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A Manner of Speaking Nov/Dec '09

by by Bonnie Neugebauer with Alison Beanblossom
November/December 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5019005/

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Fifteen-month-old Schon hurtles herself across the wobbly bridge. Mommy Alison stands nearby looking calm. Gramby (me) stifles a gasp with a smile of applause, restraining an impulse to intervene!

We are at a little urban park in Wrigleyville, and Schon is demonstrating new skills for her just-arrived grandmother. I haven't seen her for several weeks, so I am unsure what her abilities are. And, being new to grandparenting, which includes observing my ­children as parents, I am busy learning about all of them and about myself.

As Schon continues to stagger back and forth, pausing to carefully study the other
children so engaged, I am busy observing her mother. She is so watchful, so laid back, so proud. Schon could certainly fall off the bridge, but she doesn't. Alison might be expected to intervene, but she doesn't. And Gramby learns new respect for the abilities of each of them.

Later we talked about safety and risk and my bringing it up caused Alison to ask if she's too laid back. It's an interesting discussion. As grandparent (which must be acknowledged as a different role) I tend to be a bit nervous; ...

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