Grandparents and toddler grandchildren often share commonalities, conditions particular to their stages of life. Nowhere is that more noticeable than on really icy sidewalks. While the folk of middle years hop up slippery inclines and wear totally inappropriate footgear without mishap, we were careful.
Lady Baby could walk on the little stretch of cleared front sidewalk, and she rode Snowy Puppy there (a plastic poodle on wheels, sturdy artifact from Mrs. Hughes’s childhood). I had borrowed ice grippers (“clackers” we call them), so I stayed upright when we walked through the gate to the skating-pond sidewalk, but Lady Baby could only walk if I held her arms. Even then she slipped often.
It was so clear she really wanted to walk that I fashioned clackers for her from an adult pair. I thought she might object to something attached to her little boots – but no, she got it right away. “Clackers!” she said. They worked well, and she loved the word.
Being specific about exactly what she wants or thinks seems to delight her. Offered a choice for after lunch treat – the cookies her dad made or the ones I made – she replies: “Daddy coco and Kaytee coco.” And she’s getting the concept of adjectives.
Gearing up to go outside one day, Lady Baby spied my black wool long underwear and said “tight pants.” I said, “Well maybe, but my other pants are baggy.” “Aah,” she agreed, “baggy pants.”
Barely holding hands and at a good clip on her clackers, she walked the six blocks to a nearby elementary school playground. As we crossed the playground, and the frozen outfall from the skating rink, I said by way of conversation, “Oh look, we’ll cross an icy river!” “Yes,” she repeated, “icy river.” (More fun comes later when she repeats those phrases as she reports about her day.)
That night, when she, Poppa, and I were eating dinner together, she declared several times “Good day!” (easy to agree with that). She also said with a question mark, “Home?” and I said, “Yes, tomorrow, to see Frances we’ll go in the airplane.”
That night I put her to bed (Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes were on a date), and as I turned to go out of her room, she said sleepily: “Sleep well Kaytee.”
And driving to the airport the next day, we could see the moon in the early morning sky – a sliver of a moon.
I said, “Oh a little moon,” and she said, “Tiny moon – I see a tiny moon.”