in any given year with multiple awards to reflect her efforts. Then I considered passion and she is passionate about her career, her work in animal preservation, and still active in her church.
What amazed me about her party was the sincerity of the folk present. It wasn’t one of those gatherings where people say nice things about the star and you can feel something just isn’t right. Maybe it is her lack of hoopla stardom. She has been the star, the back up support role and does it without the woohoohoo of ‘look at me’. She just is. She has talked a bit about her routine: up every morning between 6 and 6:30, shower, put on her face then on with the day.

The old family movies from the sixties and seventies also gave me pause to think a lot. Watching all who have passed, living and laughing brought warmth and comfort and stirred admiration for their accomplishments, none of which were ever broadcast, but we’re considerable in their own way.

I thought a lot about people and how we view others: the ones who make it look easy, the ones who make it look hard, and decided I want to be the former. My thoughts inspired me to start taking those walks instead of just thinking about it. My thoughts this week inspired me To Do rather than Just Be and I made some progress. The outcome of this week also made me realize that I will try posting just once a week as I expect to do more of this active thinking stuff. I may do more but will not do less.

And the curse? This too has occupied my mind. Not in receiving but in giving. I believe in The Golden Rule and Karma. To curse someone is a dangerous thing but when someone goes out of her way to hurt someone I love the desire is great, but the kick back is worse. I guess I will consider the implications for some time yet.
I hope your week was great and am off now to catch up on your wonderful blogs!!

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff and the Boy from the Poop

It’s a lovely Saturday here on the mountain. Cold with no wind and a crisp layer of snow on the ground.  I suppose it is laughable that we call it a mountain especially to my friends on the west coast but it is ours and we like it.

Today we have done some usual chores, son and G1 are out buying a toy he has saved up for, G2 is sitting quietly and DIL is catching up on some paperwork.  The plan is to go for a family swim later today, something both G1 and G2 love.

Me?  I am rewriting Chapter 2 trying to get into the head of one of my characters.  I have done 2 rewrites on this particular chapter and am not been happy with either.  There is something I am missing but am not quite sure what it is but am confident I will recognize it when I see it.

I have opened my apartment today to the critters of the household who usually reside with the rest of the family.  Jewels, the deaf white is sleeping peacefully on the back of my sofa.  Scout who has been renamed Henry is getting cozy trying out different spots which has included my lap and chest as I try typing.  Bree our yellow is happy anywhere but especially under my desk when I work.

Now Jack our third white who I have previously reported as being foul mooded since the arrival of Henry stalked around here a bit taking the odd swipe at Henry and then left to be near DIL.  Funniest thing is that during any given work day the animals are scattered but when DIL arrives home all, and I do mean all, congregate in the kitchen en masse and then where ever she goes.  DIL is a Dr. Doolittle which suits her profession as Vet Tech.  If you need a pet whisperer of any sort she would be your choice.

Now in addressing the Chaff and the Poop.  It seems G2 who at three is learning to take dominion over parts of his life as he should do, had also decided not to part with the products of certain body functions, which is not unusual in this age group.  This was never a particular problem with G1 who is now eight, although I do recall that at that age he had decided that if the back yard was suitable for the then canine in residence, Scooby, it was good enough for him.  It was an amusing and temporary problem easily solved once we got G1 to identify with the humans in the house rather than the animals.

There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution for the problem at hand but I hope the wee guy gets it straight soon… for his own comfort.

Any suggestions out there from you  experts would be greatly appreciated!

And now a pic of our dear departed Scooby taken in 09 through the back window of the playhouse.

G1 G2 Lots to Do

It’s a wonderful thing when a three year old finds his voice and language; words, sentences and phrases flow – nonstop; and his brother has reached a level of sophistication where he assists, guides and helps direct the care of the whirling dervish nuclear explosion his sibling has become. Three is an age of pure energy, pure articulation, and pure delight if one has the wherewithal
to withstand all this purity of motion and sound.
 
