You often hear people say that there is a reason that young adults raise children and not old people. Raising kids, it seems, is a young person’s game. My wife and I just spent two weeks watching our 2 ½ year old grandson, Marek, while his parents spent a couple of weeks in Holland and Germany. Yesterday we took him back to his parents in Minneapolis. Today we put away his portable booster seat, his plastic bib, his silverware and his “sippy cups” until the next time he visits us. It was quite an adventure!
Before I go any further, let me say that my grandson is really well-behaved. He eats his food (even vegetables) without complaint, behaves himself in restaurants, sits still when the barber cuts his hair, doesn’t cry (except for a few seconds when you put him to bed); I mean the kid is just about perfect! But he’s a toddler! Man does he move fast; you’ve got to keep an eye on that kid every second!
While I miss Marek, it is quiet in our house again, and that’s pretty cool! And there are a few things that I won’t miss. I won’t miss changing some really smelly poop-filled diapers. I won’t miss listening to Wonder Pets and Toy Story over and over again on that darned DVD player he has in the back seat. If I hear that lisping kid on the Wonder Pets say “Teamwork” one more time I’m going to puke!
We had to spend some time making sure that Marek understood the difference between “sidewalk” and “street.” Of course, “street” is where the cars go and you can’t go out into the street unless you are holding Grandpa’s hand. I remember when we were raising our kids. There was a Catholic guy across the street that had 6 or 7 kids. He used to tell his kids to “go out and play in the traffic.” That might work if you’ve got a few “spare” kids, but this is our only grandson so we had to be careful.
While our “little guy” was work, we were rewarded by his look of delight as he watched trains, got to sit in a real fire engine, received a Cubs “build a bear” promotional giveaway at Wrigley Field, and got to sit on a real horse thanks to his Auntie Tara in Chicago.
At two and a half, Marek stands just over 38 inches tall and weighs thirty-three pounds. Just six months ago he babbled unrecognizably; now he can put up a pretty good argument. He’s growing up too fast, but don’t they all? While Grandma and Grandpa are worn out, we did get to spend two wonderful weeks with our grandson. During those two weeks he learned to say his last name, got acquainted with some star wars figures, and he got to ride down to the Amtrak station in the same red wagon that his daddy rode in 35 years ago. It’s just an old rusty wagon to Marek; for me it is precious history re-written.