A few months back I posted a short piece about what it felt like to be a Grandad. Well, the past few weeks have been quite Grandad busy, as we visited Philippa and Andi and Dexter in Newcastle upon Tyne in mid-May for four days, followed by a two week visit to Hannah and Michael in St Paul, Minnesota, and to see Callum (now 22 months) and meet Zoë Isobel who was born on 8 May. We’d last been in the US in May 2011. Seeing our grandchildren grow and develop is such a joy.
Phil and Dexter came to visit just before Christmas. And how Dexter has grown in the intervening months – such a happy chappy. He’s full of smiles and chatter, all unintelligible.
Now almost nine months, it looks like he’ll by-pass the crawling stage as all he wants to do is be upright, and loves being held in the standing position. Time will tell.
On the Sunday of our visit we took a trip up the Northumbrian coast to Dunstanburgh Castle. Safely strapped to Andi’s back, Dexter seemed to enjoy himself.
But when we arrived back in Craster to enjoy a pub lunch in the garden overlooking the North Sea, that’s when the fun started. Dexter was on my knee, and to keep him amused I began to softly pat the table top. Very soon he was joining in, and really chuckling away – as this video shows.
And as this photo shows, young Dexter gets on well with his Grandad.
We hadn’t seen Callum since May 2011, when he was about nine months, and barely crawling. What a difference a year makes.
Now he’s a real little boy, full of giggles and exploring the world. It’s amazing to see him absorbing so much information – like a sponge his dad Michael says. His vocabulary grows each day – although there’s also a lot of chatter that I guess only he understands. And I inducted Callum into the Ministry of Silly Walks (of Monty Python fame) – it was great to watch him copy what I was doing.
And I had the delight of introducing him – via YouTube – to Sesame Street and Elmo. We had a great time enjoying the various clips together. This was one of his favorite videos.
Callum loves books, and enjoyed both Steph and I reading to him, and for him to tell us all the names, or make the sounds of the animals and other things he saw.
Zoë was just four weeks old when we arrived in St Paul at the beginning of June. What a cutie, with a lovely dimple when she smiles. In the first few days we thought how much she looked like Callum at the same age, but over the two weeks of our stay, we began to see other differences. She’s also doing well, and beginning to take an interest in everything around her. Hopefully her sleep pattern will stabilize soon, and Hannah and Michael will enjoy unbroken sleep – for a few hours at least.
We look forward to watching Callum, Dexter, and Zoë growing up – it will a fascinating time.