It’s time to get my Grandma noogies out.
Definition: Getting your noogies out is releasing pent-up energy and restlessness. I invented the term when my kids were young. I think the English language needs it.
Like when kids have been in a car too long and need to run around. “Go! Get your noogies out!”
Or when your legs need massaging before bed to get the day’s noogies out.
So when grandparents pull out pictures and talk fondly and a bit too much about the young precious ones, they are getting their grandparent noogies out. That’s what I’m doing in this post because I’ve had a couple of sessions in the last month with our so-far only grandchild, the lovely Hazel, who will be 3 in July.
Folks, everything about Hazel is special. She is also the only descendent of her other grandparents, so she has four besotted grandparents. Hazel is not aware that this may be excessive. She takes our adoration for granted and thrives on it. In fact, she tries to charm other people into joining the club of the enthralled.
She does this in a nice way, with greetings and dimples. Our Hazel is never obnoxious.
If you look Asian, she will greet you in Chinese. She is bilingual and is starting to translate from one language to another when the situation calls for it–telling Mommie in English, for example, what she just told her Nai-Nai (paternal grandmother) in Chinese.
I wish I could learn enough Mandarin to keep up with her but, alas, I am too old to add another language to my repertoire. The language-learning capacities of two-year-olds, on the other hand, are truly amazing.
Her Nai-Nai, a former elementary school teacher, is constantly feeding Hazel new vocabulary and teaching her concepts. I admire this. It is not my style, however. I am the Play Grandma.
“Grandma, let’s play!” she says, and pulls out all her little dollhouse dolls and animals. She assigns me a doll and tells me what to do, or we improvise a little scene together and then we repeat it. Again and again.
Often the dramas have a strong emotional content. Let’s go to the gym. Mommie leaves baby at the nursery. Baby cries. Mommie comes back. Hugs baby. Again and again.
This week she tried to get me to act out a toy conflict. “You hit me. Take my toy.” She was serious about this, showing me exactly how I should hit her.
I couldn’t see this going anywhere good so I tried to make it a share drama. “Will you share your toy with me?”
She was having none of it. “You hit me!” she insisted.
“And then what happens?” I asked.
She scowled, no doubt remembering some recent kerfuffles with playmates. Then she brightened. “We fight!”
I pulled a switch and we went back to playing doggie runs away, look for doggie, bring doggy home. Again and again.