WATCHING CRANKETTES GROW
My Thursday babysitting duty for the Pa. Crankettes has given me an interesting perspective into the growth of toddlers. When my four children were growing up their changes in growth, coordination, speech, and intelligence was so imperceptibly slow that from day to day I did not notice any changes. It always seemed as if they just suddenly grew up and reached a new stage of development.
Watching children grow from close up is like watching grass grow. There is no change…there is no change…there is no change…there is no change…DAMN!! It’s time to mow the lawn.
Watching children grow when you only visit once a week is like watching plants grow in time lapse photography. Those hourly/daily changes that parents cannot really notice, become snapshots where change in growth and maturity are clear and obvious and fluid. You do not see their struggles for tiny changes. You see a crawl to a creep to a stagger from chair to couch to cautious but stable steps to a confident walk to fast walk to a trot to a full out run.
I have watched the Crankettes learn to communicate by grunts, squawks and pointing to asking politely for what they want. I have seen their frustration at my inability to understand them turn into actual communication as I began to learn their secret toddler language and they learned to understand me.
They have learned to pay attention when Grandpa Joe becomes a Cranky Old Man and they know they can test my limits when I turn into the funny Grandpa Joe. It has taken months but we have come to an understanding about what they are capable of, what my limits are, and how we can all peacefully coexist for eight hours every Thursday. I look forward for my Thursdays when I change from the Cranky Old Man to Grandpa Joe.
In two weeks there will be an invasion of the three N.C. Crankettes. The time lapse photography with these three is set at too long an interval. Their growth is too fast to appear gradual and fluid, but I am looking forward to the new mental snapshots from this visit that I will store in my Crankette file in the forward left side of my abdullah oblongata (I have no idea, abdullah oblongata just sounds smart.)
There are many things I enjoy in this latest stage of my life; none are as rewarding as Watching Crankettes Grow!