“My favorite age group for grandkids is birth to right about 18 months,” a good friend told me as we were about to have our very first almost four years ago. “My favorite age group for grandkids is birth to right about 18 months,” a good friend told me as we were about to have our very first almost four years ago. Our second, little Ben, is just about to burst through the 18-month ceiling like a superhero on a mission to save the world. I now can totally see what she is talkin’ about. Toddlers are so very charming … and yet … on the verge of delightfully destroying everything in their sight. There is a whole world for them to discover out there, and unfortunately, it sometimes starts with … a most magic place with moist pixie dust and rabbit holes … the toilet. I heard the oddest of sounds on Sunday afternoon coming from down the hallway … second door on the left. It was coming from our hall bathroom. The lid of the toilet was obviously being put up and down with a fair amount of force resembling a cross between thunder and an atom bomb. All the adults in the room scanned the family room.“Where’s Ben?” someone shouted.I was the one closest to the hallway and quickly sprang into action. Grandmothers can move very fast when toddlers are in danger of plugging up plumbing fixtures. Someone should have had a stop watch on me. I was in the room with the tot in three seconds or less. Now what do you say when you happen upon the cutest little guy on the planet looking lovingly up at you with a roll of toilet paper in his hands ready to plunge it into potty water? Well, you pretty much don’t say anything. I mean … do you think a toddler is going to understand complicated phrases like “back away from the potty so no one gets cooties?” All I could do was shake my right index finger back and forth, narrow my eyes so Ben knew I meant business, and reach out with my left hand demanding the roll. It worked. Earned a stripe and my “potty police” badge for sure that day. This is also the second weekend we have hauled out the baby gate from mothballs and secured it to the entrance of the room we call the butler’s pantry. It’s the first place the grand-munchkins storm troop toward upon their arrival when the back door is flung wide open with abandon. They can always count on scoring a few treats from a low-hanging shelf before we haul out the Play-Doh or the little red wagon full of toys for their enjoyment. Jacob, our first grandchild, taught us grandparents have got to have lots of distraction material in their holsters. Perhaps someday the boys will actually ride in their wagon instead of having to use it as a toy box. Still working on that one. I love how at Ben’s age, kids don’t have lots of words yet to express themselves, but they sure can say what they mean in other ways.“Ben has a couple of friends at daycare everyone calls Bobo and Blakey. The toddler trio tend to get into a little bit of trouble now and then. One pulls down the huge plastic toy bin while the other two are trying to climb on the table,” Katie told me the other day.Some afternoons Katie enters Ben’s daycare room performing pick-up duty only to find his teacher holding one tot under each arm. The third child is in time-out. Katie was explaining this occurrence recently at Sunday dinner. I looked over at Ben secured in his toddler chair working on picking up a pea. Ben knew his mom was talkin’ about him. Immediately, his two little hands went to his cheeks, which were covered in mashed potatoes. “Oh no,” said Ben, rather wide-eyed and serious … but not too serious. While I feel certain there are lots of things to love about each age group, I know one toddler that is entertaining the heck out of a couple of his grandparents.
You gotta laugh - Charming Ben, Bobo and Blakey
- Written by Dixie Frantz