in and out of the mouths of babes

or, a more fitting title for this post would be:  how to know when you’re getting really really old!

Sometimes the warts we see in children we watch growing up disappear and in their place, a flower grows–or at least an attractive mushroom.

Hubby and I took our grandson to breakfast this morning enroute to a mid-morning doctor’s appointment. Since the schools around here seem to routinely save money by dropping a school day here and there (a sad necessity I’m sorry to say, here in the beautiful state of Utah), we also were needed to host our grandson today. Going with Grandma and Grandpa to sit around waiting in the doctor’s isn’t exactly his favorite day-off-school activity, but when his only other choice was sitting quietly in Mama’s office at the U–where he has to be really really quiet–all day, or doing a half-hour or so stint in a doctor’s office,  the choice became easier for him but he still wasn’t convinced. So Grandpa threw in the offer of all of us going to breakfast together before the appointment, and he was ours for the day!

Like his grandma, Thomas has inherited the gene that binds us to the taste of pork in general, and more specifically, bacon! Since he doesn’t get it at home, and Grandma can’t have it at home either–except in rare circumstances when she has overnight guests that still eat it and will (so many our age are diet-restricted), we both look forward to breakfast OUT. And we almost always order bacon.

Lately, the last few times we’ve taken the grandchildren to breakfast with us, I’ve noticed the child-sized portions in the childrens’ menu aren’t quite enough food for a growing eight-year-old boy, and we wind up ordering a side item. So today I suggested he might want to check out the adult menu. We talked it over and thought about what he really wanted to eat today, and decided the 2-2-2 breakfast, which included 2 eggs, 2 slices bacon or sausage, and 2 buttermilk pancakes, would fit the bill nicely. Grandpa chose the 4-item combo, with the 4th item being 2 strawberry crepes.

While we waited for our food, we chit-chatted about school and new friends. We also managed to weave in a little conversation about learning to remember important items to take home at the end of every school day. Like school folders with homework projects that must be completed over the weekend and turned in on Monday.

When Grandpa, or Mom, or Dad picked him up from school in the afternoons the last two years, they were there to remind him to be sure he put everything he needed in his backpack to take home. This year he walks alone or with his friends, either home or to our house. He seems to like feeling grown up and it’s good exercise as well. But there’s no one there to remind him to see that he has everything he needs.

Since he forgot to bring home the much-needed folder, we stopped by the school on the way to and from breakfast/doctor’s office but of course since there’s no school there was no one there either time. So now, on Monday, he must face the consequence or not turning homework in on time. In the meantime we hope to help him work on organizational skills–along with the math and spelling skills and other chores being thrown at him.

I remember very well when he was younger and under my supervision in public places. He was a terror! He was terrible about crawling under tables, squirming or climbing out of his highchair, hiding in clothing turnstiles, or running ahead to be the first to get in the elevator–and when he was big enough to reach the buttons he’d close the door long before I could get there (!) and I would panic that he’d get off somewhere and I wouldn’t be able to find him and how would I ever explain it to my daughter that I knew would be devastated if anything happened to him. Until he was born, I never realized how much difference there was in raising boy babies versus the girl babies I had. Then my granddaughter came along, and I decided girls can be terrors too.

Today there was not even a hint of the terror he used to be. He ate all his food except for a few bites of pancake, then shared one of Grandpa’s strawberry crepes and loved it, and behaved very well. When I said no to his going out alone to the car before we finished, and suggested he read the Harry Potter book he had with him so we could all walk out together, he did so without a fuss. There are a few rough edges to be honed still, and a few skills such as organizing to work on as well, but I can see glimpses of the nice kid who lives there (inside) most of the time.

During our table-chat, when we were talking about computers, the talk turned to spell-checking and he was amused that every time he types his mother’s name on the computer, the spell-check comes on and tells him it’s not spelled correctly. Oh I hate when that happens, I said, and his nonchalant answer was essentially no big deal. You just right click and add it to the dictionary. My jaw practically dropped into my lap. Is that true? I did not know that.

I’ve heard about grandparents learning how to operate computers from their grandchildren but so far I’ve thought myself so savvy and computer-literate, certainly for my age. Now I’m learning from my grandson. And you know? I used it writing this post! it’s a useful tool, that spell-check–when you know how to tame it. I never thought my grandson would be teaching me and not the other way around. I must be getting old!

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14 thoughts on “in and out of the mouths of babes

  1. Not old. You’ve both simply had different experiences and learn from each other. Wisdom comes from experience, not from age; knowledge comes from sharing those experiences. We all learn from each other regardless of age.

    • Oh my gosh, “Wisdom comes from experience, not from age” … it was so surprising to me to finally figure that out! And you’re right, we do all learn from each other.

  2. An editorial or article in the Washington Post during the last week has ‘pronounced’ why the grand old English has died and been buried. Let the grandson or granddaughter not be called upon to keep it alive. Of course in India we have Hinglish, Tinglish, Minglish, Binglish, Pinglish etc. By the way, the mother may be advised to get the children enrolled directly in the p-g. class of her university (at least as guinea-pig for practicals in child psychology) and get her problem solved. N

    • If you remember, my daughter IS a social psychologist. And you know what “they” say about the children of psychologists . . . ? So nice to hear from you again Dr. Iyer. 😀

  3. Your grandson sounds like a fine young man in the making!

    I often say to my peers that grandchildren make great teachers where modern technology is concerned. They have the patience without the baggage to show us the way. I have yet to prove this – if and when I have grandchildren of my own! 😉

    • In spite of the rough edges, Grannymar, I believe he is. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, he showed his concern and care by gifting me with a dollar from his piggy bank. Knowing how important that dollar was to him, thereby increasing its significance as a gift, how could I refuse it, ‘though that was my first inclination. His heart’s in the right place!

  4. You are not getting old yet. You are making me laugh tho. How did you miss that one. Yes, just add it to the dictionary. 🙂 Yes too, I have a grandaughter just like Thomas…..MJ. So awful sometimes, I just don’t want to take her anywhere. LOL

    • I’m never surprised how many simple things I’ve missed so far, Mage! I just hope I don’t go to my grave having missed out on the most important thing to know to avoid being there in the first place. 🙄

  5. That’s a favorite trick that I LOVE teaching people. They’re always awed.
    Anytime we let a child teach us something, it’s good.
    Even better, they’re more likely to help us when we ask for help since we’ve already proven that they’re smarter. Yeah, right. But it helps to let them think that.

  6. I thought that dealing with the oldies is a challenge the social psychologist has taken up. Clever. She has allowed the grandies to tame the children and learn the new script (computer) from them. Hope the oldies master it before it goes out of fashion, replaced by SMS script which has no vowels. N

  7. Well, add me to the group, Alice! I had NO clue you could do that with spell check. Amazing……….and from an eight-year old. I love it! Really enjoyed reading this post……..sounded like a lovely day was enjoyed by all three of you. Hope you’re doing well………you certainly sound chipper and I’m so happy about that!

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