GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 13

“Your sons weren’t made to like you. That’s what grandchildren are for.” —Novelist Jane Smiley Toddler telephone talk “Spchl gree nani.” Two-year-old Braddock knew what he was saying to Nani on the phone, but Nani had no clue. Mommy translated these words to mean “special green candy,” which was her way to get Braddock to try broccoli. Not all conversations with toddlers go this well. Like other grandparents who live at a distance from their g’kids, we’ve found ways to keep ourselves “present” in their lives, but when Nana calls the 18-month-old, she is apt to encounter a big silence on the other end of the line. Mom is coaching anxiously in the background trying to make conversation “happen,” while the kid is just transfixed by a voice coming out of this thing. Abuelita Teresita lives in Florida, while almost-3-year-old Ava is in Oregon. Teresita does not get upset easily when nothing is coming out of the phone from the other end. “I ask a question and let Ava tell me whatever she thinks is important, and ask for translation from the parents when she finishes.” At least this way Teresita gets to hear her granddaughter’s voice. Abuelita has older grandchildren too, so she is wise in these matters. She knows that sending something in the mail will get a response. Nana Cindy’s grandchildren live only a half hour away, but jobs, school and day care mean they don’t see each other on a daily basis. Conversation can still be challenging. Take Sawyer, an active, jumping and running 3-year-old in Maine. “It’s just in the past couple of months that we transitioned from Sawyer making noisy giggles and blabbing with the rest of his family in the background to a ‘real’ conversation,” she says. “He still runs around and shrieks, but when Nana asks him what he did in his day care today, he will slow down enough to answer. This is progress when the kid is a boy, believe me.” Recently Cindy mailed a new sweatshirt to him and called up to see how he liked it. Smart Nana! This gives the conversation a focus, and there is less chance of the kid running off and leaving the phone dangling. And don’t forget: 3-year-olds like to rhyme, so don’t take it personally. I’ve been called “Nana banana,” which is considerably better than a friend’s non-rhyming “Poopyhead.” A few hints: • Ask the parents to keep a photo of you where the child will see it—best, one with the two of you together. • When you make a phone call, ask what he did today. • Mail some stickers, new crayons, a book, or even a T-shirt that glows in the dark (a big hit!). • Try not to call at mealtime, if there is one. • If you don’t understand what the toddler is saying, ask a new question and get the translation later. • And if you get called Poopyhead, hey, at least the kid cares enough to let you in on his best joke! —Sherry Ballou Hanson Jacob, VA Josh, NJ Jenna, NV Tavielle Abagail, MN
http://www.babylovesdisco.com http://www.babylovesdisco.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - February 2009

GRAND Magazine - February 2009
GRAND View
Contents
GRAND Central
On the Cover: Susan L. Taylor, One in a Million
Get a Job!
The Healthy Crib
Movin’ to the G’Kids
Closing In
10 Disney Secrets
Ask GRAND
Just the Family We Are
Grand Prix: 0-3
Left Behind
Cycle Safe
Resources
GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND Magazine - February 2009
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 3
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND View
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 5
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 7
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 8
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 9
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 10
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND Central
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 12
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 13
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 14
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 15
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - On the Cover: Susan L. Taylor, One in a Million
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 17
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 18
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 19
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Get a Job!
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 21
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - The Healthy Crib
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 23
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 24
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 25
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Movin’ to the G’Kids
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Closing In
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 28
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 29
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 10 Disney Secrets
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 31
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Ask GRAND
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Just the Family We Are
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 34
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 35
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Grand Prix: 0-3
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 37
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Left Behind
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 39
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cycle Safe
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 41
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 42
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 44
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 45
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cover4
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