I’m talking about my magical ability to pick out great birthday gifts, haha, not anything else!
Do you remember that song from the 80s by the Waitresses? Once it gets into your head, it’s there FOREVER, trust me.
Here’s the question: what do you get a five-year-old that really and truly has EVERYTHING in the world?
Angel Boy 2.0 has a surfboard, a paddleboard, skateboard, bicycle, skiis, his own swing set and climbing frame, so many toys he could open a store, and his very own bouncy castle.
I’ve been noticing for quite a while that when we FaceTime, he takes photos and loves to look at pictures he calls “memories”.
For his special birthday present, I found a child’s camera by Rikum that takes pictures and video with fun filters and frames. Best of all, it’s rechargeable and not reliant on batteries.
I’m hoping to nurture a real interest in photography because I love it, too.
And it was a hit! He got so many MORE presents for his birthday, but I’m told the top three most favorite was a remote control intelligent robot, a remote control truck with huge foam wheels, and my camera.
I absolutely recommend this product if you’re looking for a cool gift that isn’t a video game and will encourage lots positive self esteem, interaction and creative skills, while learning to observe the world through the lens of a camera. (This is an unsolicited product review; I received no compensation of any kind.)
No one can pinpoint the etymology of this phrase with regard to our extremely precocious almost 4.5 year-old, but yesterday was the first time I heard it.
We were FaceTiming so he could tell me about their week-long camping trip. He was regaling me with how much fun he had and how he went surfing and how his baby sister enjoyed her first time living on the feral, as we say.
As an aside, he started referring to his almost one-year-old sister as “Missy” and when I asked him who he was talking about, Mom took the phone and said he started calling her that after I sent an Amelia Bedelia book where the child she babysits for is called “Missy.” T has a very active imagination.
As, we’re chatting and he shows me some new crystals he got at a yard sale–green and purple, his two favorite colors–I heard Dad in the background say, “Tell Grandma about the lake we went to this morning.”
“Oh yeah, hey man, I jumped all the way in from really high, you would have been too scared, little Grandma!”
I said, “What lake?” and “What did you just say?”
And he replied, “Let me ask Daddy.”
He walks over to where Dad is sitting on the sofa (I’m dragged along on FaceTIme) and says, “Hey, man, what was the name of the lake we went to?”
My son started snickering and said. “It was Kachess Lake”.
T said, “Hey man, it was Kachess Lake”.
I replied, “Oh, I saw the pictures and thought it was Green Lake.”
He corrected me, “No, man, it was Kachess Lake. Hey man, did you see me jump?”
“I did. You are a brave boy. Hand the phone to Dad for a minute, please.”
“Hey J-boy. What’s up, man? Where did he get that?”
“We have no idea; he must have heard it somewhere or maybe on Sesame Street, that’s all we can think of, but literally EVERY other word out of his mouth is ‘man this or man that’.”
“Hey man, I’m gonna hit the red button now. Is that OK, Grandma?”
“Yeah, man, that’s cool. Catch you later. Bye, Angel Boy.”
Have you ever heard a little one use that term in the proper context? He sounds so grown up, so sophisticated. SOOOO precocious. Heaven help us when he’s an actual teenager.
“I know I am. I’m a very small person and now you’re almost as big as I am.”
“Let’s compare hands, little Grandma!”
“OH MY GAWD, Grandma. My hand is almost as big as yours now!”
“I know, T, remember I told you that you are growing and growing every day and I stay the same size?”
“You’re my old little Grandma.”
*Yes, I am. (Lolz.)*
“Grandma, can you carry me?”
“I don’t think I can do that anymore, but let me try. You are so tall and SO heavy. I can pick you up, but I can’t carry you now. Daddy will carry you if you’re tired.”
“Daddy, Grandma cut triangles and hearts and circles and squares and I glued them to a piece of paper. Do you wanna see? Grandma said that’s one of the things I’ll do when I go to Kindergarten.”
“Grandma, did your little boy Daddy do that too? Did he like to glue shapes? Did he like to read? Did he like to watch Sesame Street? My Daddy is your little boy, right, Grandma? But he’s a man so how can he be your little boy? He’s big. My Daddy is so big. He’s bigger than you, little Grandma.”
