Three Mysteries about Random Granddaughter

September 29, 2008

I arrived a few minutes late at the little house in the medium sized city, but not catastrophically late.It only took my little introvert granddaughter about one minute to decide she knows her grandfather and greet me. She asked me if I wanted to see her babies. I said, “Yes.” She took me into the library and introduced me to her babies. She laid her dollies in a row on the floor and covered each one with a blanket. She then handed me a page from the New York Times and invited me to read it.

What was going on? I wondered.

Mommy (birth mother and my daughter’s partner) was cooking some clam shell noodles. She put out a dish of peas and some cheese sauce. She told RG and me that she and Mama (Random Daughter) were heading for the library book sale and that as soon as the timer went off we should drain the noodles, add the peas and cheese sauce, and have dinner. She pointed to a bag of small gingersnap cookies that RG could have for dessert.

With a little help from me, RG finished preparing dinner. She added the peas. I added the cheese sauce, spilling some, but I wiped what I spilled up, escaping RG’s disapproval. I mixed the slop vigorously with a wooden spoon.

I dished it into two bowls. I asked her how many gingersnap cookies she wanted. She took eight. That was a lot, but they were small cookies and I decided they were within the allowable limits, especially when RG is being babysat by Grandpa.

We sat down at the table. RG put the cookies aside and said, “First I am going to eat dinner.” Then she ate all of the noodles like a normal person, with no whining, meltdowns, or other drama queen theatrics. She then ate all of her cookies except two. She put one cookie at Mommy’s place and one cookie at Mama’s place.

What was going on? I wondered.

After dinner, I asked her what she wanted to do. RG said, “I want to go outside. I am going to ride my bicycle.”

She put on her clogs and went outside. “Where is my bicycle?” she asked. “Oh, it’s under the cover,” she answered herself. The little house is being remodeled (new windows, new door, and some repairs) and repainted. The usual conglomeration of stuff in the fenced yard was under a tarp to protect it from paint. With my help she got her bicycle with training wheels out from under the tarp and rode it up and down the concrete path where she is allowed to ride without a helmet. As she rode she crooned softly to herself, a mixture of singing, talking, and humming. Nothing seemed to be required of me but just being around, so I watched her quietly. Then she got down from the bicycle; I put it back under the tarp, and she said, “OK, I am ready to go to bed.”

What was going on? I wondered.

Here are the best answers I have (though not very good).

The babies and the newspaper. Later, Mommy explained to me that at RG’s new pre-school, which is smaller, and run by a mom (who is a licensed Montessori teacher) out of her house, at naptime the children lie down on mats on the floor to take a nap while the teacher reads the newspaper. RG now lays all her babies down on the floor and reads a newspaper while they take a nap.

I said to Mommy, “RG is now reading a little. The New York Times is still a little heavy reading material for her. It would be better if you produced a little newspaper for her each day at  her reading level.”

For example, Sylvie went outside. Sylvie stayed in the yard.

[Sylvie, the mommies’ very sweet little black and white cat gets to go out in the yard for a little while. She is pretty good about staying inside, but everyone has to keep an eye on her, as she will sneak out if you are not watching. It is a big news day when she doesn’t try to sneak out.]

Mommy, replied, “Yes, that would be a good idea if I had lots of time.”

Eating dinner without a meltdown. Damned if I know. Is she just happier and better adjusted with her new, more personal day care/preschool? Is she just growing up?

The nighttime bicycle ride. As far as I can figure out, this is how little introvert Random Granddaughter processes the day’s events before she goes to bed. Note to RG’s future spouse: when she goes for a five-mile bicycle ride before bedtime, just let her go with it. She will be a much better bed companion if you let her get her ya yas out with a bit of exercise before she retires.



8 Responses to “Three Mysteries about Random Granddaughter”

  1. cheles Says:

    Oh, you best keep your guard up grampa- she might be messing with you! I couldn’t help but laugh, this was so cute.

  2. vroni1208 Says:

    Brilliant. I am so impressed! We should all be so lucky to lead a life like RG. I will have to remember to take a bike ride before bed to get my ya yas out. (Well, when I’m able to anyway.) 😀

  3. modestypress Says:


    Of course, she is messing with me. Of course, my guard is down.


    It is our job to make as lucky a life as we can for our kids.

  4. pandemonic Says:

    I can’t get over the night bicycle ride. Of course, I can barely get over RG.

  5. modestypress Says:

    Some days, RG can barely get over herself. However, Friday night she was just on top of things.

  6. truce Says:

    some days we have good days, when we play nicely and eat nicely and go to bed nicely… some days we have bad days when we want to kill our colleagues, eat nothing but chocolate cake and sit up drinking red wine til dawn…

    RG is just the same, only shorter.

  7. Ah, a glance forward to more understandable times. I’m sure they won’t last.

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