A grandfather knows the ‘No!’ of managing little rascals

Rick Jacobs

I would like to tell you about Caleb.

Caleb is my grandson. He will be two in July. He is just about the cutest little boy you have ever laid eyes on. As are my other grandsons.

He has a 3-year-old sister. Her name is Isabella. We call her Izzy and she is equally cute. But we will get to know her in a future column.

Both Caleb and Izzy live with me and my wife now. We asked a judge to make this happen, and she agreed that it might be best. At least for a while. Their mom needs some time to get healthy and strong again, and, believe me, you need both health and strength to manage these kids.

I’m happy to report that she is making progress.

Their dad … well, we won’t discuss him at all. This column needs to remain family-friendly.
But back to Caleb.

He has ridiculous energy. The two speeds he runs on are fast and faster. He hasn’t learned to walk yet. Or, rather, he’s forgotten how to walk. He used to walk.

Now he runs. Everywhere.

And he is lightning fast.

For example: Not long ago we were watching TV together and I picked up the remote to surf channels. When I found what I was looking for I noticed I was alone. Then the phone rang. It was my neighbor from two streets over.

“Caleb’s here again.”

Sigh. “On my way.”

Okay, I exaggerate a tad, but only a tad.

However, this actually happened. I had gotten him dressed one morning last week and cut him loose so I could get his diaper bag together. Not a minute had passed when Izzy meandered up to me and said casually, “Caleb’s in the sink.”

“He’s what?”

“He’s in the sink.”

It was then I hear the water running full blast from their bathroom. Oh great, I thought, he’s climbed on Izzy’s stool she uses to brush her teeth and now he’s managed to turn the water on. Probably got his shirt wet.

No. Izzy was being literal. Caleb was IN the sink. In his mind it was a mini kiddie pool, rapidly filling with water. Water on his clothes, water on the counter, water on the floor. He was happy, happy, happy.

Until he saw me. Or, more accurately, until he heard me.

In retrospect, I probably should’ve taken a picture. From dry to soaked in 30 seconds flat has to be some kind of record, at least in his age group.

He has toys. A whole lot of them. Very cool toys, too. But toys are a very low priority for him. Much higher on his to-do list is touching and playing with every single thing he’s not allowed to touch or play with.

In keeping with his obsession with water is, of course, the dog’s water dish.

“NO, Caleb!”

From there to all the various night lights.

“NO, Caleb!”

My computer and the irresistible mouse, keyboard and, inevitably, the on-off switch are always a popular choice.

My cell phone and house phone are also quite high on his list of taboo priorities.

“No, no, no, NO, Caleb!!”

And, of course, no morning is complete without punching all of the buttons on all the remotes in the house.

Sometimes, instead of “no!” I say instead, “Give me that!”
He’s also a climber with no fear of heights whatsoever. So, no matter where I put things – short of tossing them onto the roof – it’s perceived by him as nothing more than a challenge that is easily overcome.

Thank the good Lord that, by 7 o’clock, all of this energy runs out and he begins to slow down, yawn and rub his eyes. A bath, warm pajamas and a bottle will usually reduce him to a cuddling bundle of joy.

He says, “Night-night,” and “Love you” and blows kisses in a way that will make you melt. I lay him in his bed and he’s soon fast asleep.

Then, finally, I can get some work done.

I don’t know how long Susie and I will be taking care of these wonderful children. I hope and pray their mother makes a full recovery and resumes her rightful place. That’s the plan, anyway.

Until then, we will try and keep them in one piece.

And out of sinks.

And away from night lights.

And … wait a second. I gotta go. I think my car just started.

“NO, Caleb!!”

Contact Rick Jacobs at rick45@aol.com.