G1 who turns eight this weekend plays a mean game of Eye Spy and it was thrilling to find out not all youthful pleasures include iPods, iPads, and Nintendo although they were certainly part if the journey. Eight is also an age of deductive thinking and ability to reason with a healthy dose of imagination, bringing refreshment and delight.
 
The day started out when I picked the boys up in Hamilton loading the chariot of blue up with bathing suits, water bottles, towels, toys, snacks and sun screen. Once we returned to Kitchener it was off to Victoria Park. Promising to introduce the boys to Queen V and her great iron lion lying at her feet on the marble pedestal we parked and approached. The intent was to share my childhood park with them and to get them used to the idea of Royalty since The Queen of Hamilton will be setting up residence in their city in a few short weeks.
 
Ducks, fish and Queen were bid adieu and it was off to lunch. Knowing the boys had enjoyed their flight to Disney a few weeks ago I decided a trip to our local Waterloo International Airport for eats at the Runway Cafe was in order. There we could sit at a round table and watch planes through a wall of glass take off, land, get serviced all within a few feet of our table, accompanied by a squadron of model planes hanging from the ceiling.


 
The excitement was incredible and of equal interest to both ages. The best moment was when a large military supply plane landed dressed in gray steel and promptly declared by G1 as a bomber.
 
G2 picked at lunch too energized to eat and G2 ate all declaring he was in a growth spurt, then it was off to Grandma’s house for a swim in the pool and after an hour of splashing and jumping then almost as much time in the tub before heading out to show off my garden.
 
A little lemonade, and a run around the country property and we were off to McDonald’s for dinner and play land.  Children safely home by 7 and grandma in bed by 11 for a sound night’s sleep.  Whew!

Ten Fav Things For Mama Kat

The Wedding

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Current 10 Favs Include more than one person.
 
1) I love Kilts and Best Brothers – and yes the kilt was worn au naturel as demanded by tradition.
 

Groom Kilt Brother in Tux

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2) I love the women who make my sons happy!  Heidi who has been married to
 
Tom for 9 years and says she could not have had a more perfect husband, and
 
Mary Beth or MB who has just married my son in the Kilt.
 
 
3) I love that both men are good men, well regarded, who love laughter and
 
general silliness and are devoted to their wives.
 
 
4) I loved this wedding that was so laid back that when the minister asked what
 
symbols they brought to signify their love, the bride answered our rings..but
 
they are in the other room.  Yes everyone chuckled and waited while the maid
 
of honor set off to retrieve them.
 
 
5)  I love my exhusband who gave a wonderful speech about his son and even
 
the exe’s wife who to my knowledge had no disparaging remarks to make about
 
me…at least that I heard.
 
 
6) I love my son, the groom, Ryan, who believes in his roots and family and
 
who wore a kilt to honor my mothers family the Jenkins.
 
 
7)  I love my son Thomas for his devotion to his family, his crazy humor, and
 
his wild appreciation of life.
 
 
8)  I love MB’s family who have taken Ryan as one of their own.
 
 
9)  I love my sister Jane who provides more support than she can ever know.
 
And yes the bra..when she saw my perfect dress she said a strapless bra would
 
be perfect.  I do not have one I said.  Yes! you do she said as she whipped
 
her dress off and promptly gave me hers.  Right there.  Right then!
 
 
10)  I love my grandsons..Tom and Heidi’s sons who think I am the coolest
 
grandma in the world..because I tell them so
 
 
And really there has to be one more..sorry Mama Kat I know I am breaking the rules. 
 
11) I love every reader, every one of you who comments on my blog.  You are the best!
 

Mama

I AM MOM! No really…I AM!

Those of you who know me well, know that I tend to look at things differently.  For me Mothers Day is not a celebration of me, but a chance to honor my children!  For without them, how could I possibly be such a super mommy?   While I do not usually publish family pics, today is special so let me introduce my crew.

My youngest Tom, with G1 and G2 Rowan (left) Caleb (right)

 
Tom posted this on facebook tonight:
I love you and thank you for all you have done.

