Q is for…

Little Buddha, you are growing so fast, I’m going to have to make the first new word…

Q – is for Quick.  In just the 2 weeks since your birth, Little Buddha, you have already grown over an inch in length, and are filling out to become a happy, round little baby!  You have developed an insatiable appetite, which I hope continues throughout the other aspects of your life, as far as your appetite and desire to learn and grow.  Life comes at you quickly, so you’re going to need your energy and your wits to keep up.  Keep growing, keep learning, keep pushing yourself (and everyone around you!) – but remember… sometimes it’s also good to step out of the “fast lane”, and be sllllloooww for a little bit.  Recharges the batteries for the next go-round!

Q – is for Quiet.  Hahaha! ahhaah! haahaHAHA… ok, now that I’ve got the hysterical laughter out of my system… I can tell you that, while your Mama and Dad  might strive for moments of this – you’re unlikely to give them any for a while.  A long while.  Say… about 20 years of while.

Sure, there will be those times when you’re sleeping, or, when you get older, in school, but those will be the times when Mama and Dad will have to get all the other stuff done that they couldn’t do while you were awake and needing their attention. 

Quiet is a precious commodity, which your parents are about to learn the hard way.  And I don’t think they quite understand how precious and rare it is to find… but they will….

Q – is for QUIT.  Oh, Little Buddha, this word will haunt you for many years to come.  “Quit doing that”, “Quit being like that”, “Quit saying those things”…

Quit means stop, and often – it’s your Mama’s way of just saying “I’ve had enough, and need this to change”.  Sometimes, it’s a good thing to quit.  Like when continuing on will get you in trouble, or get you hurt, or someone else hurt.

But – sometimes, quitting is not an option.  Sometimes, even in defiance of the people who love you, you have to not quit

When you’re following your dreams, but others don’t see the importance of it the same way you do…

When you know, in your heart, that to not quit is the only way you can live happily…

When quitting is just the easy way out, and your conscience tells you that quitting = coward

Then, Little Buddha – don’t quit.  Don’t you dare.

Mouth worse than a ship full of sailors - but he makes a good point!

P is for…

It’s Friday once again, Little Buddha, and you are now 2 weeks old!

Bestest of all is Mommy

One of your favorite things to do is to snuggle. Best, of course, is with Mommy, but I’m privileged to know that you like to cuddle up with Gramma too, and that I can get you to calm down when you’re upset, or hungry. I love being one of the people in your life who is allowed to love you!

So, to kick off the new week of your life, I have a very special first word for our next letter:

P – is for Papa.  Papa is your Great-Grandfather.  Gramma’s daddy.  He is an amazing man, and I’m glad that you are able to get to know him.  He taught your Gramma – and your Mommy – so many things, that it’s hard to pin down just one or two.  But, and here is the most important thing I think, his wisest words to me throughout my life have always been… Poop washes off.

Yes, Gramma said Poop.  Don’t get upset, Mommy won’t mind – because she knows it’s true, too.  Poop comes to you in many forms over the years, both literal and figuratively.  And as long as you can remember that you can wash it all off – you’ll be alright.  Papa is funny, smart, compassionate, and calm.  He will tease you and love you and teach you many things.  Watch him, and you’ll learn what it means to be a good man and father, grandfather, great-grandfather. 

P – is for Patience.  Let’s teach Mommy this word, together… hunh?  *snicker* Being a “firsty-baby”, you get to teach your Mommy all kinds of cool new tricks, and patience will be one of them.  This one can be fun, but it can also get you into a lot of trouble.  Careful where you step when you’re working on your Mommy’s “patience lessons”, Little Buddha, or you’ll end up having a “discipline lesson” taught to youbyyour Mommy.  There’s a big difference.  If you don’t believe me, ask your Mommy.  She taught Gramma LOADS of patience.

P – is for Pacifier.  You hate these right now – and yet you love them too.  There’s no getting away from them, they’re everywhere!  In your bassinett, on table tops, tucked into your diaper bag and in various pockets on Mommy’s person – the pacifiers just seem to multiply randomly!

That’s ok, I guess, as they work sometimes to calm you a little.  But not for long!  Mommy knows that this is only a temporary fix, so she doesn’t waste too much time with them. 

But… Little Buddha, these small objects of mass destruction can come in handy…

For tossing to the floor and waiting for an unsuspecting parent to step on in the middle of the night…

For tricking the cats into thinking that they “can be the baby” too… then YANKING it back out of their grasp…

And for launching at high velocity at someone/thing that’s perturbed you.  Just remember… Gramma will play catch and release.  And you’ll get it right back!

And, the last one of the week –  P – is for Ponder.  Don’t look at me like that.  Take time every day to ponder on something.  I’ve seen you do it.  You get this far-away and slightly lost look on your face.  I know better than to think that you’re filling your diaper, or headed out for a nap… I know you’re pondering the mysteries of the universe.  Don’t kid a kidder, kiddo!

