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Friday, March 9, 2012

WATCHING CRANKETTES GROW

WATCHING CRANKETTES GROW


These are not Cole and Connor, they are stunt toddlers.

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!    

17 comments:

  1. Still waiting on my first grand crankette. Indeed how the grass grows so quickly.

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  2. Sounds like perfect timing to me...

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  3. OK first of all the stud toddlers had me spew green tea out of my nose. Love it. I have a feeling your an awesome CrankyPa!

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  4. The Crankettes are very, very lucky to have you as their Grandpa. My kids...do not have a grandpa, have never had a grandpa, because both my father and my husband's father passed away before we got married. Cranky, if you didn't live on the opposite end of the Unites States, I'd be bringing my kids over to your place every other Sunday. I'd call first, of course. Because you know, you'd need to prep the house a bit, stock up on food, that kind of stuff. But it would be fun!

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  5. If you could see their inner thoughts, they are probably watching you grow and change in time lapse photography too!!

    And if you are ever strapped for cash, you could always offer "Cranky Old Sitter" service :)

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  6. This is such a lovely post, Joe! LOVE the grass analogy!

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  7. It's so true, they grow slow/fast. Or is it fast/slow? Whatever it is, I've stopped wanting the next stage to hurry up, because I know it's coming along all to quickly and then I'll just be missing the stage gone by. Thanks for your wonderful perspective, you have some lucky grandkids. Visiting from the Rewind.

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  8. Such a good post! Another interesting thing is that you have more grandchildren at similar but different stages of development at the same time. I've got 3 kids currently in grandchild production and one who's dragging his feet (Come on, son!)Thus,I've got both a 5 year old and a 4 year old. An 18 month old and a 2 year old. Then there's the 7 year old watching over all the others. Even if I had had 5 children (heaven forbid!), they wouldn't have been so close in age. It's interesting. Every age is a delight.

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  9. The next time my 13 year old hits a growth spurt I have to rush him to the orthodontist for $6000 worth of braces. So I'm hoping his growth will be slow ... very, very slow ... just for a while :0)

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  10. Watching little ones grow is such an amazing experience!

    Cheers,
    Lynda.

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  11. A great post. I have two boys and you are spot on, I only notice their changes when I look back at photos or really notice something new they are doing. Love the name of Crankettes too!

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  12. Can you identify any cranky clones yet? That's always a hoot!

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  13. Love this Joe! Thanks for Rewinding!

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  14. Very funny Jo, I know my dad loves his babysitting duties to, though I am mindful of who is sitting who. xx

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  15. For a cranky old man, you sure can wax poetically, beautifully. A lovely post here. Must have been Grandpa Joe at the keyboard, not Cranky Old Man. :-D

    Thank you for sharing. (And for making me chuckle at your "limp" comment regarding my hop.) So glad you joined us!

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  16. I am completely convinced that grandchildren grow faster than our own children did! I see mine all the time and am still shocked how quickly she grows!

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  17. Awww - my dad could occasionally convince a stranger he was a bit cranky. But those grandkids would come to visit and he'd sit there patiently, letting them pain his nails with their (removable) fingernail polish - just making their day! :) Have a grand week.

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