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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 11 of 27

A Sparkling Performance on the Fourth of July

My wife and I celebrated Independence Day with a family gathering at our beach house. Five-year-old Ahava, my youngest granddaughter, played hide and seek with me downstairs. At one point, I could not locate her, no matter how exhaustively I tried. After vainly searching under the beds, in the closets, behind the shower curtain, and between stacks of boxes, I gave up and went upstairs. Soon, Ahava triumphantly strode up the metal staircase and joined the rest of the family. She informed all of us that she had been hiding under the scrunched-up bedspread in the boy’s room—a clever ploy. Then, in a dramatic flourish, she wagged her finger at me, and exclaimed: “Papa has finding issues.” How articulate! But she was not done chiding me. Pursing her lips in mock disgust, Ahava accused me of being a quitter: “You should not give up, mister.” Such histrionics!

If Ahava becomes an actress, I will fondly look back at her fire-cracker performance as a launching pad for her theatrical career.

 

Brava to Ahava

Last night, Ahava, my kindergarten-ready granddaughter once again displayed her verbal skills. At first, my wife asked Ahava how the cooking was divvied up in our daughter’s household. Ahava said that her older sister Emmi, who had just baked a birthday cake at our family gathering to honor her sister Mia, “literally” did most of the cooking. I would have expected Ahava to have used one of her favorite expressions, “actually.” Last night, she upgraded her vocabulary. But Ahava was just getting started.

When she discovered that my sister-in-law Theresa is one year older than I am, Ahava figured that if I had my birthday right that moment, I would be the same age as Theresa. My wife joked that she herself would have had a hard time “thinking” so fast. Ahava, quick witted as she is, then had a solution, “Don’t worry, Nana. I’ll do your thinking for you. I’ll be the head, and you can be the legs. I’ll be your brain.’’ As an afterthought, Ahava drew Theresa and me into the picture: “Theresa, you could be the arms” and “Papa, you could be the chest.”

I fondly remember that my daughter, Erica, had precocious language skills before she could read. She loved to listen to a story-book tape of Cinderella.  One day (and many days after that) Erica, with uncanny expression, recited the fairy tale to us verbatim. Ahava may not have that particular talent, but when it comes to word usage and repartee, she is clearly (and dramatically) my daughter’s child.

 

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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 12 of 27

How Endearing!

Yesterday, for an uninterrupted hour, I babysat Shila, my two-year-old granddaughter. We were sheltered on the porch during a rainstorm. Shila wasn’t impressed much by the downpours, but she was fascinated with the planter beside us.  At one point, she broke off a couple of low-hanging leaves and then started to meticulously tear them apart. I cautioned her not to pluck off any more leaves, and she grudgingly obeyed. I felt sorry for her, so I hand-pruned some straggly limbs from a bunch of easy-to-reach bushes. I bit by bit gave Shila a handful of leaves. She ever so slowly dismembered them.

After a while, she stopped shredding. Instead, she plopped a lot of intact leaves into the planter. Turning to me, not with delight but with sadness, even remorse, she said that the planter was “crying.” Shila evidently wanted to make amends for earlier depriving the planter of its two leaves.

I was touched by her compassion. She, like so many two-year-olds, is predominately full of herself, often echoing the word mine, mine, mine. But yesterday, I saw how unselfish Shila could be. Without any prompting, she stopped doing what she was preoccupied with in order to show lovingkindness to something in nature that she had hurt. I applauded her sacrificial offering. Shila didn’t bow, but she did give me a warm hug.

Occasionally, the terrible twos are a misnomer. Yesterday, I witnessed the terrific twos.

 

Shila Revisited

The second rainy day when Shila and I were on the porch, Shila told me to cover my ears every time a car came by. I could look but not listen. We faithfully played this engaging game until a junky red truck ever so slowly emerged at the beginning of our road. After we saw it crawl toward us, we turned away for a second to watch a white car slice past us. When we looked back for the red truck, it was unaccountably gone. Shila and I were both dumfounded. Unless it had sped up to take a side road (if it had that much energy), where did it go?

When Shila stared down the street, as if she was waiting for the truck to come back, I breathlessly told her that the truck had “disappeared. It was a mystery.” She then hypnotically repeated my words for a few moments, and each time she seemed to be more convinced that what I said was true. Soon we resumed our vehicle vigil, more alert than ever for other strange happenings; but everything turned out to be routine. 

Later that day at our family dinner, I began to recount my outing with Shila. Just as I mentioned the red truck, Shila lifted her arms as if she were conducting a séance, and confidentially whispered these words:  “It disappeared…it was a mystery.”

The next day, the big event was a drive to the Golden Corral. Shila, perhaps noticing that none of the trucks on the road we encountered so far were red, reminded us that all red trucks must be a “mystery.”

It’s nice to know that I have such a lingering linguistic influence over a two-year-old. I wish that some of my college community students paid that much attention in our literature discussions. In fact, perhaps I would have gotten more awe and wonderment if I had changed the title of one of the earliest poems I had ever taught, William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow,” to “The Red Truck,” both “glazed with rain water.”

 

 

 

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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 13 of 27

 

My Granddaughter has Special Powers

The apartment that my wife and I are renting in Tiberias has a few quirks that have baffled me. The first time I tried to shower, the hose devise wouldn’t stay in place in its bracket.  It kept erratically drooping away from me so that to get any water at all on any part of my body, I had to either flatten myself against the shower wall or fasten myself to the bathroom window.  The water (at least it was hot) was so elusive that taking a shower was more of an acrobatic chore than a guilty pleasure.

