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Grand Monday Morning

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 8.12.19 AM

Monday mornings: time to tackle chores. Washing. Paying bills. But not at my house. Monday mornings with Jesse, my twenty-one month old Grand, is on my agenda. I invite him to visit and pretend that it’s to help, Daughter, his mom.

When I walk through the back door of Jesse’s house Daughter says, “Jesse, Gran’s here!” His running feet slap the hardwood floor and his arms are spread wide. I lift him into my arms. He lays his head on my shoulder and wraps around me. That loving could carry me through the week. My Grand waves and says, “Bye, bye” to his mom and siblings.

In our playroom, Jesse immediately pulls two plastic buckets filled with small cars off a shelf. He squats, his bottom almost touching the floor. (How I wish I could sit like that!) He surrounds himself with at least twenty-five cars – in no order, but each set with wheels on the floor and not touching another. One car plays music, for only five seconds. He pushes the music button, stands, takes two steps, and the music stops. He turns, takes a step, squats, pushes the music button, takes a step, the music stops. He turns – and because I have nothing better to do than count how many times my Grand does this – after the 7th time, he turns, looks at the quiet car, tilts his head, and drags a a box of wooden blocks out of the closet.

Jesse is in the empty-it stage. One by one, he lifts the blocks out of the box. I stack a few on top of each other and he swings his fist to knock them down and giggles. A few more stacks and giggles, and I sing a silly made-up song about picking up blocks and we fill the block box. Thankfully, he likes to put things in as well as take them out.

What is it about toddlers and running in a circle? Jesse pushes a toy-shopping cart from the playroom, through the den and bathroom, and back to the playroom. I sit in the playroom and act surprised when I see him. “Where’s Jesse?” I call. “There you are!” My Grand stops and laughs and then he runs again trampling over the cars on the floor.

I sing another silly song, “Pick up cars, one by one,” and I put cars in a storage bucket. Jesse frowns and stiffens his arm to hold his open flat hand toward me. He sets every car on the floor and then runs the circle again and again, stopping only to straighten the cars that he turns over.

Jesse wiggles into our kid size rocking chair. He rocks and laughs. Then he stops, walks across the room, and pushes a button that plays music on a blue elephant toy.   He sits in the rocker and rocks until the music stops. He walks across the room, pushes the button, rocks – over and over. I didn’t count how many times he did this. I laughed and he did too.

For two hours, Husband and I play with our Grand. He happily puts away toys – all except the cars. I put one in the bucket; he takes it out. Those cars stay parked on the floor.

“Tell Gran thank you for inviting you to play,” Daughter says when I take Jesse home. He tucks his head against my shoulder and brushes his face across my cheek, a toddler kiss.   I love Monday mornings, there’s no better way to begin a week than playing with a Grand.






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