The love of a mother is beyond compare
One who dearly loves and is always there
From scraped knees
                                                       To falls from trees
                                                       A mother cares for all
                                                       From “I told you so”
                                                        To “That’s a no-no! ”
                                                       A mother answers the call

Heidi (DL)with Rowan a great Mom!

                                        Mothers cook, mothers clean, some even work a job
                          Even with all their strength, a mother still knows how to sob
                                    Mothers should be honored for all they have done
Every day of the year, not just one
There is nothing better than a mother’s love
For her time on this earth   thank  God  above
A mother’s love endures forever
Its unbreakable bonds no on can sever
No matter how much I have grown
My mother’s love is always shown
She has become a mentor and a guide
Within her always I am able to confide
No better payment for her I can find
Then to love her with heart, and with mind
To the one who bore me; I share my emotion
To the one who raised me; Absolute devotion
To this woman I express my joy
You will always be my “mommy” and I your “baby boy”

“Glaedr the poet.”

 
And here below are Ryan and Mary Beth, my son and future DL (by this time next week!)

Ryan and my future DL (wedding is one week from now!)

 So I celebrate my offspring and their chosen partners who by the way may officially be daughters in law, but in this family they are daughters!

It also gives me the perfect chance to show who I blame for my quirkiness, my  wit, my insanity, my screwy humor, cause while they simply received the “crazy” gene, it is much more exacerbated in them, and it is very very very infectious!

See where the smile and silliness comes from?

Five Minutes of my Favorite Things

GypsyMamma’s Challenge is to list a few of our favorite things in five minutes!
A Few of My Fav Things in Five Minutes

Rain: falling lightly, falling in torrents

Sunshine: Baking everything to a soft warm glow

Wind: the feel fills me with a sense of adventure

Caleb: at seven believing Grandma is the coolest chick in the world

Rowan: slipping his three year old hand in mine so trustingly 

Music: Blues, rock, country reaching my soul

Blogging: for opening a new world and new friends

Granny Nanny Day 3&4..fading fast

Granny Nanny Day Three and Day Four

Fading fast….

I have discovered some basic truths in my childcare experience this week:

Just because a child turns three it does not mean he is out of the terrible twos.

Children of seven actually have a social circle independent of Mommies hovering.  They have best friends whom they will prefer over Grandma once they are sure said Grandma will not be lavishing any presents on G2 in their absence.

The key to getting a three year old settled is to drive every ounce of energy out of them in play time preferably outside in fresh air.  Of course the risk to the driverouter is permanent immobility, pain, exhaustion and a serious reconsideration of the whole mixing booze and drugs together argument for sustained relief.  Just a thought.

So yesterday, day three was pretty normal. More parks, lots more walking, tantrum prior to afternoon nap.  G1 spent both days at his best friends so really there was just me, the five month old yellow lab of sonic strength and G2.  

The only thing of note from yesterday was that as our little troupe marched along the street..or staggered depending on the antics of the Gdog, is that someone in misstep passed gas.  Now G1 says, “Who farted?” I can see him processing some vital facts here.  He knows he did not do it and although the dog is famous for it, he’s pretty sure Gdog did not do it.  To help him with the struggle of his thoughts I thought I would fess up.  He seriously considers this for a few seconds and I swear I could hear the wheels grinding.   Finally the power of GRANNY comes forth.  It would be impossible for Granny to do this.  In a soft voice he says, “No I’m pretty sure it was the dog.”

By last night I was worn and while happy, exhaustion had me feeling lower than a snake’s belly on a hot rock.  A happy tiredness and really I am sure I no longer have pain.  I am convinced this is a true sense of well being – I just didn’t recognize it.  I think my body had developed some kind amnesia about well being but I think this is it.

Today I was ready to put what I knew into action.  The troupe walked G1 to his best friends house and I in all my wiliness headed straight for the park.  This child is going to get so much exercise, so much fresh air he will be begging to take a nap. So I pushed swings, chased him up and down the play structures.  Even walking him home It crossed my mind that Gdog was behaving pretty good.

Once we get home to the yard I could see a spot of energy left so pulled out all the cars and scooters out of the storage shed and I pushed him and chased him til his giggles started to peter out.

The plan is working,  Now I just have to deftly get lunch into him and wheedle him into his bed.  Wow it worked ..just a few extra cuddles. and he looked ready to sleep.  For a moment he started to move like he was going to sit up until I convinced him he was a puppy.  So he assumed the puppy position and was gone. Yeah!

Settling on the sofa I thought I might see what is on day time TV.  But I could not find the remote.  After a ridiculous amount of time searching and turning lazy boys on their sides, scouring floors and toy boxes I gave up and embraced the silence.  The hum of pain..I mean well being through my entire body convinced me that a nap might be in order.  However that wasn’t going to happen.  An hour after the appointed time I remembered I had not fed Gdog.  Hauling myself off the sofa I completed that task. Convinced a nap was really now in order I stretched out for some R&R.

Within minutes of ingesting his gourmet dog food the pup started whining.  So once again I rise.  Hmmmm she seemed to have some difficulty going so when I stomp across the muddy yard to check on -the results – I see a watery product rather than the scoopable kind.
I make mental note to let my DIL know.

Then two hours later a whole bunch of things happen at the same time.  G2 wakes, my DIL is there and the sonic dog has to go out.  This time there are spots across the concrete patio of Gdogs ailment. The well rested G2 is tearing around through mud and other things in full energy mode.  I try washing away the ailment evidence with a bucket with no luck.  DIL tries to get the hose working and gets some detergent and a brush for scrubbing. She is lathering soap in the appropriate spots and scrubbing with a brush.  I have the hose which is leaking everywhere except the spout and two critters who are trying to catch the water.  Gdog in her excitement has jumped upon the child and me and pretty soon all three of us are soaked and covered in mud.  DIL grabs the dog, I grab the child and whip him inside into a running tub of water.  I change into clean clothes..which are my pajamas.  Don’t ask.  I dress the child in his pajamas.  

Not bad work for four in the afternoon!

Granny Nanny Day Two

Granny Nanny Day Two

Ro Ro They’re Not for Holding On to..

Woke up this morning feeling pretty good in spite of the excessive energy spent yesterday.  Today the plan is to take G1 age seven and G2 age three to my home about an hour away.

Before leaving G1 says everyone should pee before going away…and he does.  I make sure bathing suits, towels and combs are packed.  

We are about fifteen minutes from first destination, which is the golden arches, when G1 says he cannot wait another minute..he has To Go!  I pull over at a historical site and he leaps from the car and discreetly relieves himself directly in front of the car where no one can see him.  

It seems most children these days are growing up obsessed with cleanliness.  He tells me they started Health Classes in kindergarten and since then you touch nothing without washing your hands.  G1 takes every thing he learns very seriously and I am so trying to gently instill the idea that there are good germs and bad and the bad sometimes make us stronger.  You know a touch of the old live and let live philosophy at the microbial level.  Man has lived in a delicate balance with bacteria for eons and we are …..oh boy better save that lecture for another time…. Any way in the car he asked for hand sanitizer..yup exact word.  Hearing that I have none in the car he proceeded to put his arms and hands in the typical surgical sterile post scrub, pre glove position until I could deliver him to a proper sink and water.  This included my holding the car door open for him on exit and the men’s room door in entry.

He is seven now but just a few years ago he had the three year old daughter of visiting friends in tears after he noted she did not wash her hands post potty and he solemnly delivered the news to her that she was going to die.  Not sure they ever came back or if that child is out of therapy.

Hygiene complete we try lunch at a fav kiddies play land. Been a long time since I looked after children so I was not prepared for the hoards, the noise, yelling, screaming…having forgotten this was March break and it applied to everyone else’s children as well as mine. To fit in well G2 throws a great tantrum which I smiled at and ignored as much as possible.

