Moral: The assertion of independence begins at an early age and helicopter grandmothers will stand corrected when trying to speak for 4-year-olds.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Liam regularly went grocery shopping with his grandmother. It was routine that Gammy bought him two munchkins in the doughnut shop at the grocery store. So this day she asked, as she always did, “Would you like munchkins?” He answered, “No thank you, Gammy.” “Are you sure?” Gammy questioned. “Yes, I’m sure,” Liam told her. But Gammy couldn’t believe it. “You always want munchkins.” “Gammy, now I like blueberry muffins.” “Oh, I see,” Gammy answered, “Then would you like a blueberry muffin?” “Yes please,” answered her very mannerly grandson. As she handed him the blueberry muffin, she realized that something else was different. He didn’t want to have his treat in the grocery cart, he wanted to sit across from Gammy at the table in the doughnut shop and have a nice chat. So there they were, grandmother and grandson, the only two patrons in the place, lost in conversation about a family tradition. Gammy told him stories about Lucky the Leprechaun, and answered all her grandson’s questions about Lucky as if time stood still and there was no other place they needed to be. And later that afternoon, when Gammy went to visit her elderly mother, on the cusp of turning 100, she was struck by the familiar request that greeted her, “Please dear, come sit and have a cup of tea with me so we can chat.”
Moral: The most precious moments are unplanned and time is a very loving gift to give to those we love.
And finally, a lesson learned in the early morning at the breakfast table when Nonni was educated on how to distinguish a girl from a boy at birth. “I really, really want a baby sister,” Mae told her grandmother. “Well, Mommy and Daddy want to be surprised so we’ll find out when the baby comes,” Nonni explained. “I know,” Mae answered. “I’m going to tell Mommy when the baby is born, ‘Don’t look at her head, cuz the head always looks like a boy.’” “Oh?” Nonni cautiously reacted, afraid of what might come out of the tot’s mouth next. “I’ll tell Mommy to look at the baby’s pajamas, and if they are pink, it’s a girl!” “Babies are born with pajamas?” Nonni questioned. The little girl crisscrossed her small hands over her mouth trying to contain an incredulous giggle, “Nonni, you didn’t know that?” “No,” Nonni admitted with a smile, “I’m just a grandmother, what do I know?” The combined giggles were loud enough to wake up the rest of the family.
Moral: Children figure things out for themselves and learning from a child is priceless.
The authors have a combined 75 years of teaching experience in kindergarten, first, second and third grade in area schools. Their book, “Kitchen Table Time: Recipes for Success” can be found at I Love Books in Delmar and The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland.