Seeing the world through the eyes of a 5 years old
"Hey Dad" asked my grown son. "What are you and mom doing next month?"
"I don't know" I cautiously replied. "It depends. What do you have in mind?"
"Think you guys might be available to baby sit Jacob?" Asked my son, "Christy and I have an opportunity to go on a ten day cruise to Mazatlan and Acapulco."
"Wow, Ten Days! Give me the dates and I will run them by your mom," said I
I ask you. How can a person refuse the opportunity to spend quality time with their grand children? My son was pretty confident as to what our answer would be, and a month later he and his wife were at our front door, with a small boy, a suitcase, and an X Box video game consol.
Jacob is five years old. He has bright brown eyes, a head of fine brown hair, an enquiring mind, a cheerful disposition, and the ability to be heard in any crowd.
Five year olds often see the world differently from adults. Things are sometimes harder to master, and certainly more difficult to reach. Everything is adult size and one often has to stand on a stool in order to do ordinary things like washing hands, brushing teeth, or even reaching to drink from a cup. It can be easy for an adult to forget what it is like to be less than three foot tall. Children have a much different prospective than adults.
My little grand son wrapped his arms around me. "You smell good gram'pa!"
"I do?" asked I
The little guy grinned: "You don't smell poopy."
I was a little shocked: "Do I ever smell poopy?"
"No" said Jacob. "You smell good."
So much for five year old reasoning…
We bid goodbye to his mother and father, and helped Jacob unpack. He was cheerful and very talkative.
"Gram'pa," asked Jacob "When are you going to die?"
"Huh?" I replied "I don't know. "
Jacob looked at me in as somber a manner as a five year old could muster "Old people die"
"Jacob" said I with a smile. "Everyone, will die someday, but I don't plan to die for a long time."
Jacobs somber expression changed to a face wide smile: "That's good Gram' pa,"
A small child can be a real challenge for an older person. Children need to occupy their time with different activities, and they really need to do more than just watch TV. They demand and need attention, and they can't be ignored.
"Gram'pa, can I play my X Box?" asked the little guy.
I slyly replied "I don't know how to hook it up."
Little Jacob was quick to respond. "I can hook it up. I know how to do it."
I watched in amazement as he immediately started plugging cables into our VCR.
"You put the red into the red, and the yellow into the yellow, and the white into the white;" instructed Jacob.
"How do I get the picture on my TV?" I asked.
"You have to change the channels until it says 'play,'" he replied.
I was amazed. His X box actually worked.
"Gram'pa will you play Lego Star Wars with me?" Asked Jacob.
What more could I do? I owed it to my grand son to spend quality time with him. Quality time blasting X wings, destroying battle droids and defeating enemies with my light saber.
Time seemed to melt away.
"I don't want you guys playing video games all day;" scolded my wife. "You both need to go outside. Go for a walk, go to the park. You need to get away from that television."
"Hey, I just got a bit more to go before I get to the next level." I groaned.
"Now!" Said my wife; "You both need to get out now! Go for a walk, go, do something… And turn off that T.V!"
Jake and I went for a walk. We had a grand time. We looked at important stuff, like storm drains and sewers. I explained to Jake the difference, and he took it all in.
"Poop an pee goes into the sewer, and regular water goes into the storm drain;" related my newly educated grandson.
We enjoyed our walk, we petted cats, talked to dogs, visited with the neighbors, and returned home, refreshed and filled with new knowledge of the world around us.
Bed time. "Gram'pa, will you read me a story?"
I looked sternly at my grandson and said: "I won't read you a story… but I will tell you one. Get your night clothes on"
"Okay!" chirped Jacob.
Years ago I remembered hearing Pete Seeger tell a story about a Giant. I think he called it Abi Yo Yo. It was entertaining, funny, and good for adults as well as children. I could not remember the Seeger story, but this did not stop me from telling Jacob my version which I called Yabby Yoby.
Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived in town. He lived with his father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grand pa, grandma, dog , cat, and a cow in a little one room house. The little boy loved to play his ukulele and sing. He didn't play very well, and he really didn't sing very well either, but that was okay with him. He liked playing and singing.
His town was a nice town, only it had one big problem. They had a big giant who every so often, would stomp into town and eat their cows. When the giant didn't get enough cows to eat, he would pull the roofs off houses and grab their refrigerators and eat all the food inside. The Giants name was Yabby Yoby.
No one could stop the giant because he was just too big and everyone was afraid of him. They would just stand and watch Yabby Yoby eat their cows, and empty their refrigerators.
The little boy was not afraid. He did not want Yabby Yoby to eat his cow or empty his mom's refrigerator. He also had an idea on how to stop the giant.
He told his plan to his grandpa and his grandpa also told the plan to some other people who lived in his town. Grandpa had them buy lots and lots of duct tape.
The little boy and his Grandpa were ready. Soon they heard the sound of the Giant Yabby Yoby. "Thump, thump, thump, THUMP!"
Yabby Yoby was walking toward the little boy's town.
Yabby Yoby stopped and ate a cow. "Gulp" Yabby Yoby swallowed another cow. He started walking closer and closer to the town.
Someone yelled "Please stop the Giant!"
The little boy said: "I will," and he ran right up to the giant yelling the giants name.
The giant stopped and looked down at the little boy.
The little boy grabbed his ukulele and started playing and singing the giants name.
"Yabby Yoby, Yabby Yoby. Yabby Yoby, Yabby Yoby….Yabby yabby Yoby, Yabby Yoby."
The giant had never heard his name sung before, and was very interested.
The little boy continued to sing the Giants name over and over and over.
Finally the Giant got tired, and sat down. The little boy continued to sing.
The giant fell asleep.
The little boys grandpa and some other people from the town took the duct tape and wrapped Yabby Yoby up.
They loaded him on to a big wagon and took him very far away. They hauled him to a place where there were a lot of wild buffalo cows. They then untied Yabby Yoby.
Yabby Yoby was very happy. He had not seen this many cows in one place in his entire life. He started eating the buffalo cows and was never hungry again and never ever again, bothered to come back to the little boys town and eat their cows or empty their refrigerators.
(In case you're wondering, that is why we no longer have many wild buffalos).
I am not sure if my wife appreciated some of the concepts that Jacob and I exchanged, but I did have fun. I know that she seemed a bit upset when she discovered that I told Jacob that if she gave him too bad a time, all he had to do was dance around her singing her name and she would be sure to go to sleep.
…Which goes to prove that you can't always please everyone.
My grand son's stay with us was a good one. Jacob provided me with a great opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a five year old, and an even better opportunity for me to learn what its like to be five again. .
Bill loves letters, and you can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.Home More of Bill's Published Writings