I’ve got you figured.  Give you a few years and you’ll either rule the galaxy, or will have cured every disease on the planet.  I know – I see it in your face. 

You’re headed somewhere.

Or… maybe it’s just a gas bubble…

O is for…

Little Buddha, it’s the middle of the week now, and just past the middle of the alphabet.  Time for another letter and another round of “What’s this crazy lady think she’s doing?”  Well, I’m teaching you things you should know as you get older, sit up straight and pay attention!  No slouching now, we’re over half-way done!

O – is for Obstinate.  Yes, this means stubborn.  Yes, this means the immovable object in the path of the unstoppable force.  And yes, this wil mean you.  Just as it means your Mommy, your Gramma, and everyone else in your family – at least on this side.  I don’t want to speak for the other side (although I can see the signs there!) – but I do believe that a Battle of the Wills has begun within the newest generation. 

Good for you, Little Buddha.  Give your Mama some of that good ole-fashioned “Gramma’s Revenge”!  He he he he he…

O – is for Obnoxious.  Obnoxious is what Mommy means when she’s had “Just. About. Enough.”  When she gives you “that look” and you know that you’re riding the knife’s edge of trouble.  Should you push juuuust a little more?  Just to see how far you can take this?  Or should you back off a little, discretion being the better part of valor and all?  (Shh, Little Buddha – Gramma will teach you more about this word later… just between us… don’t tell Mommy, K?  We’ll just call it – – training…)

O – is for Oak Park.  Little Buddha, this is one of Gramma’s most favorite places in the whole world, and I want to show it to you.  It got hurt last year by a lot of water being all over the place, but it’s making its way back to being a slice of peace and serenity – right here in our town.  The grass is cool, the trees are tall, and the playground is right in the middle of the prettiest oak trees, ever.  We’ll take walks, and have picnics, Little Buddha, and I’ll teach you all about grass and sky and trees and how geese are for watching and feeding- not for chasing!

O – is for Observe.  You are already so alert and aware of your surroundings, Little Buddha, that it’s hard for me to remind you to be observant.  Make sure you keep your eyes open, your ears clear, and your mind willing to accept everything that comes in as valuable – whether you actually use it or not.  Observe the world around you, precious grandson, watch and learn.  You will see what not to do probably more often than what is good and right – I’m sorry to say that’s a lot more normal these days.  But, as long as you keep open mind, eyes and ears, you will be able to make your own decisions, smartly.  Because you learned at an early age to PAY ATTENTION.

N is for…

Half-way there, Little Buddha, and I can tell you this has been an eye-opener for me too!  The alphabet has never been this much fun before – well… except for Big Bird’s rendition of how you’d pronounce it if it were all one word!


Well, now for the New Words!

N – is for No.  Probably one of the first words you’ll ever learn, Little Buddha!  This word is packed so full of DON’T and WON’T… but never let that get you down, bud.  No is going to be a word you hear a lot, but you CAN get around it.  Bat your eyes, smile that smile, use your best manners, and you’ll get more than you ever thought you could!  Especially with Gramma! 

When you see this look aimed at you - run. Don't look back. Seriously.

No is supposed to be there to help keep you safe, and sometimes you have to accept the “No”.  When Mama gets “that look” in her eye, let it go, Little Buddha.  Just let it go.  Having used the “Mom Look of No” myself many times over the years, I know from experience that your Mama won’t back down, won’t give in, and won’t apologize when she paddles your behind for insolent  and unbecoming behavior in a minor.  Just call it a win for your Mama, and live to argue another day.

N – is for Naughty.  This goes really well with the No.  If Mama tells you “NO” and you do/take/go anyway… well, then you’re Naughty, and won’t like the results.  Of course, my Little Buddha could NEVER be naughty, so we won’t go any further with this word…  today.

N – is for Nickname.  Little Buddha, you’ll have many nicknames over the course of your life.  Before you were born, I heard your parents refer to you as “Da Bump”, “Beebee” (that was from your Daddy, who really wanted you to come out and play), “Little Buddha” (from me, of course!), and “Little Alien” (because of the way you’d make Mama’s tummy look when you moved around!)  Now that you’re here, you have many other nicknames like “Little Man”, “Baby Dude”, and “Turtle”.  These are all affectionate and said lovingly by people who cherish you for who you really are. 

There may be times when, throughout your life, you’ll get other nicknames.  Maybe – not-so-nice ones.  Don’t let these get to you, Little Buddha.  Please.  These bullies are just jealous of how special and spectacular you are, so they’ll try to knock you down.  Hold your head up, and walk on past them.  They may call names, but they’ll never touch who you are inside.  Blow them off, Little Buddha, that’ll drive them crazy, and you’ll have the pleasure of taking the high road!

