Monday, February 03, 2014

A guest post from the Baby to Named Later: Getting down to really basic stuff

I found another note from my granddaughter, this one tucked in the pocket of my winter coat. My granddaughter's printing remains a challenge, but I have endeavored to faithfully transcribe what she wrote.

Well, Grampy, this is the first note I've been able to leave you in quite a while. It's not because I have writer's block. I'm just trying not to bust your secret blog wide open. Ever since I learned to walk reliably I am almost always being followed. I sure can't leave anything beneath the high chair anymore; Mom would smoke that out in a second. (She got wise to my storing food under the chair for later consumption, too.)

I'm 16 months old now and, I have to tell you, getting old is tough.

When does this teething stuff end?

The other day Mom asked you that very question. I wasn't thrilled with your answer. "In her case," you said, indicating me, "it may never end. After all her regular teeth come in, she may start on a second row."

You were kidding, Grampy. Right?

I'm not always sure.

I am becoming increasingly sure that you're going to get saddled with 'Grampy' as your new name. It's kind of a contraction of Grandpa and Grumpy. Somehow, it seems to fit.

But you're right not to blame me for this handle.

Oh, Mom and Grandma (Grammy?) are promoting the idea that I started it because, sometimes, when you come home, I say g-g-g-g-g-g. (My ability to express myself vocally has a ways to go to catch up with my writing ability.)

They told you that I was trying to say Grampy but you said it might be that I'm just imitating the noise you make when you down your first vodka in the evening. Your explanation certainly fits the facts.

One of the problems of constant teething is that, sometimes, the pain gets to me. I get, shall we say, a little irritable. [A little irritable? She gets rigid like a board and screams like a banshee -- Ed.] Sometimes ice chips help. Sometimes I just need to bite things. Spoons. Keys. But, when all else fails, Mom has to give me medicine. That stops the pain, or at least numbs it, but it also stops other, er, processes that Mom seems to think are really important.

As a result, Mom has given me enough prune juice to flood a small city. It gets tiresome after a while.

And then, when things finally do get moving again, and I go wandering off for a little private time, one of you is always following me.

Just because I get into things you say I shouldn't. The pantry, for instance. Mom -- that traitor -- took a picture of me after I pulled down the Rice Krispies box out of the pantry and dumped it all over the floor. Then she sent you the picture. Look, I was hungry, OK? And I know you don't want me messing with your computer, but I've figured out how to take it out of 'sleep mode' and I've pretty much puzzled out how a mouse works. Soon I'll be able to get my own Elmo videos and not have to wait for you grownups to figure out what I require. Of course, Mom had to take a picture of me fiddling with the computer, too. Busted again.

But we were talking about something else. Eventually, whoever's following me -- you, Daddy, Mom, Grammy -- figures out that I need a little time alone -- but, by that time, too often, the opportunity has passed. And nothing else. (Who wants an audience for that sort of thing?)

I've tried dragging a book with me when I head into the living room for a little alone time. You always seem to have a book or magazine with you when you do you-know-what. I frankly don't see why. It doesn't make anything happen faster. I thought you might do it so everyone else knows not to follow you. But they don't follow you around the house the same way they follow me, do they?

Sometimes I like to be followed. Chased, even. I run around a loop through the old den and the new den and the kitchen and the dining room and I want someone to follow me. (And you'd better, because I'll empty the recycling if you don't hide it, or look for food in the garbage if you don't put the can behind the gate going to the basement, or empty one of the cabinets of pots and pans if you don't.)

Of course, you've got this game all figured out. You catch me -- you block me with one hand when I try and run past your recliner and you pull and tug and I laugh and giggle until I start to get aggravated and then you let me go. "Oh!" you say, "She got away again!" But I know you let me go on purpose. And then Mom or Dad chases me. You stay in your chair, watching TV, until I come around again. "Not this time," you say -- but you know, and I know, that you'll let me go again in a few seconds. And off Mom or Dad will go again. I think that's pretty sneaky, Grampy. Were you always like that?