If I’m ever included in Guinness World Records it will likely be for most times singing “The Wheels on the Bus” complete with hand motions.
It’s not the most scintillating song, but when it’s your grandson’s favorite, you will sing it to infinity and beyond because it makes him happy.
Earlier this month we visited our twin grandsons, Adam and Nick, in Ohio. We last saw them in October. It’s been a long five months, but we’ve been chatting with them via Skype almost every week. Perhaps “chatting” isn’t accurate. Derek blows raspberries, I sing “Wheels on the “Bus,” and we both wave a lot, but mostly we watch their busy bodies scoot, crawl, climb, toddle and lately run.
When we left them in October, Nick was just taking his first independent steps and Adam was thinking about it. Now at 16 months old Nick runs everywhere at full speed, and Adam is walking independently. In other words, we left babies and returned to find toddlers.
We hoped those Skype visits would ensure The World’s Most Beautiful Boys would remember us. All worries about that were banished the minute we walked into their living room. Adam’s delighted grin lit up the room, and Nick was so excited he giggled and did a happy dance.
As usual, we rented a nearby Airbnb, and our son dropped them off each day, and because it was spring break their big sister Farrah, 7, got to join us.
Like many of us since COVID-19 hit, Alex works from home. Brooke has to keep the twins entertained and out of Daddy’s hair in their two-bedroom townhouse.
Working from home with active toddlers isn’t ideal, but our son said he wouldn’t trade a minute of it. An unexpected pandemic benefit is that he hasn’t missed a moment of the twins’ first year.
They’re in the process of buying their first home, so by our next visit the kids will have a big backyard to explore.
Knowing how much I love holding babies, Derek cautioned me before we left.
“Don’t expect them to want to cuddle. They’re li’l dudes, not babies.”
When naptime arrived on our first full day with the boys, Derek snored on one end of the couch with Nick asleep in his arms, while Adam curled up in mine, sound asleep.
No cuddling, indeed.
Of course, they’re mostly on the go. We blew bubbles outside and walked to a nearby park to give them their first experience on a swing.
We also watched a lot of “Cocomelon” on Netflix. It’s a television show featuring big-eyed babies, and nursery rhymes and songs. I’m sure it’s very educational, but I’d rather sing “Wheels on the Bus” 99 times in a row. Honestly, J.J. and his family kind of creep me out.
But guess what? When it’s your grandsons’ favorite show, you watch it with them, especially when you get to cuddle them while doing so.
Thankfully, there was plenty of time to zoom toy cars across the coffee table and practice stacking big plastic Duplo blocks, and Nana Cindy always brings new books to read.
We even got to eat pizza with them and watch the Zags’ amazing win over UCLA.
All too soon, it was time to return home. Every time we say goodbye, it gets harder. It’s not much fun to have your only grandchildren on the opposite side of the country.
But as our plane taxied down the runway in Columbus, my blue mood lightened when I thought about how incredibly blessed we are that Adam and Nick, born seven weeks premature, are so healthy and strong.
Not everyone who longs to be a grandparent gets to be one.
Somewhere around 25,000 feet, my sadness turned to gratitude, and as Derek dozed next to me, I softly hummed “The Wheels on the Bus,” one more time.
Cindy Hval can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hval is the author of “War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation” (Casemate Publishers, 2015) available locally at Auntie’s Bookstore, Barnes & Noble locations and on Amazon.