My No. 10 grandchild is a beautiful, precocious young lady who is one year old and going on thirteen or at least the terrible twos. Here name is Leah.
Ever since she started walking, she has challenged the family and the world.
There is no knob, no drawer, no cabinet, and no electronic device that she has not mastered. There is no chair or table that she does not want to climb.
Before she learned how to say “mama” or “dada” she learned the words “no” and “stop.”
I nicknamed her “rocket” because her little feet have jets on them. If you blink your eyes when you are watching her, she will be instantly gone, moving on her short little legs. Before you realize it, she is 20 feet away on the other side of the room to something that has drawn her attention.
Turning off the TV is one of her major accomplishments. She sneaks up to the TV. We yell, “Leah NO” but she still presses the exact spot to turn it off.
The other day, my wife and I were trying to shut down the TV because the remote wasn’t working well. I couldn’t find the power switch on our new flat screen TV.
Leah waddled over and pressed a tiny spot on the right side of the TV set. The screen blacked out. She turned around and gave us a big smile.
We have a beat-up old coffee table that has served as a play table for Tonka Trucks and other toys our grandchildren play with. I plan to refinish the table some day, when all the grandchildren are no longer playing with cars, trucks, hammers, and other damaging toys.
One day, before she was walking, Leah crawled over to the table, lifted herself to a standing position, and then quickly climbed on top of the table.
Of course, her grandparents were astonished and pleased – both at the same time.
Later, we had her repeat the climbing trick for her mom. This time after getting on top of the table, she sat comfortably in the center, smiled and clapped her hands.
Now, when she tries to climb up on the table, we all yell in unison, “Leah NO!”
I took her to city hall one day and she was unusually shy – for about 10 minutes. It didn’t take her long before she had made many friends and was ready to take over a desk to play with pens, staplers and assorted desk tools.
When my children have given birth to children, I have always suggested names that are fitting for our ethnic background. I have unsuccessfully lobbied for names such as Mauricio, Patricio, Febronia, Erlinda, etc. Instead, my grandchildren have been given beautiful names that are currently popular, although the parents think they are unique.
When Leah was named, I thought it was another Irish name. The ladies at the Langley Center corrected me one day. “Leah” they explained is a Jewish name and is in the Bible.
Sure enough. I looked up the name and found out that Leah is Hebrew. The Biblical Leah was the first of the four concurrent wives of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob. She was the mother of six of Jacob’s sons.
I think I will wait until Leah turns 16 before I share this tidbit of information.
Leah and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Day.