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I get to babysit for a special lady and her special little lady who just happens to be my granddaughter. We are on 3rd shift now, so that means bedtime and breakfast with grammy. Right now she's 2 and LOVES her books. Of course, she loves to talk as well. The two are sometimes a funny combination.

Her latest favorite book is called, "Bread and Jam for Frances." While she's here, she's usually perched on the arm of my recliner. I perch my laptop on the left side and she has the right side of the chair for her snacks, drinks and lately, it's her books. It used to be dollies, blankets and diapers. It was nonstop diaper changes for a while and that's hard to do while typing.

Now we are on to books. She absolutely loves Dr. Seuss's ABCs and The Eye Book. These two books have been booted by, "Bread and Jam for Frances." I was working the other day, listening to make sure she's making noise because if it gets quiet, we all know with a two-year-old, that is NOT good news. So I'm typing, answering email, making some ads, and I hear her demanding something in her little 2-year-old voice. I tuned it out because it hadn't quite reached the "urgent" notes yet, and I had a few more lines to type.

All of a sudden I heard, "Read the DAM BOOK!" Do you know the sound a needle sliding across the vinyl record makes? That went through my mind as I stopped typing and said, "WHAT???" "Read the dam book," she repeated more calmly. Ah, it's the JAM book that she's holding up to show me. I think we'd better start referring to it as the "Frances book," that "J" sound is a bit slow to develop here.

So anyway, we read books now, oh and our latest favorite snack is popcorn. So while I'm typing this, she's perched on her side of the chair munching popcorn and watching "kids singing," another sound that grammy can work to.

We have fun with our books. She has all of the cues down now. In the ABCs book, there is U for Uncle Ubbs umbrella and his underwear too, where we cover our mouths and snicker. Then there is Vera Violet Vinn who is very, very, VERY awful on her violin, and we have to plug our ears and say, "ewww, she's really bad!" Her first words from a book were for Z. That stands for the ZIzzer Zazzer Zuss, and there's nothing that made grammy smile more was to hear her at just 1 say in her tiny voice, "Zizzer Zazzer ZUSS!"

Tonight before bed, she hauled her books over, grabbed the popcorn, perched on the chair and we read. I was reminded that I'm getting old. I get a weird sore feeling in my shoulder from hugging her tight on that right side, but it's weirder to switch her to the left side, so on the right side, she stays.

I'm reminded of her mama at this age, with the curls that tickle my nose when we read and the way that she snuggles in to be read to. It is my favorite thing.

Of course, along with book reading comes the occasional soggy piece of popcorn that she shares with me, or the spit filled raspberries that she will occasionally blow on my cheek, these are all of those memories that will probably be forgotten. But curls tickling your nose, always melt your heart and remind you how this time is so short with these little lives we are privileged to spend time with.

Sometimes I feel like Grinch when I have two little arms wrapped around my neck. I'm sure that my heart grows a little bit larger with each of these tight little squeezes. There's something to be said for the double little kisses on my cheek that I also get that I know will probably vanish when she's "too big" to kiss grammy. They always warm grammy's heart.

So if you're lucky enough to be a grandparent, make sure you soak up as much as you can of your little ones. And for sure, take some time to read them the DAM book, and all of the other Frances books! (My favorite as a child was A bargain for Frances) Be sure to get Dr. Seuss in there and tell them about David and Goliath, Jonah and the big fish and so many other stories. We talk a lot about when she was little, you know in two years, she's covered a lot of territory, but she loves to hear about when she was a baby.

Right now my right arm is aching as I hold her tight and type one-handed. The curls are tickling, but this is what life is all about, and I'm blessed.

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Steven Lucas August 19, 2021, 3:33 pm Im so jealous. Two great granddaughters and they're both in Tennessee and we send books and our love. Hope to snuggle with them soon.
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