my grandson was six he liked to tell his mother, "Mommy,
you're beautiful." He would tease his father, who is
several years older than his mother, and say, "Daddy,
you're old!" Then he would giggle. It was at a time
when he was expressing certain concepts he was growing
to understand, such as age and relationships. He would
say things to me like, "You're my grandmother. You're
my mom's mother." For whatever reason, he felt the need
to state these understandings out loud and directly
day he was staying with me and he told me, "Grandma,
you're old!" I agreed with him immediately, because
I knew that to him I was "old" even though I was in
my early fifties and quite fit. Then he paused and became
very serious. In an entirely different tone and attitude
he looked at me and said, "I used to be an old man.
Then I was a baby, and now I'm a boy."
was thoughtful when he made that comment, serious rather
than joking, as though he was remembering something
right then and feeling the memory. It was stated very
casually. Prior to that, he had just been poking fun
at me. But when he said he had been an old man, then
a baby, and now a boy, he said it in a matter-of-fact
way, like he was giving me real information, and also
telling me, "I used to be like you."
Then, like children will, he turned away and began to
play with some toy, offering no more information about
the time he was an old man. Perhaps it was only a fleeting
memory and there was no more information to be had.
He forgot all about his comment, but I never have.
respond to John
Posted Feb 19, 2011