One of my super skills is being able to do the same thing over and over again without losing my enthusiasm. This super skill comes in especially handy when dealing with little kids and frankly, as we found out, people with Alzheimer’s. With my little Tan Man it has become a thing for us to sing a little “Dip, dip, dip” ditty when he is dipping his French fries into ketchup or tortilla chips into salsa. When I put him down for a nap if I don’t start singing the Night-Night song soon enough he will raise his head from my shoulder look me square in the face and in a very serious Tanner ease say “Gammama—sing”. We also have a routine of counting out his five animal crackers, placing them in a nice neat row just before he scoops one up and bites off its head—at which point it is my job to cry out “oh no, you ate his head” and its Tanner’s job to laugh hysterically before dramatically biting off the next cookie’s head and on we go for a full count of 5.
The other day we were watching the Predator’s hockey playoff game. We had timed dinner so that we could set Tanner up in his high chair and keep him entertained by eating his dinner while Dave and I watched the game. The first time two players collided against the side wall producing a loud crashing sound Tanner was less than impressed. Being the ever-entertaining Grandma that I am, I immediately yelled “Boom” and clapped my hands. My reward from Tanner was a huge smile replacing his scared face and an enthusiastic “Boom” with his little hands thrown into the air. It was unbelievable but this 2-year-old boy became glued to the hockey game. For the rest of the game Tanner watched intently, shouting out “Boom” and flinging his hands in the air every time two players smooshed themselves against the wall.
When the game was over I took Tanner upstairs to give him a bath. In the tub is a wide array of bath toys but his two favorite this night were his dark green shark and a little green frog floating around in an brightly colored innertube. Tanner spent the entire time it took for the bath water to become cold “’skating” his frog in one hand and his shark in the other over the top of the water. He would “skate” them over to the side of the tub, then throw them together against the side of the tub sending water flying everywhere, yelling “Boom” and flinging his bubble covered hands into the air. Then we would laugh hysterically until he retrieved his players and start the game again.
Ok, so maybe we need to go back to the less violent “Dip, dip, dip” game.