Monday, November 16, 2015

Curious Chase

Captain America, swinging.
My four-year-old grandson Chase is a whirling dervish of activity, and his language skills are keeping up with him. Constant activity, constant chatter. His curiosity is endless, and his imagination.  He's in to everything.  That's why after he leaves my place things are lost or found in wierd places and little strange things show up.

I woke up this morning and looked at my clock which said 7:00, so I jumped out of bed, made coffee, and....Wait. My kitchen clock says 4:00. Checked my computer. 4:00 am. Checked my clock.  It was upside down. I turned it right side up. Chase had been playing with my clock.
Chase at the park with his friend Evie. 
Another morning I couldn't find my coffee creamer.  I was sure I had some left. Later that day, after buying a new one, I found it, under my kitchen sink. Chase was rearranging my things.  He likes doing that, so I'm often looking for things like keys, my camera, cel phone, pots and pans. Can't take your eyes off him for a minute.

"Mom, are you sure this is Chase?" My daughters think I'm having memory problems, so they check it out from time to time, and other times they are just very solicitous.

Chase is just trying to figure things out, I remind myself.

Once he was playing in my tool box and came at me with a hammer.  Dr. Chase wanted to hit my knee like Dr. Haider and see if it kicks up. I suggested we look for his doctor kit and see if we could find the right kind of hammer.

On the way to that, Chase stepped over some of his little play people.  "Nana, sit right here."  He pats the floor right next to him.  "My people want to talk to you."

On my ipad.  He has one at home, too. He's already
a whiz on computers. Loves his games, like Philip.
Later on, while he seemed to occupy himself, I went looking for some scotch tape. Couldn't find it.  "Chase, do you know where Nana's scotch tape is?"  He smiled, went into my bedroom, looked under my bed, where I keep lots of toys, and pulled out his Woody doll. "It's not a doll, Nana.  I'm a boy." Ok, just Woody.  Woody it turns out had a roll of scotch tape attached to his arm, all wrapped and wadded up, half gone, the rest of the tape holder just hanging there. Woody had broken his arm and needed a cast. Dr. Chase was on it.

Fireman Chase with
cousin Phillip, last year. 
When he's not a doctor he's a lot of other things. A spaceman, a soldier, a robot, Captain America, a fireman, Kevin.
"Kevin?  Who's that," I ask.
"He's home alone and he thinks there's a monster in his house but it isn't really a monster but he gets scared and screams and scares me."
"Oh. the movie "Home Alone?"
"Yes, it's a scary movie.  Kevin gets scared."
"I see.  But they are not monsters really. It's just a movie."
"No, Nana, they are really scary monsters.  I get scared."

"I see,  well how about we look for the pop-up Winnie the Pooh book and find Christopher Robin and Pooh and his friends in the forest? Then we can look at the Wizard of Oz pop-up book." These were my friend Barbie's books, a children's lit expert, and they have gotten great use. Chase is game, and we're on to other things.  A little distraction goes a long way.

Chase also likes to take bins, buckets and pails and dump their contents out on the floor.  It's the dumping he likes best. His toy cars, puzzles, legos, crayons, my brother Loren's marble collection.  Some stuff is ok, but not the marbles. So sometimes we have discussions about that and why it's not a great idea to have hundreds of marbles all over the floor.  The other day I went into the living room and he had dumped out the marbles.

"Darn, Chase. You dumped out the marbles."
"Nana, you said a bad word (pause).  What's a bad word?"
"A bad word is not nice; it 's a word that can hurt your feelings and make you feel sad, or mad."
"My mom says bad words sometimes."

Out of the mouth of babes.  "My brothers say bad words."
Distraction time.  And this one is easy!
Sometimes he wears himself out,
and I get to hug him.
"Do you have brothers?"
"Yes, Kyle and Josh."
"Do you have a sister?"
"Yes, Alli."
"And do you have a cousin? an aunt? a grandma?"  He's got us all pretty much figured out now, and  he'll work on it until it's all right in his mind.

Awe. Chase shares the wonder of
low-flying airplanes with cousin 
Philip and brother Kyle, last Easter.
"Wow, you have a big family. Lucky you! And you have friends too, right?"  He thinks of all his friends, and names them. He loves these conversations.

When I sit with him, he's happy.  His imagination runs free and I get a glimpse into how his complex mind works.  He' always trying to figure things out, see how they work, make sense of things, master his environment wherever he is. The magic years, the precious years.  May they last a long time!

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