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That Sam I Am! A Weekend with Grandson

March 3, 2016

This is a blog post indulging the grandma in me, ok? No great revelations, just a grandma travelogue to share with my mom, too. End of apologies.


But oh my goodness what fun it is to be around a happy two-year-old, who is able to actually run out the door to greet you, and call you and your husband gramma and grampa and keep a running commentary going about everything in his small world even though you can only understand about half of what he says. Although you kind of learn the language after about three days! We’ll call that language Sam-ese. He likes to imitate what you say and what you do, especially if he knows it will get a laugh—like mimicking grandma or daddy by propping his hand under his chin while sitting around after dinner talking at the table.

We first started our February visits to Sam and his parents the February he was baptized. February is just warm enough where they live that you can escape the north’s snow and hope to get in some park time and glimpse some early daffodils.


Our main excursion this trip was to the North Carolina Transportation Museum (and if you think you’ve seen Sam and his cousin on a train before, you may recall this post).


A whole store full of train stuff for this little Cleveland Browns guy.

No trip to a train yard is complete without a visit to the gift shop and of course grandma can be counted on to indulge in a small souvenir for the kid: a pair of train socks! Daughter had nabbed some discounted tickets on Groupon which made a wonderful early birthday gift for my husband.


Sam on the pump car (or hand car)


Social media stop: to post on Twitter, it said.

Tanya had given fair warning to her poppa that with a little one in tow, he wouldn’t have time to read every placard in the place (as he always lingers to do), but Stuart read up on the various special displays and trains ahead of time online which satisfied his inner train buff and need for learning the background and special stories of some trains.


The roundhouse

I especially enjoyed watching some employees doing current restoration in the active work area.


Restoration work is ongoing.

The 11 a.m. excursion was so full of eager children, parents and grandparents enjoying a beautiful Saturday (after being cooped up in the cold and ice the weekend before) that there was no room for us, and we had to wait for an extra trip they quickly added to the day’s schedule, at 11:20.


Tanya, Sam, and Jon.

While we waited, Sam enjoyed sweetly waving to a little girl perched in the “Birthday caboose” excursion car.



Back at his home, this boy is all about playing—especially with a ball in his hands. He has watched some football and baseball games on TV with his father and while his parents would love to see him take up music lessons when he’s old enough, he is undeniably fascinated with tossing a football back and forth (great form too for such a little squirt),


shooting hoops,


and taking a swing at his little T-ball set.

He has a soccer ball too but hasn’t quite mastered kicking it around.

But Sam woke up Sunday morning with a small temperature and his cold having slid into his chest. His little lungs were heaving very rapidly and noticeably. After making a few phone calls, and counting the number of breaths per minute to the triage nurse on the phone, we ended up spending Sunday morning in the pediatrician’s office instead of church like we’d planned, and were a little stunned to finally learn that Sam had pneumonia as well as a double ear infection.

Dr office

Watching Elmo while waiting for his shot.

He was a trooper though, even when the nurse came to give him shots to start his treatment. Even though he screamed at the shot’s insult like his heart was broken, he quickly recovered. (He’s now been cleared of the pneumonia.)


Helping Grandpa with his laptop.

The rest of the day we tried to think of ways to play with Sam quietly: reading tons of books, coloring and drawing boatloads of pictures, and rolling the balls on the floor instead of throwing them.


I do not ever want to take having grandchildren for granted. I know plenty of people—some dear friends—who for whatever reason, do not have grandchildren (and in some cases don’t have children). I am so so grateful and enjoying these days. Even the writer of Proverbs proclaimed “Children’s children are a crown to the aged” (Proverbs 17:6 English Standard Version).


What is the best part about growing older, regardless of whether you have grandchildren?

Or, what do you enjoy about grandparents being around your kids? What advice do you have for grandparents?


I wrote about some of my surprises on being a new grandma (and picked apart some myths) in my Another Way column called “So Is Grandparenting Great? Some Reflections”


From → Faith, Family Life

  1. No need to apologize for indulging your “Grandma” instincts. I do it all the time, as you know After all, we are recording for posterity.

    I am very familiar with Sam-ese as I listen to jabbering from 2-year-olds every Sunday morning. I am amazed at pace of their acquiring language too. They don’t worry a second about how they sound. Not too long ago our boys were fascinated with trains, especially Thomas the Train – the TV episodes and all the toys that went with it.

    Happy to hear Sam is on the mend. To your scripture, I will add a verse from Psalm 78: 6,7

    • Thank you for adding this verse. I thought after this was published, I should have looked for something less cliché, less standard. A great prayers. Thanks, Marian.

      …so the next generation would know them,
      even the children yet to be born,
      and they in turn would tell their children.

      Then they would put their trust in God
      and would not forget his deeds
      but would keep his commands.

      Fun to think of you with a classroom of 2-year-olds!

      • Double fun after 20+ years in a college classroom. I’m having my second childhood early – ha! By the way, loved the subtle reference to Seuss and Green Eggs and Ham in your title.

  2. Beverly Silver permalink

    Those young years are so short – even tho we don’t necessarily realize it at the time. Thanks for sharing with us! So glad to hear Sam is better !

  3. How fortunate you were, in retrospect, to be able to have those first 5 years with each of your grandsons on a daily basis!

    Glad you enjoy!

  4. Marian. Yes, I frequently think of Dr. Seuss, when I’m horsing around with Sam. He has the book! Somehow his red stripped sweater in some photos here subtly goes with the Dr. Suess reference too, I hope! All he needs is the hat.

  5. Alice Risser permalink

    I so agree with you Melodie, after an absence of a month with only skype contact with our Grandchildren (4 and 2). we really enjoyed babysitting them to day and will again tomorrow while their regular babysitter is in Florida.

    • I know you don’t take grandchildren for granted either! I’m sure they were very happy to see you too! Have a great day and thanks for commenting!

  6. Caro - Claire Wiles permalink

    Hello Melodie
    I was so happy for you as I read about your weekend with Sam and the fun that you and Stuart had with him .|
    It sounds like you are wonderful grandparents.
    Sorry to hear he got so sick but at this age they seem to be able to throw off an illness and bounce back quickly if they get the right attention quick enough .
    As grandparents to 13, ages 17 to nearly 30 and 6 great grandsons ages 15 months to 9 years, we have had our good times through the years .
    Three of our grandchildren I baby sat every day for 6 1/2 years and the bond we still have is precious.
    Three of our great grandsons now just live around the corner from us . I got to baby sit them for a short time a couple of weeks ago and that was fun.
    G-Poppa has been helping our granddaughter out this past month either dropping off or picking up her oldest boy (4 years old) at JK.
    I was with them today and my heart was blessed as I watched my 6 ft 4” hubby walking hand in hand to the car with this little mite .
    More memories being made!

    • Caro-Claire, your hubby is still 6’4″–wow! So many of us shrink and bend as we get older. I can see the sight myself and also feel your joy. Those of us who began our families later (like me, and our daughters) may not live to see great grandchildren, and actually be able to interact and babysit them, but I’m not worried about that right now! Thanks for sharing your memories and highlights.

      My sister in law has babysat some of her grandchildren and while they develop a special bond, I know those days weren’t always easy either. I do wish ours were closer where they could just pop in or even to babysit but we’re oh so thankful they’re as close as they are!!

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