Thursday, October 20, 2016

Grandson Lessons – Communication

The lesson today from my now fifteen-month-old grandson is clear communication. Even though he isn’t talking yet, I’m amazed at the number of words he understands. The secret is I talk to him in a clear, normal voice and point out objects to him. As a result, he knows key words such as stroller, clock, books, fan, eat, no, cars, trucks. When I ask him to pick out a book to read, he goes right to his pile of books and selects one of his favorites. When I suggest a stroller ride, he walks over to his stroller and holds onto the side with an expectant grin.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Grandson Lessons – Look at Things from All Angles

My young grandson is constantly teaching me new lessons. As a proud grandfather, I’ve had a chance to watch the little guy as he explores his new universe.

Here’s an example. When he’s given a new block, he turns it around in his hands and looks at all sides. This has reminded me that I don’t need to take things from a one-sided viewpoint. There are often many dimensions to an issue. I don’t need to go with the quick answer but can investigate to more thoroughly understand a topic.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Grandson Lessons – Good Books

Our fourteen month old grandson loves books. We have a basket of books in our living room, and when he comes over, he picks out his favorites for us to read to him. He will also carry a loved book all over the house with him. His current book of choice is The Happy Man and His Dump Truck. This was first published in 1950, and I read it as a child.

Our grandson also loves trucks becoming extremely excited on days when garbage trucks or street sweepers are in the neighborhood. So the content of this book appeals to him. It has a positive message of a happy man who enjoys driving his dump truck and is friendly to a group of animals. But horror of all horrors, this old book is not PC. It shows the animals accepting a ride with a stranger. Then they sit in the truck bed. And they don’t use seatbelts. But it does promote diversity since animals of all types and shapes get to ride in the dump truck. That’s the trouble with being a writer. I see too many different dimensions of a children’s book. Our grandson just enjoys a good truck book.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Grandson Lessons – Improvise

Over the last year I’ve had a chance to get to know an interesting person—my grandson, now fourteen months old. I see him almost every day and sometimes spend most of my day with him. Rather than being boring, this has been an entertaining and informative experience for me. One of the lessons I’ve learned from him is how to improvise.

He loves pushing toy trucks and cars around the floor of our house when he comes to visit. We have a number of toy vehicles for him, but even when they have been put away, he finds a way to improvise. In the kitchen we have a cupboard where we keep empty containers and container covers for him to pull out and play with. When the cars and trucks aren’t available, he will grab a plastic lid and push it around the kitchen. When you can’t find a car, you make do.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Grandson Lessons – You Can Like People But Sometimes a Crowd Is Overwhelming

As a writer, I’ve learned to observe events and people around me. This can provide insight into human nature and grist for writing material. An old writing adage is, “Everything is material.” One of the pleasures of observation has been getting to know my grandson who is now a little over a year old. Who says you can’t learn from little kids. I’ve picked up an amazing amount of knowledge during his first year.

For example, around our family he is very outgoing. He is a people person and responds with his smile to other smiles, likes interacting with all of us and makes his noises to communicate what he wants. But when he gets into a crowd such as when I’ve taken him to a children’s program at the library, he acts shy and subdued at the outset. It takes him a little time to get the lay of the land with all the noise, activity and new people. I can identify. A crowd can be intimidating. But after he watches for a while, he gets into things and when the play time comes, he’s out there grabbing toys with the rest of the kids.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Grandson Lessons - Look Around at the World

It’s interesting to discover something new. As I get older, I still find new things to marvel at. This has been reinforced by my one-year-plus grandson. He revels in finding new things to look at and play with. Outside our door is a tree. I never paid much attention to it until our grandson went up and patted it. Now I notice the pealing bark and smooth surface. Our grandson loves ceiling fans. He stares up at them. Have you watched a fan recently? They are mesmerizing. And playing blocks. They may seem bland, but he enjoys turning them over and looking at all sides. What do you know? They are different on each side. These are all little observations, but, hey, who says a grandpa can’t learn new stuff as well.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Grandson Lessons – You Don’t Need to Let a Bad Moment Define Your Whole Day

My one-year-old grandson continues to teach me new lessons every day I. As well as not holding a grudge, he rebounds quickly from bad moments. This is in contrast to times I find myself grumbling about some glitch long after it has taken place. My grandson has his share of falls and bumps, which lead to crying. But after a hug and wiping away the tears, he’s back to charging around as if nothing had happened. Resilience. No need to moan and groan about a problem when there are new things to explore and new skills to learn.