Next it was a relatively quick stop at a toy store to equalize a sonic situation and then off to my apartment!

Before leaving home earlier I packed two swims suits for G2 from his stash. When it came time to change into our suits I discovered both suits were a little on the large size.  Pulled them up.  They fell down!
I asked his brother for suggestions.  Pins.  Not sewing pins.  Safety pins.  None of which I could find.  So necessity being and all that I spied a large black paper clip -you know the kind that hold dozens and dozens of papers – and basically gave him a stylish rear clip.  It worked!

Now G1 is at an age where he is very modest.  Privacy and body parts are a big thing to him.  The boys love to leap wildly into the pool and I scoop them up, one in each arm and make huge circles in the water swishing them back and forth amidst wild giggles.  G2 needs to cling and G1 in his laughter yells, “Grandma, Grandma, he is holding onto your chest. “

We continue laughing and twirling when G1 shouts at his brother,  “Ro Ro,” (nickname), “let go Ro Ro, they’re not for holding on to!”

Finally time to rinse off, dry off and head off for the trip home.
I am sure the all over ache is muscle definition beginnings!

Granny Nanny Day One

The Granny Nanny Experiment Day One

This is a different situation for me!  My son and daughter in law live in a city about an hour from my home.  DIL has been fortunate to stay home with home with the boys except for a few weeks a year, here and there when she does vacation relief at her old clinic.  This is one of those weeks and for the first time ever I have come to stay and take care of the boys. And the dog.  And two cats.  Oh and my two budgies Max and Ruby.

The first thing before eight a.m. today was a trip to the drugstore for Reactine. I never think of myself as having allergies but I require it once or twice a week..and staying in the animal house I need it daily.
I always carry it..in my purse, in my wallet.  So yesterday I pack up for the week taking everything including the birds just to discover I am Reactine lacking.  I searched through every bag and suitcase last night convinced I could remember packing it.

This is hardly the end of the day being only six forty-five pm but I am done in.  Exhausted. Mincemeat. One big ache..perhaps all the aches in the universe packed together.  I think my hair hurts.

Early, right after breakfast we were on our way to the local park. Grandson 2 who just turned three, insisted he had to bring his basket containing Sonics.  I was fine with this but it turns out G2 can only carry his basket in his right hand.  Grandson 1 who is seven gamboled and jumped and ran as we progressed down the street. There is nothing nicer than a three year old holding your hand as you walk along.

The complicating factor was the dog.  Bree is a five month old yellow lab.  Beautiful dog but a powerful beast.  Because my right hand was otherwise occupied it meant holding the leash and a baggy thing in my left hand.  This was good for about fifty feet.  Cramping in my hand, constant pup pulling and I knew I would have to change hands.  This did not go over well with G2. 

The park is about half a mile away.  The sun was shining and no winter wind.  We took our time.  It was a perfect day for slides, climbing and swings.  On arrival I secured the monster pup beast to a cement pillar.  I did not judge distance well and as I turned to check on the kids, the dog tripped me.  Falling is a strange sensation.  It really does feel like slow motion.  I had all the time in the world to think as I fell.  I thought curses or something similar.  I thought of my cell phone left back home in my purse. I thought of fractured hips.  And then I still had time for more curses.

Skinned palms, and one skinned knee and I knew I would live.  Thereafter it was pushing swings, playing hopscotch and lots of running.  The walk home was relatively uneventful because I think all of us were a little played out.  After lunch G1 and I headed to the yard.  Scooters, more jumping, more running.

By five o’clock everything was beginning to seize up – big time but I still put in another half mile to walk one of the boys’ friend home.

Exhaustion reigns……Meantime I wanted to jot down at least a few words although I have no idea if they make any sense. Oh yes and a few minutes ago one of the two huge white cats attacked my bird cage knocking them to the floor.

Well tomorrow is another day.  Planning swimming, jumping and running.  Falling is not on the agenda!

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