Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Through the eyes of a child

Children are a great source of entertainment.

Granted, they are also annoying, aggravating, infuriating, hard-headed and contrary, but on the whole they can be lots of fun, if you let them just be children while you can.

Most of the entertainment value of a child comes from how their n=mind works, in hearing what they say as they begin to develop their thoughts and see how they perceive the world. Looking at something through the eyes of a child can be quite illuminating.

When Wonderful Daughter was 3 or so, she and I were sitting in a McDonald's (horrors! some consider that child abuse nowadays)watching traffic pass by on a busy street as we ate our meals. She exclaimed, to the amusement of those nearby, "Daddy! Look! That car is jumping over that truck!". Heads turned quickly to see a car on a hook being towed. Through the eyes of a child.

A few minutes later (and this being Christmastime) she turned to me while I was driving and said, "Daddy, watch out!". I told her OK, I would be careful, and thought no more of it. She repeated the same comment shortly thereafter, and again I reassured her. When we returned home I mentioned her comments to my wife, who told me that Wonderful Daughter wanted me to sing "Santa Claus is coming to town". When I expressed puzzlement, she started to sing, "You'd better watch out...". Through the eyes of a child.

Handsome Son was an active young lad, and often wore himself out playing. It was not an unusual request for him to come and ask us, "Can I go to bed now?", a request we never turned down!

Dearest Kelley was two or thereabouts when she was walking along the dock while we were on vacation, leaned over to peer into the water, and fell in fully clothed. I jumped in and managed to catch her as she came back up, and hauled her out. She was crying but we tried to tell her it was OK, she was safe. It turned out she was crying because not only were her clothes all wet, but she was afraid she had ruined her new tennis shoes!

I am having fun watching and listening to World's Greatest Grandson #1 (WGGS#1) as he tries to make sense of the world. And his sister, World's Greatest Granddaughter #1 (WGGD#1) just turned one, and she is striving mightily to catch up to him and do everything he does. She is jabbering away constantly, and one of these days real words will be coming out.

It is one of the great mysteries of life how a child's brain can process those weird sounds we call words, figure out how to approximately say them, refine it, and develop meaning and sentence structure. I wish I could say that process somehow worked for me as I attempted to learn French and Spanish, but, sadly, no.

WGGS#1 has always been a voluble child, doing such things as narrating his life as he acts it out. Something as simple as walking across the room would be a reason for commentary, as he would simply say, "Walking!" while he was doing so. Last week he was in the doctor's office ona sick visit for his sister. The doctor was wearing a michigan shirt, and Wonderful Daughter told WGGS#1 what the doctor was wearing. He promptly said, "Go Bucks!", which was probably the first time the doctor was schooled by an almost-three-year-old.

Last year we were eating at a local restaurant and, being a polite child, he kept saying "thank you" to the waiter whenever something was brought to the table. He was not getting any response, and stared at the waiter, who looked askance at him. Wonderful Daughter finally had to tell the waiter that WGGS#1 was waiting for him to reply, "you're welcome". He did so rather sheepishly.

Last week he was helping Mommy make pumpkin muffins. She turned on the mixer and heard: "Come on bowl! Let's rock it!" while spinning the bowl. "Wooooo!"

I am looking forward to hearing what he and his sister have to say as they grow. It should be quite fun!


  1. As you are the 'senior grandfather' you will have to keep me informed on what to look for as I wait for Ragin' Cage to learn to babble. Just watching him crawl with determination toward something new is amazing.

  2. They are also annoying, aggravating, infuriating, hard-headed and contrary? I'm insulted!!!!

  3. If the truth hurts, it is still the truth.

    You must be feeling guilty, since I never mentioned your name!

  4. It's gonna be a long time before I get to the Greatest Grandchild stage, so I'm living vicariously through the two of you!

  5. I know you never mentioned my name, but it still hurt! Oh well, the rest of it helped make me feel better...