This is my grandson, Elijah. At fourteen months old, he is exempt from ridicule for needing comfort from a nice warm bottle of milk and for falling asleep in unconventional places. He’s a baby. This kind of behavior is expected from babies. They can do pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.
Another of my grandsons, Reece, is five. He has moved on from the bottles and diapers and is now intent on reasoning out excuses for his behavior. Like yesterday. He whacked his older brother in the head with a baseball bat – it was plastic, so don’t panic. In the midst of his punishment for doing so, Reece explained that he had swung the bat in slow motion so that his brother had ample time to get out of the way. As if that would get him off the hook. Didn’t work. There was no ice cream for Reece last night, poor kid.
Then there is Emily, my only granddaughter. She is ten, and becoming very adept at conversations that leave you wondering if you just unknowingly committed yourself to doing something you didn’t really want to do. Like me, she is an avid reader and will devour any decent work of fiction she can get her hands on. Not long ago, Emily very eloquently informed me that she has a tenth grade reading level, so therefore she should be allowed to read books written for that age group. I knew where this was going. Probably because I had the same conversation with my elders when I was Emily’s age. I told her that just because she has a tenth grade reading level it didn’t necessarily mean she had the corresponding comprehension level. Yes, I used those very words, and Emily assured me that yes, she did have the comprehension. Then I asked her if she knew what age appropriate meant. She did. And there was no more discussion. Yeah – one for the grandma!
How do these anecdotes relate to each other?
They don’t, really.
I was just sitting here, thinking about my seven grandchildren – their startling similarities and their vast differences. What a joy to watch them grow up and to be close enough to love on them whenever I want . . . and to send them home with their parents when the decibel level goes off the charts.