If you’re wondering why your inbox has been a little lighter this last week it’s because I decided to take some time off for the Passover holiday and, more importantly, a six day visit by our 17-month-old grandson, Finley (okay, his parents, Dan and Allison, as well).
Of course I’m biased, but Finley is adorable. He smiles at everyone. He’s at the cusp of verbalization, mixing in some words with incessantly cute babbling. When he wakes up in the morning or from his afternoon nap, it’s not with a scream or cry but rather with minutes of active, babbling shrieks. He goes to sleep the same way, nary a cry, babbling himself to slumber.
This is his age of wonder and amazement, bewilderment turned to comprehension, exploration fashioned into discovery, rote repetition to learning. I taught him to say “Grandma GG” for when Gilda came into the room; couldn’t get him to say “Grandpa GP.” Maybe next time. He knows more words than he can say. He’ll follow directions, to get a favorite book or toy, for example. He’ll surprise you by walking passed his coat and saying, “Jacket.” He’ll wave and say “goodbye” to cashiers.
We took him for his first haircut, to the same woman, Rosie, who gave Dan his first haircut some 30 years ago and who still cuts my hair. Three generations of Forseter men have sat in her chair.
Allison and Dan don’t let Finley watch TV really, but while they were out one afternoon Gilda and I enjoyed the perks of grandparenthood and put on Nickelodeon and Looney Tunes. He ignored the cartoons, preferring instead to entertain himself with a toy kitchen. Once or twice he looked up when a commercial ran, but rarely for more than a few seconds.
My mother used to say my poor eating drove her back to work. As an infant I would throw peas off the high chair. Finley’s a human vacuum cleaner. He eats everything, especially fruit and vegetables, just as Dan did. For Dan it was a matter of survival. He was allergic to milk products. Finley loves eating, but retains a slim physique. Aside from saying “more,” he also hand-signals the sign for more food.
Finley went home Saturday. There’s hardly anything more melancholy than when your grandchild, whom you hadn’t seen in two months, goes home with an uncertain date as to when you’ll see him again. With his development changing almost daily, he’ll almost be another person when we reconnect. I can hardly wait.