“If there’s no gravity in space, how did the astronauts not float away when they were on the moon?”
What a great and thoughtful question, T. Let’s research it and find the answer.”
“Grandma? Do you love me more than a chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles?”
“Hmm, that’s a really tough one, buddy. I do love chocolate a LOT. Let me think about it. Well, the answer is yes, I love you more than a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles.”
“Do you love me more than seashells and rocks?”
“Oh NO, that’s going to be so hard. Let me give it some thought. *Sigh*. You definitely know how much I love seashells and rocks, but I love you so much MORE.”
This went on for the longest time until he was completely assured that I love him more than ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
Every day starts at around 5:45 a.m. It’s nonstop talking unless he’s eating or sleeping.
“Grandma?” Which really sounds more like “Grand-maw” if you’re sounding it out.
“I’m hungry. Let’s go in the kitchen and I’ll sit on the big stool and watch you make my breakfast.”
“Grandma? Why is it still dark out? Why do you love seashells so much? Can I have this rock? Why do you cut up my apple like that? Why do you make me oatmeal? Why is the stove hot? I burned myself one time and Mommy put ice on it. Why do you put cinnamon in it? I wish I was in a rocket ship and could fly off to space.I didn’t wet my bed last night. I’m wearing my Batman undies. Look, Grandma, look at me. Why do you love me so much? I’m your first little boy, Daddy is your second little boy. Right, Grandma? Right? Grandma, are you making coffee now? Why do you do that? That’s the same kind of coffee you get at MY house. We have a Trader Joe’s there, too. Is this safe, Grandma? (As he jumps from the chair to the sofa, and back.)
“Be ever so careful, my favorite boy!”
Silence as he’s eating his breakfast. But not for long…
“I’m really smart, ammnt I, Grandma?”
“Yes, T?” “Is that a TV screen? I only get to watch it for special. When do you watch it, Grandma? Why are you so small, Grandma? Daddy’s big and you’re small. You’re my little Grandma. I’m going to be bigger than my Daddy soon. Like when I’m six or twelve. I will, I really will. I’m not kidding. For reals. My Dad is SO strong, right, Grandma? Why did your little boy grow up, Grandma?
That one got me. “Hmmm”, I said. “I think about that too, T. Sometimes I wish Daddy was still a little boy and then I think that he grew up so he could have a little boy like you and make me so happy. What do you think?”
“I think….I think that I want a breakfast burrito now. I’m still hungry.”
Yup, he’s his Daddy’s little boy, that’s for sure. No doubt about it.
The questions have been coming fast and furious as soon as he turned three.
It started with ” where do sloths live?” and I said, “Let’s go to the library tomorrow and do some research.”
The next day we went to the library and checked out a few book about sloths.
After that it was “let’s do research” about everything that had been cooking in his brilliant little mind.
“I love the solar system, my favorite planet is Neptune, I love Neptune because it has rings. We live on planet Earth. I want to know about astronauts.”
Another trip to the library; more books. When he learned that astronauts wear diapers in space, he had to repeat that fact at least a hundred times.
“What happened to dinosaurs?” “Why aren’t there dinosaurs anymore? Why are they only in museums? Why are they just skeletons now?”
“What’s lightening?” “How does electricity work?” “How does a volcano erupt?” “How do bees make honey?”
That question couldn’t be answered very easily with a book, so we did something really special: computer research. We found a video that explained it in a way a toddler could understand. I have to admit that I didn’t know exactly how bees made honey and what we learned made me appreciate the importance of bees even more than I did before. For example, did you know that forager bees have two stomachs, one just to capture the pollen that will eventually turn into honey? Or that some of the jobs that other bees in the colony have is to vomit the contents of their stomach into a succession of about twenty other bees’ stomachs so that certain chemical changes can take place? Or that all the bees work together to flap their wings and evaporate the liquid when first placed in the comb and that when the liquid becomes thickened—well, that’s the end product—honey. In order to produce just one pound of honey, 2 million flowers must be visited. A hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey. One bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year. An average worker bee makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. I’m THIS MANY YEARS old and never knew all of that. It took a brilliant 3.5 year old child to teach me!