And lastly for today, N – is for NAP. 

Take them.

Wherever and whenever you can. 

Believe me – you will learn to cherish your naptimes as you get older.  Life is hard, and it moves faster than you can imagine, precious grandson.  Sleep is a rare commodity these days, so you have to take it where you find it.

Naps rock.

M is for…

Little Buddha, how quickly life moves when you’re only about 20 inches tall, hunh?  Well, it doesn’t really get any slower, bud, but you do learn to step out of the stream of traffic once in a while – and let it flow without you for a little bit so you can catch your breath.  Now, let’s get back to paddling, shall we?

M – is for Monday.  There.  I said it.  The bad word that starts us down a slippery slope for a whole week. 

Appropriate Monday Face.

Mondays are not everyone’s favorite days, Little Buddha, and I’m giving you this “heads-up” early, so you know to not be one of those overly-chipper “Happy Monday, Everyone!” kind of people. You’ll have troubles if you are.  Take Gramma’s word on it.

Mondays do have their uses, though I guess.  It gives everyone something to blame for the grouchy way they feel once their weekends are over.  Something good in everything bad, hunh, little guy?

Sure.  We’ll go with that.

M – is for March.  This is the month you were born in, Little Buddha.

Happy March, you adorable little leprechaun!

  This is also the same month your Mommy was born in, and her birthday is just 3 days before yours!  March is usually a cold, windy month, bud, but this year, your arrival saw blue skies, warm weather, and sunshine like nobody’s business.  I see this as a foretelling for your life.  You will bring blue skies, warm weather, and sunshine everywhere you go, Little Buddha.  You already have, in so many ways!

And of course, M – is for Mommy.

Little Buddha, your Mommy was my first baby, just as you are her first baby.  There is a special bond with the firsties, as you will learn.  Mommys learn so much from their firsties, and sometimes make mistakes, too.  There’s a learning curve for everyone the first time around, so don’t give up on her, she’ll figure it out.  She’s doing a pretty good job already!  You just went for your first doctor’s visit, and the doc was happy to report that you are healthy, and growing like a little weed!  Just remember, your Mommy is going to be the most important person in your universe for a while, along with your Daddy, and they both love you like crazy.  Just like I love your Mommy – my firstie baby.

My firstie, my Peanut

L is for…

Little Buddha, today you are officially 1 week old.  And already, you have won over so many hearts with your contented, peaceful self – your Gramma was wise to give you the name “Little Buddha”, or… maybe you told me yourself that you were going to be that way.  Either way, you are a treasure.  Our lessons continue, as I want you to grow up to be not just peaceful and happy, but wise, yourself.  So…

L – is for Laughter.  My greatest wish for you, my dear grandson, is that your life is filled with laughter.  There is no better sound than that of a child’s laughter.  It makes everyone around them smile, and feel better.  And being able to laugh, when tears are closer, is a valuable gift.  Try to see the absurd in everything, my precious grandchild, for it will lighten any burden you have to carry throughout this life.

And, if you do it just right… you can make people wonder.  Wonder what’s so funny, wonder why you “get it” and they don’t, and wonder what you’re up to!

L – is for Labels.  Honey, people are going to try to label you your whole life.  This is to make it easier for them to figure out “how you fit” in the scheme of their worlds.

Never let the labels define who you are to yourself.

Some labels, like “Mom’s boy”, “Dad’s shadow”, and “Gramma’s Little Buddha”, are given out of love, and aren’t meant to box you up, but to create connections with the people who love you.

But some labels, are only to enclose you within someone else’s expectations.  Labels like – “Jock”, “Nerd”, “Slacker”, “Gearhead”, etc.  You will know these people, because they walk around with perpetual scowls on their faces.  Never happy with their own lives, they have to try to control others.  Don’t let them.

Be your own individual self, and let the labels be on your clothes where they belong… inside, telling you how they need to be washed & dried.

And, of course, L – is for Love.  Because you are, I do, and always will.

K is for…

Little Buddha, I know we skipped a day yesterday.  Gramma is sorry.  Even “Super-Gramma-Teachers” get sick days, yes?  Please forgive the momentary lapse, my love.  Ah well, onward and upward!

Today is for K.  And K is for – Kisses!  Just another one of the many things you’ll be getting used to as you grow up, is accepting kisses from the people who love you!  (Don’t worry, Little Buddha – Gramma’s not one of those “creepy kissers”!  I’ll kiss cheeks and forehead, proper.  I may even throw in a zrrbrrt or two, just for good measure!) 



