Pages from Grandma’s Diaries: Grace, part 2

March 11, 2009
I babysat for the grandkids on Saturday. As usual, I spent a lot of the time trying to figure out what’s going on in their little minds. Grace is three and can talk perfectly well, but sometimes she won’t. She gets upset and stands there with her chin down and her lip out, mute as a stone. “What’s the matter, Gracie? Tell Grandma, honey. Tell Grandma what’s wrong. What’s wrong, Gracie? Grace…speak!” Hopeless. I have to get Maria to interpret: “She wants applesauce.” Really? How did you know that? And why is it a secret?

Then there are the little unsolved, probably unsolvable, mysteries that come up after they’ve gone. Why are the paints in the refrigerator? Where is the lint brush? Why would one of you want the lint brush? Did you suddenly become tidy? And so it goes. You can ponder till you’re blue, it won’t make any difference. One day the lint brush will turn up, and that will be that.

Sept. 1, 2010
So I babysat last Friday night and ended up nonplussed yet again. I was having a conversation with five-year-old Grace for about ten minutes, at the end of which she spit out a penny, just as if she always keeps one tucked under her tongue for emergencies, a last-minute gumball purchase or something. It shook me a little, as she seemed to be talking okay before that. I thought it must be an act of whimsy, but when I mentioned it to her mother, Jill said, “I told her not to do that. Grace! Don’t put pennies in your mouth. You’re going to choke.” What are they thinking? That’s all I want to know. What the heck are they thinking?


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