Letter to my Grandson (xvi)

You’re growing up so fast. It’s less than a month before you turn two and every day there seemed to be, to these grandfatherly eyes at least, changes which appear to be beyond your years.  You seem to me to be becoming cool and self-confident beyond your years.

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Winton J: Two year old street cred

We have all been working hard with you on the idea of sharing, particularly at the swimming pool where you have had a habit of commandeering  pieces of equipment you take a fancy to. But recently, you have realised that sharing some of your toys with other kids is a good way to start a friendship and you are getting increasingly adept at starting friendships.

Usually, you will just wait until a kid runs past you in the swimming pool. You run along next to them imitating what they are doing. Then you climb up onto the edge of the pool  and jump in. You make it look so fun that usually, the other kid climbs up as well and you both jump into the pool together.

Last weekend, you and a little girl must have done half a dozen coordinated jumps together. Sometimes, you share your little rockets and you both stand on the edge of the pool, throw them in and then jump in to retrieve them. I’m fascinated by how you do this because you don’t talk well enough to explain what you want the other kid to do. The other kids just copy you. But it works. I think your secret is that you are a fun kid to be with.

I know that when I went round to see my physio, Sally, yesterday her eldest  daughter Millie, who often comes round to play at our place, was very disappointed that I have not brought you with me.

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Mille is more than a year older than you and like you, she is a pretty strong character and also a great kid. I think she is the kind of kid that everybody else would want to play with. It’s wonderful to see that you two are becoming such good friends.

Yesterday, we invited Crystal, a little girl who stays with her grandmother across the road, over to play. Crystal is four and I think she’s very shy because she didn’t join in with you in the way that Millie did when you first met.

Your response was quite astounding. You began charging around the house finding toys to share with Crystal, inviting her to come to play with you. You tried the teddy bears,  the toy cars and even some books. But she wasn’t really interested. Nonetheless, you persevered and finally gave her a large fly swatter and a balloon and charged off down the passageway. This time, she followed and you both began belting the balloons up and down the passageway.  You had managed to break the ice. Well done,  little guy.

What surprised me was that your efforts to get Crystal to join in and play with you were not only persistent but varied.  And you kept offering her all your best toys. I know you love playing with other kids but it was almost as if you realised that if you are going to get Crystal to play with you, you  would have to convince her.

You and I have spent a lot of time sitting in front of my computer watching videos on YouTube. You love videos of excavators, rubbish trucks and motorbikes but you also love dance and music. You seem to be developing a taste for Mozart and to your favourite pieces are The Queen of the Night and Papagena-Papageno, both from The Magic Flute.

You have started doing a passable imitation of Diana Damrau’s Queen but you did your best singing last night after you’d had a bath. Nana Di was drying you and singing nonsense songs to you, much like the songs that you sing to yourself. When she paused at the end of one phrase, you repeated it back to her perfectly and then two you sang a duet together.  It was one of your golden moments.

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