K – is also for Kamikaze.  Your Mama was one of these, always rushing headlong into everything.  Your Mama is the reason why our old hometown had to initiate the “No kids swim without a life-vest” rule at the local pool’s swimming-lessons!  She would jump in the deep end, at the age of 3, and didn’t care if there were lifeguards to catch her.  Knocked years off those teenage lives, and scared the… well… anyway… Little Buddha… give her a run for her money, wouldja?  Just for Gramma?  Please?  It’ll be our secret… Keep her on her toes, keeps her alert and paying attention! (He he… Gramma’s revenge…)

K – is for Knees.  You know, those bumps in the middle of your legs?  That’s where they bend when you run, when you climb, when you kick.   That’s also usually what gets hurt first when you fall down!  Knees get skinned, bruised, and bumped around – but when you’re at Gramma’s, I’ll always be right there with bandaids and kisses to take away the pain, and a hand to help you back up.  These weird looking knobs sticking out in the front of your legs actually do come in handy, Little Buddha, so keep them limber – KICK HARD! 

And – K – is for Keeper.  Because you are.  Love you, Little Buddha!

J is for…

Little Buddha, every day you will learn new things about your world, and I’m honored to be just one of your teachers.  Now, sit up straight (What?  You can’t?  Oh no. being a newborn is no excuse for not paying attention… oh, alright, I guess you can just lie there, and be cute.  Just listen up, you’re gonna need these important words!)

J – is for Jello

 Sorry, kiddo.  Gramma will never be making you this favorite treat of many kids.  There’s just something about Jello that *shudder* just doesn’t sit still with Gramma.  However – Mommy loves Jello, so she can make this treat for you!  Now, if you want to talk about Jello PUDDING cups…  That’s a different story!  Bring it on, Little Buddha!  We can share, cause sharing’s good! 

 J – is for JammiesSmart people will tell you to pick your jammies wisely, Little Buddha.  They are a very important part of life, and should never be neglected.  You will want something soft, warm in winter, and cool in summer.  

And… Super Jammie Saturdays are at Gramma’s house!  When you come to stay, we’ll lounge around in jammies, eating junk food, and watching good movies, playing games, reading stories and/or baking (depending on how really lazy we feel!).  No hair-combing required, this is an all-out veg-fest, and should not be missed!   

 J – is for Jokes Darlin’, these are going to be a staple of your life.  There’s no denying that your family, especially on Gramma’s side, is full of jokers, both practical and downright goofy!  Irony, Sarcasm, and out and out silliness is all accepted and expected, so if you have a joke, feel free to let your funny flag fly!  Believe me, Little Buddha, there’s no prank too small, no knock-knock joke too old, we’ll listen and laugh at them all!  (Just ask your Auntie YoungerDaughter about her “Flower” knock-knock joke!)

J – is for Just Because.  Little Buddha, Gramma is going to be telling you this, to make sure you’re prepared.  Brace yourself – because people are going to be randomly coming up to you and wanting to love on you… Just Because.  You’re so adorable and sweet, it’s hard to resist. 

Also, Gramma will be buying you things, making you things, giving you things… Just because.  It’s something I do.  When I see something that makes me think of someone special – like you – I have a tendency to impulse shop and get it.  Not for a holiday, or special occasion, but just because.  Because I love you.

I is for…

Little Buddha!  I am so very, very happy that you’re finally here!  But, we still have a lot of letters to get through, I don’t want your education falling short, just because you are now on the outside, instead of the inside!

Hang on, the next letter is:

I – is for Ice Cream.  You can’t have any of this just yet, but don’t you worry –Gramma will make sure you get to eat this lovely, creamy-cold treat!  Ice cream is sweet and nummy, and leaves such interesting stains all over yours and Mommy’s clothes!  Rather like the “Junior Ink Blot” kit, you can make your own Rorschach ice-cream blots, and let the grown-ups figure out what they mean!

This would be cooler in IceCream!

  This could be a whole new form of communication between little ones and their parents – and you would have been the innovator who started it all!

And just to make sure that your ink blots are around for a while?  We’ll get extra sprinkles, and LOTS of chocolate!  Maybe even some fudge…. Mommy will love that – she likes fudge!

I – is for Iowa.  This is where your Gramma came from, and someday, we’re going to have to take a road-trip there to show it to you!  Your Great-Gramma, Great-Papa, and Great-Great Gramma are also from there, so you have a long line of Iowans behind you.  It’s a beautiful state, and you’ll have a ball when we go.  Why am I so sure, you ask?  Cause I’ll be there to make sure of it! I can show you all the best places to throw rocks into rivers, catch snails, and climb on boulders that Mommy will probably say “Ick! NO!” to… (but shhhh…. we won’t tell her!)

I – is for Irresistable.  Because you are.  People have a hard time keeping their hands off you, Little Buddha!  You’re such a sweet, warm bundle, it’s hard to put you down.  And you’re getting to really like being held all the time!  It’s funny, since you’re only a few days old, but I don’t mind at all!

I – is for …. I Love You.  Because I do.  That one’s easy.

How could someone not love this?