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Monday, March 25, 2013


This Cranky re-run Monday is from March 2012

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!
"I Used To Be Stupid" is now available on Amazon KINDLE and Barnes and Noble NOOK!    


  1. Bazingah on that Abdullah Oblongotcha

    (I know what it is and I don't care if you... and I... totally butcher it)

  2. Tell all of the Crankettes, "Hi!"
    From the Tickle Monster

  3. Why are grandchildren so much cuter & smarter than our own children?

  4. I'm listening to two grands empty the dishwasher. Now, that's something to look forward to...real work,

  5. Its all so true. Very lovely post. THe lawn analogy is very effective even though with my own kid there were days I shoulda used a weed whacker!

  6. Excellent post. They're just little walkin', talkin' miracles, aren't they? :)


  7. Aw, enjoy your visit with the Grandcranks! :)

  8. Love this post and I bet your an awesome Grandpa

  9. "Grandpa Joe" reminds me of Willy Wonka, and how spry Grandpa Joe was, even after being bedridden with Grandma Josephine, Grandpa George, and Grandma Georgina for twenty years.

  10. How lovely! Ditto what Val just said. All I can think of is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and Joe flying and burping.

  11. So very true, Joe. When our kids were growing up we were so busy working to take care of them and make ends meet, that we didn't always note the changes that were transpiring before our eyes. Then one day they were all grown up and ready to fly the nest, and I look at the next generation of little ones and wonder where mine have disappeared to. Your grandchildren are so blessed to have these weekly times together with you, memories they will keep for a lifetime! I am sooo jealous!

  12. Great post! And oh, so true about how the time lapse makes it so much easier to see our grandchildren grow and mature (without us!) than it was our children. Lucky you to be close enough to see some of your grands on a weekly basis.