Finally, my very observant little grandson said this… “Why don’t you eat meat, Grandma?” When I gave him a simple answer about how I love animals and don’t like to eat them, he said he didn’t like to eat animals either. His mom told me that later that afternoon, he asked her why Grandma doesn’t like to eat animals.
I’m so grateful to be able to generate a thought process like that. We are in desperate need of his generation to make the world a better place. Kinder, more compassionate. More empathy for all living creatures with whom we co-exist on this planet and learn to become better stewards of our oceans and the air we all breathe.
He’s so adorably exuberantly awkward in his joie de vivre. But me? I’m beyond exhausted with so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
She was named after my wonderful mommy. What an amazing honor!
I can only imagine how happy she is up there in heaven or wherever her free spirit has taken her. She died when the original Angel Boy, was only about seven years old, so she never was lucky enough to see him get his PhD or get married or be the best daddy ever to Angel Boy 2.0.
Check out these photos of Theo and Charlotte 3.5 years apart. They look like twins! That’s strong DNA for sure.
So far, her only accomplishments are eating and sleeping. Big brother looks intrigued…
“Grandma, you’re silly; your favorite color is… ME!”
“That’s right, buddy, and what’s YOUR favorite color?”
“It’s…YOU, Grandma!” Jumping up and down, he adds, “And purple!”
No wonder I’d rather chat with him than most adults I know.
This brilliant, beautiful, funny little boy human will soon be three-years-old.
He is a force unto himself.
Up until this dervish was born, my son was the most amazing child ever created.
I know, I know. That HAIR.
But no longer.
Theo sees the world in his own way.
Along with Dad’s favorite teddy bear, still for just a brief moment, contemplating cloud formations.
“Hey Theo, do you want another veggie burger snack before dinner?”
“I’m done with veggie burgers for today,”
Time to put out fires and rescue dinosaurs. And Peppa Pig.
Look at this fashionable hipster boy in his fave hat wearing one of his many dinosaur shirts. We were at music class and he hoarded all of the purple shaky eggs.
Yes, purple really is HIS color.
And yes, he makes all of his daily fashion choices. He started picking out what he’ll wear the night before…definitely MY grandson and my genes.
Listening to the beat of his own drum…actually patiently (bored) waiting for the class to be over so he could play Teacher Blake’s big drums, a special treat ONLY for this little music man.
“Grandma, why do you have to go home?”
“So I can get your bedroom all ready for you with dinosaur sheets and make your blue dinosaur cake for your birthday and for Daddy’s birthday party. And to check on the bunnies and the coyotes in the garden…”
“But I love you. I don’t want you to go. I want you to stay forever and ever.”
STOP. MY. HEART.
One of those exquisite moments in time that make being alive and breathing the very best thing of all. That can erase any sadness or sorrow or pain.
“But I love you.”
So I replied, “I love you too, Mr. T, and can’t wait to see you! Let’s think about all the fun things we’ll do. We can walk to the park and see the big turtle and go camping and hiking and bake cinnamon rolls, too. What else do you want to do?”
“I want to wake you up in the morning and say, Grandma! Wake up and make me oatmeal!”
“You can do that for sure. And we will have so much FUN, right?”
Daddy’s mini-me. Two curly boys.
And soon he’ll be big brother to a little Princess!
OMG, you know she will be the best dressed little girl in the whole world.
Finally, someone I can share my love for all that is Hello Kitty and pink and frilly and fluffy so we can twirl together.
Thinking out loud here. Do you think Chanel does a line of children’s clothing?
Not the Taylor Swift tune, although it’s one of my faves, but I’m talking about shaking off the much too serious posts I’ve been writing about wetiko, death, and the dark night of the soul!
While I haven’t done a whole lot of retail therapy shopping lately unless it’s toys or clothes for a growing Angel Boy 2.0, I’ll tell you about a heartbreakingly exquisite moment that he and I shared on a recent visit.
Picture this: he lives between Puget Sound and some MAJOR railroad tracks. The good thing is the neverending entertainment of watching boats and sunsets and moonrises and the tiny little beach that’s across the street and the less good thing is the long and loud freight trains that heavily traverse the tracks all day and all night.
