“If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.”
Author Lois Wyse is credited with the phrase I’ve heard for so many years, but have come to truly understand only in the past few. Having enjoyed my own precocious child so thoroughly, I couldn’t imagine that anything could be better.
The arrival of Lyndon Michael Freeze three-and-a-half years ago made me a believer.
So then the puzzling thought became – why is that?? I tried time and again to pinpoint why grandparent-hood is so magical. I was at a loss.
Finally, a discussion with co-workers helped determine it must be a matter of perspective. As a parent, we typically negotiate child-rearing without an extended period of adult life under our belt. We feel all the financial and social pressures of providing and caring for a little one while at the same time, in many cases, still finding our own path in life. We can enjoy the experience of child-rearing, but it’s a 24-7 responsibility, and we have our own relationships, jobs and other daily minutia mixed in.
Those of us with typical grandparent duties don’t have primary responsibility for any of the tough stuff. We can help when needed, certainly, but the weight of day-to-day needs is not on our shoulders.
This brings up another common phrase – “spoil them and send them home!” Not that we ever spoil Lyndon, mind you. Must be just the *cough* other *cough* grandparents.
Lyndon seems to be negotiating the multiple sets of grands and great-grands like a pro. It’s hard to believe that his little fingers can have so many of us wrapped around them and still manage to hold all those Hot Wheels vehicles.
Vehicles are to Lyndon what numbers and letters were to Lorn. He’s obsessed with them. He rarely goes anywhere without multiple vehicles in tow, and he has begun differentiating by make and model. Trains are also popular (he knows most Thomas Train characters by name), as are pieces of construction equipment. If we don’t already know what a piece of construction equipment is, he will soon tell us whether it’s a loader, excavator, crane, skid-steer, bulldozer, etc.
Lyndon’s ability to navigate the Amazon app on a phone is quite scary. He loves shopping for toys and watching any videos included in the listing. I have to stay on my toes because I’m sure he’ll soon learn that purchases are only two clicks away!
A few months ago, I bought a set of five vehicles that we had previously admired while surfing the app. I decided to give him one at a time in order to make the gift last. What I really wanted was the school bus because there is not one in our increasingly vast Hot Wheels assortment, so that was first. He immediately asked “where’s the red car?” Red is his favorite color, by the way. I tried to feign ignorance but he kept wondering about that red car and commenting that “it should be around here somewhere.” He knew. I caved and gave him the remainder of the set rather than just ignore him or outright lie.
I think the little bugger remembers everything he ever sees. He knows which vehicles at my house are “inside cars” and which are in the box of “outside cars” that he can take outside and get dirty. It’s borderline scary at times. One day we were looking around at my flea market booth, where there was a bag of assorted small vehicles (no, he doesn’t get every single one I buy). He spotted a semi-trailer that I hadn’t thought would interest him because it didn’t have a truck. He insisted, however, that the trailer would fit a trailer-less truck in our car box. I scooted him away from the booth without inspecting it too closely that day, and thought to myself that if the bag didn’t sell I would take it home for him. Eventually I did take it home, and he was so excited. The trailer just almost fits the truck, and attaches well enough to call it good.
Recently I read that “play is the work of childhood” and that phrase keeps coming to mind. Lyndon certainly takes his work seriously!
We talked about jet streaks in the sky one day and I asked where he thought the airplanes might be going. He supposed that one was going to pick up toys and bring them back. Nana wasn’t going to doubt that!
When Lorn was nearly 2 years old I published a list of things I’d learned from our energetic toddler. These included:
• There’s always time to read one more book.
• It’s never too late at night to ask for a cookie or ice cream.
• If you want something, ask for it repeatedly until you get it or someone threatens to spank you.
• If it itches scratch it, even after someone warns you it will bleed and get sore.
• If you see a small hole, stick your finger in it.
In many cases, Lyndon’s lessons are the same. For him, I would add that there’s always time for one more hug, and there’s always room for one more toy.
We are grateful for our energy packed little man who makes every Tuesday – and every day as a grandparent – special.
Lori Freeze is news editor for the Leader. Write to her at email@example.com.
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