Nov
03
2012

Gramma vs. grandchildren

Gramma loses another round as the laptop must be shut.

There is a game being played out in the Woodard household. It’s not between Grampa and Gramma. No, it’s much more insidious…it’s between me and the grandchildren…or so it seems.

The objective for me is to spend as much time as possible reading the Internet and playing Free-cell. The objective for the grandchildren is to block my efforts. Grampa is ‘supposedly’ a neutral party.

With the younger grandchild, the score is tied: Gramma Ane 1, Max 1.

Grandchildren go thru many stages. First is the wobbly-head stage. I try to avoid them in this stage at all costs.

The next stage, the one that Max is currently in, is what I call the Sweet Baby stage. We have gotten past his sleep difficulties and his eating difficulties. (Word is, he read my last article and decided that he did not want to be “that baby.”) And, best of all, when you put him on the floor, he does not move.

I have been very firm about my approval of this stage, still, just last week I caught my daughter-in-law (who also babysits Max) trying to teach him to crawl! She actually put him up on his knees and elbows, and tried to move his limbs!!

“What do you think you’re doing?!” I exclaimed.

She laughed. “Your daughter is doing the same thing you know…”

The thing is that directly after the Sweet Baby stage comes what I call the Spawning Salmon stage. During this time, the baby is just not human. It’s like they’re in thrall to some ancient, atavistic, instinctive craving…must swim upstream…must put everything in mouth…must eat wires, stinky shoes, bugs, pennies…yum. Their mantra is move and chomp, Chomp and move. It’s the stage that causes many a young mother to re-consider her decision to nurse.

But that is not my worry.

“How am I going to have time to read the Internet?! I howled. “My Free-Cell…and Luv…” I added “do you have any idea where I might have put the vacuum cleaner?”

My sweet baby is already displaying ominous signs. He rolls over. He puts his arms straight up and moves…backwards. He howls, as he sees the toy he desperately wants to chomp on, moving further and further from his jaws. Plus, he’s also obsessed with adult noses. I play a game. I put my nose up against his, and pull it away just before he can get his gums around it.

“Ha! You Salmon you!” I declare.

Still, all things considered, this week’s score is Gramma 1, Max 1. I consider that a success.

“Are you going to tell them about Abel?” my husband inquires.

“No.” I frown.

Actually Abel is way past the Spawning Salmon stage. He is in the Explosion of Language stage. It makes him really, really bossy. He has learned to use his words. When I was a federal examiner, I use to scare bankers. Now, I spend a great deal of my time taking direction from a not quite 2-year old.

“Help.” he says. “This boy needs help.”

“No…It’s his Ane that needs help….” I grumble.

Abel moves fast, and is obsessed with escape to the great outdoors.

“Outside. Pick black-eyed Usies. Bring to Dampa. Put in vases.”

A toddler can go outside and pick a flower, bring it to Dampa and repeat this approximately 20 times without suffering a hint of boredom.

Meanwhile, I look longingly at my computer.

This toddler also suffers from obsessive, compulsive disorder. Lights must be turned off, doors must always be shut, and in a startlingly bad turn of events, laptop computers can apparently never be left open. Particularly when Gramma Ane is staring intently at the computer in question.

“Close.” he states firmly, and follows though with the stated action.

I think I see a conspiracy here. He and Dampa had a lot of quality time together, while I was at work. Dampa babysat through the wobbly-head stage, the sweet baby stage, the spawning salmon stage, and right onto the explosive language stage. I think he whispered things.

“Remember…whenever you see Gramma with her computer open, go over and shut it….”

I would look at them suspiciously.

“Jus singing a lullaby lov…go back to your computer…nothing to look at here…”

Still, I am not without resources. It occurred to me that I also own an I-Pad. One that Max hasn’t yet chomped. I figured that when Abel shut my computer, I didn’t need to fight, I could just switch.

But my toddler was attentive, and apparently someone told him what was inside Ane’s IPad.

“Angry Birds! Abel play game. Play Angry Birds… Pigs…laughing.”

And, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, so was Dampa.

So, yeah this week, the score is Ane 0, Able 50 and only time will tell who will win this game…Hey! What is Super Dampa whispering in Max’s ear?!?

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