Ask the two and a half year old…

Photo by Brett Sayles on

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, but I have been experiencing the unpleasant aspects of growing old. A lot of knee and shoulder pain have been occupying a great deal of my time and attention. Since this is the time of year I don’t spend much of my time traveling anyway, I haven’t really considered how I might look to the outside world, but a visit from my grandsons took care of that.

I went from days of my physical therapist spending her time and effort to make me contort myself into positions that she assured me were better for me: Me: But Kayla, I can’t bend my leg like that–Kayla: Sure you can–let me just add this weight to help you. I advanced from that to at least two of the three grandsons visiting and finding that dear old Grandma is a little under the weather.

Now, Grandma usually has some kind of fancy meal for when they arrive. This time they got hamburgers and chips–because Grandma couldn’t do much cooking. They ate without complaining, but before and during the meal, I got lots of hugs (unprompted, which is unusual) from the middle child and the oldest, unbidden, loaded the dishwasher, insisting that “I can bend over a lot easier than you, Grandma, I’ll do it.”

Walking around, using a walking stick for balance and trying to get by with a clumsy gait, I think, at least the older two gave me a lot sympathy. The youngest, not having seen me for several months, was not too receptive. He clung to Daddy and Grandpa and tended to give Grandma and her clutzy walking a wide berth. He responded when questioned, but when you are two and a half, you either are interested in something or you’re not.

I had a little better success when I put on Curious George–a perennial favorite show. He watched with rapt attention, even when his oldest brother–a fan from way back–complained about the quality of the artwork–he remembered it as being better. I tried to explain that a different television can change things, but I was an old woman on a crutch–what did I know?

I was moving around the house, making sure everybody had all of their things, when I noticed the two and a half year old, squatting a little and grunting. “Oh, oh, he’s trying to fill his pants,” I thought. I was incorrect. Watching him more closely as I followed him down the hall, I realized he was simply bending his knees slightly and walking in a slow, ponderous way which was kind of familiar to me. Then, I heard him, grunting with every step just as I was doing. This, then, was the 2 1/2 year old’s perception of what I looked was not flattering.

So, while I struggle to recover from all of my problems, I must face the fact that my oldest grandson is more helpful and considerate, the middle grandson believes I’ll be cured if he just gives me a little extra lovin’, and for the youngest grandson, my physical struggles are an opportunity for him to do a little mimicry and provide me with a mirror to see my own physical presence. I think it’s time to do the job and recover, if only to prove to the youngest that he is not quite correct in how Grandma normally appears!


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