Friday, March 21, 2008


Our three and four year old grandchildren have become quite the story tellers lately. Different kinds of stories, though!

Case in point:

Grandson has a bit of a temper now. Last week when he came to visit me at school, he was upset that he had to leave, so he threw a little racket/net across the room. It struck one of my student tables and cracked. I tossed it into their toy box and forgot about it. So yesterday, Granddaughter reached into the box and found the broken net. "Nee Nee, it's broken!" she told me.

I eyeballed Grandson and said, "That's because someone had a temper tantrum and threw it and it broke. Do you know who that was?"

He looks at me with this theatrical innocent but knowing look (cracked me up) and said, "I don't know." Then he spotted a stuffed bear I have in the room. "The bear did it!" he proclaimed. I started laughing at his ingenuity. A few minutes later, he strolled over to the bear as if to feed it and he's whispering, "You broke it. You broke it. You broke it." So now he blames everything on the bear. He knows we know but it's a cute game.

So later Granddaughter got into the game. "Maybe a bad witch came and made the bear bad. And the good witch was going to make him good, but her wand broke. And she didn't have anymore batteries." She went on for several minutes explaining how the bear became bad. It was so cute.

It's good to see them use their imaginations!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The linguist and the color orange

As an English teacher and someone who loves to learn the intricacies of the English language, I am probably more aware of the different stages that the grandchildren go through as they acquire language skills. The one I am most aware of is my granddaughter, who seems to have a gift for language. I remember the first time she corrected herself on pronoun case (She started to say "I" when it should be "me" and she stopped herself, then said, "me."

The other day, I was talking in the car to Boppa about doing something "wickedly fast". She said, "Hey, Nee Nee. Wickedly fast? That sounds like 'Ding Dong the wicked witch is dead.'" She had made a relational leap that a lot of high schoolers don't do! I was just tickled pink that she related an unknown form of a word to a word that she already knew. I already think she has acquired quite a vocabulary for "just four." I think Grandson #1 (her Irish twin brother) has a good vocabulary, too. It's just harder to understand him. He has some speech difficulties although Granddaughter can usually translate. And even if she can't, he usually rewords, or uses sound effects, or even hand gestures to get across his meaning. The other day, he was saying "in the house," which I couldn't understand. So he pointed to the walls, the floor, and the ceiling and repeated himself. Then I understood.

I think Grandson knows his colors a bit better than his sister. He NEVER tells me the wrong color when I ask, even knows gray and silver! Granddaughter occasionally gets them wrong. I don't know if she's unsure of the color or just doesn't stop to think. But they know them well enough to play Candyland, although following the rules lasts at the most 10 minutes. Then it's just a matter of sliding the markers around the serpentine path!

They were asking me if I liked certain colors by holding up the card. I'd say "I like red." "I like blue." But when they would show me an orange card, I'd yell, "Nooooooooooooo!" and they'd just laugh like maniacs. They got to where they would hide the card in their pockets or behind a toy, then when I wasn't expecting it, show it to me so I'd yell "Noooooooooooooo!" That's a new game. I'm not a big fan of orange flavor ... and a lot of our competitors (college sports teams) wear orange!

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Birthday Month has arrived

March is a busy, busy month for Boppa and me. Grandson #1 turned 3 this Friday and Granddaughter turns 4 next Friday. They are "Irish twins," 11 months and 3 weeks apart. We had their birthday party today at a local park. Their big gifts were the bikes that you see in the picture. Boppa and I bought them bike helmets. Granddaughter actually managed to pedal hers quite a bit but Grandson wasn't that interested. He was more into chasing the dogs and playing baseball.

Boppa's last day of genuine babysitting was Friday. Grandson #3 (7 months old) is going to a day care center tomorrow at his mommy's work. The girl they had babysitting four days a week has decided to get a real job. Boppa will miss having the little guy around, but he's been told he can go get the baby anytime he wants. He's on the "remove child" list!

Grandson #2 gave us quite a scare today. He decided to run out into the street at the park between two parked cars, and we saw a car coming! Luckily Mommy and Daddy were right there and were able to grab him . The car had already stopped, too. Scared us all to death. In fact, Son made Grandson #1 and Granddaughter move closer to the pavilion. His wife asked him why (because the ball kept plopping in her direction). He told her "we almost saw ___ get run over!" She said, "Well, (their big brother) was right there with them. " I looked at her and said, "Hey, (Grandson #2)'s mom and dad were right with him, too." I don't think she saw it at all.

Stepgrandson #2 has his 12th birthday on the 20th, and Stepgrandson #3 had his sixth birthday yesterday (but he's out of state). We will be having a birthday party for the six year old when he comes down for his spring break (March 22).

So that's four grandchildren birthdays this month, 3 in one week. Then, of course, my birthday is at the end of the month. I think we will go away for my birthday and get some rest!