As I near the end of my first year of being a grandfather, I think that the advantage has been the ability to devote all of my attention to Alex when I am with him. As a parent, there are always an assortment of other chores and tasks that need doing, along with taking care of the kids. Not so for Grandpa, particularly when, like yesterday, I am babysitting at Chuck and Rebecca's apartment.
|Grandpa and Alex contemplating.
Our adventure began when Alex woke from his afternoon nap. He had some banana,one of the foods he likes to feed himself, and then we were off to the park. I didn't bother with the stroller; it is as much an effort to get it in and out of the building as it is to just carry Alex the one block. Turned out that it was a good choice as little Mr. Independent decided he wanted to walk. He held onto my finger some of the time, letting go frequently as if to say, "I know how to do this, Grandpa!"
We then walked through the park, stopping to watch a squirrel running through the bushes, and made our way to the playground. As he did the last time we were there, Alex climbed up and down a few times, then explored underneath, and ended with some Grandpa-assisted rides down the slide.
He was wearing down on the way back home, so he allowed me to carry him most of the way. And all that play worked up his appetite, so he had a couple of cookies and a bottle when we got home. His batteries recharged, it was time to play with a variety of his toys, moving from room to room in the apartment because he's got them everywhere.
All this fun did wear him out, so he ended up taking a bonus 45-minute nap, waking up just in time to enjoy his dinner. Here again, Alex is showing that he prefers to do it himself. He allowed me to spoon-feed him the turkey and sweet potato, but much preferred feeding himself the peas and carrots. It was while doing the latter that he came up with a new way to do it: he would poke a pea with his finger until it got stuck on the end, then stick it in his mouth. It was fascinating to sit and watch him do this, repeating it as he saw that it worked with the peas but not the carrots, and ultimately ignoring the carrots in favor of the peas.
Dinner over, I cleaned him up and got him into his pajamas. We had some more play time and, as he started winding down, he picked one of his books and we had story time.