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Oh, oh! Here they come (03/21/2007)
By Frances Edstrom

I suppose about a year ago, when I announced in this column that my daughter and son-in-law were going to make grandparents out of us, you thought, "Oh, brother! Here comes a long line of columns about the precious and precocious Fran Edstrom grandkid! How nauseating!"

Well, I have always said my readers are very perceptive, and of course, you were right! But just the way John keeps a check on my dog columns ("Most people don't want to read about dog poop every week, Fran!") he will police the granddaughter columns as well.

But just in case " a remote possibility, I assure you " I should go overboard and bore you to distraction with cute grandchildren stories, I am prepared to make a very big, huge in fact, concession. I invite cute grandchildren stories from my readers on an occasional basis. And as a courtesy to our readers who, say, might not be as fond of other people's children as those other people are, we will label grandchildren stories conspicuously, so that they can be avoided. After all, we agree with whoever said that we are rarely as fond of other people's children and pets as we are of our own.

We left Friday afternoon for a trek to the Chicago suburbs to see Morgan, Dan and baby Peyton. By the time we rolled into Bolingbrook, it was dark, and hard to see the street names. The traffic was wall to wall, and we were afraid we wouldn't make the correct turn. John called Dan and asked for a landmark near our turn, and was told it would be shortly after "the mall." To us from the land of trees, hills and water, the entire landscape for the previous twenty miles of our trip looked like one huge mall, so John asked him to be a little more specific.

We finally pulled into their driveway, and were greeted with big smiles all around, even from Peyton, who doesn't know us, but was willing to accept anyone as friend who got such a warm welcome from Mom and Dad.

She is five and a half months, at that wonderful stage where babies can play with you and engage you, but can't yet run faster than you can. Her bedtime had been delayed so we could see her, so after we had played and hugged and kissed, Morgan and I took Peyton upstairs, put her into her crib, sang a duet to her, turned out the light and closed the door.

If this had been one of my kids, I would have expected a period of fussing before she fell asleep, but the baby monitor was silent. I gave a questioning glance at Morgan, and she said, "It's like this every night! She's a perfect baby." I admit it's been a while since my babies were babies, but try as I might, I never remember any of my girlfriends able to say, with a straight face, that her child was perfect.

The next day, we got to see Dan in Daddy action while Morgan slept in. Dan put Peyton on a mat on the floor, and she showed us she had mastered rolling over and over and over. She landed finally on her tummy, and Dan got down on the floor, and said, "Okay, Peyton, watch Daddy!" And he crawled on all fours slowly back and forth in front of her. She watched with much interest, but little action. Dan said, "Now it's your turn!" She peered at him solemly, and suddenly, balancing on her tummy, waved her arms and legs in the air in a dry land dog paddle.

She seemed satisfied with herself, and gave him a look. But Dan is a salesman, and likes to set goals and make deals. They stared at each other expectantly for a moment, and then Dan said, "Okay, Peyton, tell you what. I'll start crawliing over here, and you meet me halfway!" She waved her arms and legs gleefully, but made no forward motion. "Well, that's enough for now," said Dan, but I could tell he was thinking what his strategy would be to get this crawling deal nailed down. 


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