Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Nana

Saturday, 5-ish, I'm on the couch in the condo, reading, and I look up across the room to the doorway, just opened by Pater to my SIL and my daughter, holding Nola in her arms. Little girl looks across the room to me, with a big grin on her face, calls out Nana; her mom, also grinning, puts her down and she runs over to climb up and give me a huge hug. I'd say Best. Feeling. Ever. except it gets even better when her mom comes over to join us and we have a splendid moment hugging even more, the three of us. Nana and daughter, reconciled after five or six weeks' tension and unhappiness, Little Girl oblivious to all that, but happy to hug the folks she loves.

A bit later, sitting around with a glass of wine, Daughter and SIL are getting Nola to show Nana and Pater some of her latest delights, and we listen to her sing birthday songs and twinkling stars (likeadiminindasky -- yes, it is all one word, why do you ask?) and lions sleeping in the jungle tonight (she throws her head back theatrically and sings toniiiiiiiight, sometimes spontaneously, one word only). When Nana does the best lion roar ever, very protracted, carefully just below tooo loud, Nola looks carefully around at all of us and proclaims quite solemnly, "I like it, Nana." But when I ask her if she'd like me to roar again, she hurriedly and emphatically asserts, "No!"

Sentences make all the difference. Words are delightful, but sentences. . . . "I did it, Nana!" . . . "I see the big ball, Ganddad" . . . I like doughnuts, Ganddad. I like more doughnuts, Nana. . . . They're still rudimentary, these sentences, but the potential is there . . . exponential potential, really . . . language will gallop into being over the next weeks and months and we'll share ideas and experiences and emotions. . . .

I marvel at how well this little girl goes to sleep -- her parents did the most spectacular job of sleep-training, and since about six or maybe eight months old, after the usual bedtime routine (teeth-brushing, zipping into sleepsack, story-reading and cuddle), she happily lies down clutching her little stuffed friend, Maaa, and she's generally asleep within minutes, although sometimes we can hear her happily chatting away for fifteen or twenty minutes before the sounds fade away. And she always wakes up in a good mood, ready to see what the day will bring.

At the beach for a walk, she pulls herself up onto logs so that she can walk along them, balancing. She's surprisingly adept, although Nana hovers nearby, a bit concerned about the slipperiness of those surfaces. At the end of each log, some of them lifting her two feet off the ground, she calls out, "Big Jump, Nana" -- and gets me to hold her hands so that she can spring down to the sand below. Adventure is everywhere when you're not quite two years old.

I took a few photos this weekend, but they weren't nearly as fun as this sighting of a very young Frida Kahlo taken by Nola's parents at a recent Halloween event. The unibrow on my granddaughter cracks me up. And clearly, Little Girl is also very amused!


  1. Sounds perfect!
    I know how you feel about those slippery logs...I catch my breath in situations like those.
    So glad that you had some quality Nola time...and she does look like a very sweet Kahlo!

  2. Oh how wonderful. To be so loved by your grandchild, and to have a peaceful time in your relationship with your daughter. I adored the era of language acquisition. To this day of course I remember my children's first words, first sentences, funny pronounciations. And you have it all over again.

  3. My goodness, but she is getting big! And her comic timing seems to be impeccable! :0) P.

  4. This post was a total delight to read. I love feeling the love you have for your gorgeous girl. And, OMG! That halloween costume is CRAZY-cute!!! Love it.

  5. Oh the Frida Kahlo is precious!!

    What a delightful read this morning! The development of language is such an exciting and awe-inspiring process to watch. Seeing those little minds making connections is magical.

  6. Hostess: It was lovely to have her to ourselves, I must say!
    LPC: It's very special, particularly as I have memories (my own or passed-along) of four generations of early language -- mine remembered by my mom, hers, remembered by my grandma, and then of course Nola's, and my daughter's before her. . . .
    Patricia: She really does have a great sense of humour!
    LBR and Pseu: Thanks -- isn't she a too-funny Kahlo?! I thought it was such a clever costume.

  7. Oh how delightful! I love this, the development of language, and how exciting everything is when you are still new in the world, something we should try to hold on to. And a darling picture and clever costume.

  8. You write so vividly I almost feel I have met Nola, It seems to me that grandparents can focus on the tiny details and appreciate them so much more than we as parents do, the developments often get drowned by the overwhelming process of living, si it has been a joy to see her grow. Any boy has she grown; now I feel old!

  9. So sweet. You know, Nola looks like you I think.

  10. Such a healing life force! And all is well. Frida would be delighted.

    When he was very young one of my sons looked up at me after a Disney movie and said, solemnly, "Really good film." That he called it a "film" floored me.

  11. Mardel: That fresh view of the world is a gift I'm enjoying as a Nana!
    Alison: It's true, I can savour moments better when I'm not having to cope with the day to day of small children but rather enjoying the luxury of no-strings time here and there.
    Susan: Is it the monobrow?? ;-)
    Duchesse: That's a priceless story! You must have had a tough time honouring the solemnity of his assessment -- I'd have been choking back a chuckle!

  12. No! It is something in the eyes and smiling cheeks.

  13. Susan: Thanks -- I wonder when, and how, I'll see it for myself. Sometimes my mother flashes across my face or one of my sisters peers back from the mirror -- or I see my sister-in-law laughing in my daughter. I hope someday I'll recognize my little girl self in something Nola does, if only for a nana-second.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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