However, to a little boy, choo choos are AWESOME and AMAZING ALL THE TIME, exactly like his daddy thought at that age. We often drove to the train museum at Balboa Park and rode the little train there, too.
The day I was leaving, as I was packing my suitcase, Theo came in my room and grabbed my hand. I said, “What’s up, Mr. T? I’m packing up to go home, do you want to help?”
He looked at me intently still holding my hand and pulled me to my feet. In a sweet, small voice, he whispered excitedly, “AmmahAmmah, choo choo!” and raised his arms so I could pick him up. We stood at the window and he patted my back and leaned into me as I read to him all the names on the cars and we counted them until the train passed. I counted 56 cars and never wanted to put him down. I wish there had been 10,556 more.
Time stopped for those few minutes.
Nothing else mattered.
A boy, his grandma, a shared love of trains, and the beauty of a little human whose spirit shines so brightly even at eighteen months that he already knows the meaning of life and of happiness, being fully invested in the moment, the mindfullness of joyful living that some of us seem to lose as we transition into adults.
My little buddy. Beyond adorable…THEO-dorable!
This is the Balboa Park train. Can’t wait to take 2.0 !!!
I know that the weather is horrible in certain parts of the country, but I’m sorry/not sorry to report that here in SoCal, it’s like SUMMER! Windows are open, the sky is blue, and birds are singing.
The final full moon of winter 2017 will reach its crest at 10:54 a.m. EST tomorrow, March 12. This lunar event arrives a week before the spring equinox and represents nature’s inevitable rebirth after the dark winter months.
The Native American name for this full moon, the Worm Moon, alludes to the earthworms that emerge from the softening ground at this time of year.
Many sects of Paganism refer to this moon as the Storm Moon, which may have contributed to the old wives’ tale that March “comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”
What comes in for me tonight is my son, DIL, and THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, Theo, AKA Angel Boy 2.0
I had no idea that I was going to fall head over heels in love with this jumbled up mass of DNA and genetic codes. The old me used to smirk at my friends who couldn’t stop extolling the virtues of their grandchildren–UNTIL IT HAPPENED TO ME.
Now I’m the pack leader with my Iphone, shoving it in everyone’s face to oooh and ahhh at the latest accomplishment of 2.0, his newest tooth, his gummy smile, his attempt to stand and walk…
However, my son (the original Angel Boy) and DIL won’t let me post pictures of Theo on my blog or social media so you’ll just have to take my word for it. But you can see by this pic that the curly apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree haha!
With this special moon, it’s a wonderful opportunity to manifest positive intentions for the future. I’m working on joy and happiness, abundance, and gratitude for myself, my family, and the world.
What are YOU manifesting?
(Once again, WP is screwing up the format, not allowing me to break between paragraphs–I’ve attempted to redo this five times and now I’m done. It is what it is!! The draft looks entirely different than the final published result. )
1 year, 12 months, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,00 seconds, not counting the nine months before he took his first breath on March 8.
That would be Theo–Theo-dorable–Angel Boy 2.0
The most amazing grandson in this or any other universe.
I never really thought I’d succumb to the stereotype and become THAT sort of obnoxious grandma, but I did!
I am THAT grandma.
I don’t have a REAL name yet; Grandma is how I refer to myself when I talk with Theo–my son likes to call me Granny cos he’s snarky–and I figured I’d let Theo make the decision. I’m pretty cool with just about anything.
Angel Boy 1.0 (the original) was born on March 23, so we have two special days to celebrate this month.
And lucky me, they’ll all be here (DIL included) for a couple of weeks so I can be a part of this momentous event!
Getting party ready at Casa de Enchanted Seashells!
Some outdoor furniture.
A vintage toy, a favorite of AB 1.0
You can’t start them too early to think about animal rescue, am I right?
Oh, and happy birthday to my first and foremost Angel Boy, without whom there would be no AB 2.0, honestly and truly my very first love. There was never a more amazing child.
I wrote this poem for him a couple years ago in this post (click on the title):