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I’m a No-No Nana Ninja

Having grandchildren is an experience unlike any other. I have two healthy and happy grandchildren. My grandson is a year and a half old, and my granddaughter is eight months old. My granddaughter and her parents live with me while my grandson visits once a week. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what having grandchildren would be. I just never dreamed I would become the No-No Nana Ninja.

My granddaughter, Maddie, is in the exploring phase. She wheels around in her Monster’s Inc. walker and touches everything within reach. She likes to see things crash to the floor.  I was standing at the refrigerator the other day when I saw her reach for the trash can. I yelled, “No-No!” and lunged for the trash can. I wasn’t quick enough that time, and it crashed to the floor. I was quick enough to keep her out of the mess, though. The floor is much easier to scrub than a wriggling baby.

I’ve learned to anticipate her moves most of the time. I can usually save something from crashing if I’m on my Nana A-game. I think I catch better now than when I played softball with my friends as a kid. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m the only one watching my precious princess, though. Her parents watch her very carefully and make sure she stays safe. My husband also keeps her out of mischief. I only see her a few hours per day, but it takes all of us to stay on top things.

While Maddie requires a great deal of attention, she is limited in the trouble she can find by the bulk of her walker. Such is not the case for my grandson, Rye. He is unencumbered in his explorations. He’s quick, curious, and always pushing his limits. He’s fearless. He’s a daredevil. He’s just like his grandpa. I will tell him no, and he looks at me with grin as he does whatever I told him not to do.

Rye hits my house at a run. He has become an adept climber, which adds to the excitement of his visits. It takes the whole family to keep him out of trouble. He recently tried to climb into Maddie’s walker while she was napping and got himself stuck. One leg was beneath him in the seat and the other was stretched out on the walker’s top. Nana Ninja had to rescue him from himself that time, but he was less than thankful. It didn’t slow him down, either. The moment I set his feet back on the floor, he was off at a run again.

A few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen making dinner while Rye ran around the house playing with everything from his toys to the TV remote. The rest of the family was in the living room. I was in the process of taking dinner out of the oven when Rye rounded the corner at full toddler speed. I had a heavy glass pan full of fish carefully grasped in both hands with pot holders. Pot holders make my grip tenuous, and I had the pan halfway out of the oven. I didn’t have time to put the food down and close the oven, so I thrust out my leg while twisting to blocking his path in a sweet Nana Ninja move. I yelled, “No-No!” He ran into my outstretched leg and came to an abrupt stop. I didn’t waste any time putting the hot pan on the stove and closing the oven before he could move again. Later that same night, my husband was loading the dishwasher while I put the leftovers away. I turned around to see Rye holding a Cuisinart knife in each hand. They are colorful, so of course he wanted them. I performed another Nana Ninja maneuver while yelling “No-No!” I had those knives out of his hands and him scooped up to my shoulder before my hubby even knew there was a problem. I took him back into the living room and found a loud musical toy to distract him while we finished up in the kitchen.

My grandchildren enrich my life in ways I didn’t even know was possible. Every smile, giggle, and hug reminds me how blessed I am to have them. I love them with every fiber of my being. I would do just about anything for those two little people. I just didn’t realize that I would need ninja moves to be a good nana.

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