After I got dressed, I related my screwy predicament to the first person I saw, my granddaughter Autumn.  She was amused. According to her, she never had any trouble with the hose head. It remained upright in its normal position throughout her showering. To prove her point, she led me to the shower stall, grabbed the hose that had settled against the shower door, and raised it to its optimum position; I was amazed; it didn’t budge at all, even when she ran water through it.

The next day when I began to shower, the hose contraption perversely refused to stay put. Trying to get underneath it, wherever it might take me, wore me out. Foiled again!

The next day, I asked Autumn to once more retrieve my nemesis and secure it. She did so effortlessly. She must be a shower hose whisperer.

The next time, I took a different approach. I tried to hoist the hose out of its bracket so that I could direct it wherever I wanted. But it didn’t cooperate. Afraid that I’d break the bracket if I yanked any harder, I enlisted my wife. With a twist of her wrist, she removed the hose safely. Once it got unstuck, I had no trouble ever again controlling the hose.

I have always known that wherever we go, my wife is the go-to mechanic in the family. I just found out that my granddaughter, at least in Israel, is the magician.

In the opposite side of the apartment, I have had a problem with operating the clothes dryer. I follow the owner’s directions perfectly: hit the start button three times and then press on the reset button for ten seconds. But nothing happens. So I shut the power button off and try again. Nothing happens. Slightly annoyed, I push the start button once. No luck. Then I vainly push the reset button once. At a loss, I get creative, gingerly and then exhaustively pressing buttons at random until my fingers are sore. Sometimes, the dryer finally clicks on; but I have no idea how to duplicate my success.

The next time, after I try multiple button-pressing combinations— and no matter what I do to coax it or curse it—the machine fails to work. So I call on Autumn to rescue me. She shuts off the power, presses the start button once, and the dryer begins. Whoa!

After the shower head incident, I was a little skeptical that I could repeat her simple procedure. I was right. A few days later, I did exactly as she had done. Still, the dryer was mute. I immediately got Autumn to show me what I was doing wrong. All she did was press the start button once, and the machine kicked in, miraculously.  I didn’t let her leave me in the lurch again. I told her to turn the power off and then on, and watch me press one time that same start button, just as she had done a moment ago. That should work, no? She just nodded. I pushed that button once, but I heard nothing.  Then, confident as ever, Autumn pressed the same button once. Presto! instant activation! I guess I’ll have to rely on my wife again to find a way for me to reliably operate the dryer that so far only will consistently spin for Autumn.

Autumn has the magic touch! Why not? After all, we are in Galilee.

 

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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 14 of 27

They were both cute as bugs growing up....I probably have 50 more stories similar to those two.   When they came to eat after that, Rob fixed his own food.....except for the mess, worked like a charm.

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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 15 of 27
cjwilcox
Love the stories! What a funny and cruel Nanny you are. lol You could have at least made a few more things he wouldn't eat. ; )
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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 16 of 27

OK...I have aother store.  My Grandson was probably about 2 years old.  He and his sister had spent the night with us.  I was making them breakfast, and he said he wanted an English muffin like his sister had.  I proceeded to toast muffin, butter it and put peanut butter on it.  He took one look at it and said he didn't want it...I asked why, and he said "because I didn't put the peanut butter on it right"...Ok...I ate it.  Now he just wanted buttered toast....easy right...nope...didn't want because the butter was the wrong color....it was real butter, not oleo.....I ate that too.  Next he decided he wanted a bowl of cereal.  Now how can you go wrong with a bowl of cereal.  He looked at it and said....nope....didn't pour the milk on it right.  At that point, I sat him on the couch and told him when he decided he was hungry, I would make him something that he might eat.  He started to cry, and of course his Mother walked in the front door exactly at that time.  She asked, "Oh Robby, what is wrong baby".....My dear Grandson's answer  ....  "Nanny won't feed me".....At least his sister backed me up....We just laughed....Kids....I love them.
 

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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 17 of 27
Oh, you are abundantly blessed and I rejoice with you. Hold on to those precious memories of phone calls and mail and the times you have been together. They will sustain you until you are again side by side and arm in arm. I'll hold all of you in my daily prayers, for health, security, and prosperity.
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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 18 of 27
My four-year-old great granddaughter said something to her mother that her mother didn't understand. My great granddaughter repeated her statement and her mother still didn't understand. Letting out an exasperated sigh, she said, "Actually, mother, you need to get a hearing aid like grandma's.

A few days later, my great granddaughter took a CD to share with her preschool classmates and the CD got scratched. The teacher suggested having her mother clean it with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Following the teacher's advice had negative results. My 4-year-old thinker said, "Maybe we should try another kind of alcohol." Her mother asked what kind of alcohol she was thinking of and the reply was, "You know, the kind of alcohol that you drink." Fortunately, only family members were present to hear this.
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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 19 of 27

When my Granddaughter was 20 months old, I brought her home from Texas.  We flew, and her parents were going to drive.  All the way from Texas to NY she kept asking for "bopple ink".  For the life of me, and the attendants, we had no idea what she wanted.  They tried everything....When we finally got home, I called my daughter and asked her "what the heck is bopple ink"....She had a fit of laughter, and told me it was "apple juice".  To this day, we still call apple juice bopple ink, and my granddaughter is a 32 year old Mom herself.  

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Re: Your "grandest" stories

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Message 20 of 27

Bosstique2

 

I am sure the entire world will find it a blessing your Grandson was born. What a wonderful young man he must be. Thank you for sharing your story. 

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