Battling the bug! Plus, GRAND Social No. 337 link party for grandparents

Battling the bug! Plus, GRAND Social No. 337 link party for grandparents

Battling the bug!

My three grandsons from the desert (and their parents) spent the long MLK weekend at our house, to celebrate Benjamin’s baptism. It was a fast but fabulous family time and I have much to share of our couple of days together. But I haven’t yet… because I’ve been battling a persistent bug of a stuffy, snotty sort ever since the boys headed home. I’ve had neither the energy nor inclination to post the pics nor share the story, but hope to—nay, plan to!—soon.

Not only has my battle with the bug kept me from regaling you all with shots and such from my…

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So much to say

So much to say

When I was growing up, my mom and I didn’t talk much. At least not about big things, important matters mothers and daughters should discuss. No talks about girl things, God things, goals, dreams, birds, bees, boys.

The reason our communication focused only on surface stuff is debatable. My introversion? Mom’s aversion to uncomfortable truths? Her (justified) preoccupation with raising seven kids mostly on her own?

Whatever the reason, I promised myself…

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The other half of my story

The infrequent visitor to Grandma's Briefs might get the impression I have only one grandson because a large number of my posts are about Bubby, my first grandson. That impression would be incorrect, though, and only half my grandma story. I do indeed have two grandsons.

I write about my first grandson far more than I write about my second grandson because my second, Baby Mac, doesn't do a whole lot yet except look cute. But he is pretty darn good at that one thing he does:

Okay, I suppose I should stop being a big, fat, lying grandma and tell the truth here. Baby Mac really does do more than just that one thing he does so well. He also keeps Megan awake most of the night. He poops up a storm. He loves and adores his big brother. And he continues to be a world-class storyteller at the age of four months:

That little storyteller is the other half of my grandma story—which makes for one pretty awesome whole.

Today's question:

Who is one of your favorite storytellers—be it a friend, family member, writer, speaker, etc?

Tall tales and tag clouds

I started Grandma's Briefs more than two years ago primarily to share all things Bubby. What he is, what he does, and what he says. If you take a look at the sidebar to the right, you'll see in the "I write about" tag cloud near the bottom that the largest word there—meaning the word that gets the most play, gets tagged most often here on the blog—is, of course, Bubby.

Grandma's Briefs was all about Bubby because Bubby was my only grandchild.

Then along came Baby Mac. And because I'm now just as enamored with him as I was (and continue to be) with Bubby, there's a whole lot of catching up to do to get the size of Mac's name in the Grandma's Briefs tag cloud anywhere near the size of Bubby's.

To do that, I need to, just as I did with Bubby, write many a post on all he is, all he does, and all he says.

"You can write all about what he is and what he does," you may be thinking, "but Baby Mac, at two-and-a-half-months old, surely isn't saying anything yet."

And that right there is where I'd have to stop you and say, "Au contraire, dear readers and think-out-louders. For my little Baby Mac is indeed saying a whole lot more than most might imagine."

In fact, Baby Mac is quite the story teller. Just listen to this tale of happiness—sprinkled with a wee bit of woe—he dished out just for his captivated Gramma:


See what I mean? With so much to say, it won't take long for Baby Mac's name to inch closer and closer to the size of Bubby's. Sure, Bubby will naturally always be larger; it's one of the perks of being my firstborn grandchild, I suppose.

But I can imagine Mac will soon outsize grandparenting—and he'll be giving Grilled Grandmas a run for their money in no time.

Today's question:

If you were to share the story of your weekend, would it be a tale of adventure, woe, happiness, serendipity, or sloth?

Wah, wah and cootchie coo

Whining and baby talk are for babies ... only!When my daughters were young, I had a crafty little sign over the doorway to the kitchen that said "No whining." Whining simply was not allowed in our house.

The girls knew early on that asking, complaining, begging, crying in a whiny tone led them nowhere. If they did that, my only response would be, "I can't understand you when you're whining."

Even as a manager in the workplace, I had a "No Whining" sign at my desk. It's incredible the number of adults who think whining will get them somewhere. With anyone. Luckily my daughters aren't one of those adults. They're not whiners. And I'm pretty sure whining now annoys them just as much as it annoys me.

One of the few things that grates on my nerves, gets my briefs in a bunch and makes me want to bop someone on the head with a Nerf bat more than whining does is baby talk.

Now, lots of grandmas engage in baby talk. I'm talking about the "Cootchie, cootchie coo" babbling that takes place over a new little one. Or the "Oh, my sweety bug, you're so precious!" kind of complimenting passed along to boys and girls alike. That's fine, I guess. To each his own -- as long as it's out of my earshot. But you'll never hear that from me. Bubby will never hear it from me. Even my dogs and cats will never hear it from me.

That doesn't mean I don't gush over cute things; I just gush in a non-baby talk manner. I love my little Bubby with all my heart and soul and I adore everyone else's little ones just as much as the next grandma. But there's something patronizing bordering on demeaning about talking in sweetsy high-pitched voices to kids. Believe me: It really is possible to let babies and others know how much you adore them without hitting the upper range of your vocal abilities and using nonsensical words. It's annoying.

More than the annoyance factor, though, I think baby talking to kids teaches them from the get-go that baby talk from them is acceptable. For, at what point do you stop the baby talk to your children or grandchildren? As they get older, they surely -- though likely subconsciously -- figure that if grandma can do it, they can do it, too. And they can't. Or at least shouldn't. And they definitely shouldn't do it in public.

I'm a site coordinator for the local children's literacy center, so I come across a lot of kids. I'm continually amazed at the number of them -- children in elementary school and older -- who talk in baby talk. To adults! It drives me nuts. I find it not only annoying, I think it's sad. The poor kids haven't been empowered to use their words to say what they mean, what they want, what they truly wish to express. Instead, they've been taught to depend on a cutesy, baby voice (or worse yet, whiney baby voice), in hopes that baby talk will get them what they want. Or soften the blow of what they're really trying to say. Or endear someone to their cutesy ways.

Which it doesn't. At least not with me ... and surely not with their teachers or other adults, I would venture to say.

So moms, grandmas -- dads, aunts, uncles, any other adults who interact with children, too -- do the kids in your life a favor and put an end to baby talk. From our mouths and the mouths of the little ones. It's annoying.

And it's just as bad as whining.

Which I can't imagine being taught as acceptable by any grandma or other adult, not just crabby non-baby-talking grandmas such as myself.

Today's question:

Which do you find more annoying -- whining or baby talk?