Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Melded By A 6 Month Old

I can scarcely believe that I fell for it. Yet I did. As I entered "Babies R Us" in Chesterfield Valley tonight I saw her right away. She was in her baby seat which rested in a shopping cart and was being pushed by her mother, aka: my daughter. My wife beat me to them. It takes a lot of planning and dexterity to beat this woman to the side of Baby Elle. But after I arrived my daughter and my wife began looking at clothes, leaving Elle and I alone.

I leaned on the hande of the cart and stared down at her. She stared up at me. I smiled at her. She smiled at me. My smile lasted longer than hers because hers morphed into a feet kicking, hand slapping celebration. I began pushing her cart away from the mom's so that I could spend some time with my granddaughter.

We turned the first corner we came to. I had been watching where we were going. After I negotiated the turn I looked back at Baby Elle. She was looking at me again. She was more than looking. She was absorbing. She was communicating. And she was doing it with her eyes. I stopped pushing the cart. I stood still. She sat still. Our stare continued.

I was actually falling. Falling into her eyes. It was a very long, very deep fall. I loved every minute of it.

The stare went on for at the very least a full minute. I felt like I was being pulled into her soul. Like I was being questioned, inspected, evaluated. "Grandpa, can I trust you? Are you going to be as much fun as you act like you are going to be? Grandpa ... do you love me?" She never spoke a word and yet she said volumes. I hope that she read the answer in my eyes. "Yes." "Yes." "Yes."

I broke our stare and looked at the nearest rack of babies clothing. The first thing my eyes fell upon was a University of Illinois warm-up suit. The whole thing. Nylon top and nylon pants but with a nice soft lining. Perfect. It might have been styled for the Illini but I happen to know that they are also Chicago Bears colors. I picked it up from the rack and showed it to her. She smiled again and stomped her feet. She loved it.

I put it in the cart. I didn't even look at the price tag.

When I found my daughter, Elle's mother, I showed her what Elle and I had picked out. She laughed, asking me when she would wear it. "ALL OF THE TIME" was the only reply I could think of.

"Maybe you should wait until she's a little older."

Harumph. Kill joy.

Elle and I put the warm-up suit back on the rack. I was much sadder than she was. We went back into our staring mode. I felt like I was becoming intimately aquainted with my granddaughter without a word being shared. I started looking for something else to buy her.

That's when I remembered. 1969. Star Trek. The original star trek. It was Dr.Spock, the emotionless Vulcan vs. some nameless poor schmuck that didn't stand a chance. That was because Spock ... Spock was using the "Vulcan Mind Meld" on him. Now the guy would do anything ... ANYTHING ... Spock wanted. And even worse, Spock could read his mind! I don't want ANYBODY reading my mind! It is not appropriate reading for small children under the age of ... oh ... say ninety?!

It became suddenly clear. Baby Elle was performing the "Baby Elle Mind Meld" on me! What else could possibly explain my reckless desire to spoil and ogle this perfect child? It was the meld. It had to be the meld.

My suspicions were confirmed minutes later when she escaped from her cart. I tore frantically through the store looking for her. I do NOT want to go down in family lore as the one who lost Baby Elle! At last I found her. She was in the movie aisle. She had cornered a guy named "Bones." He looked strangely famialar to me. Elle had her little hand on his face. He looked terrified. I had gotten there just in time to save this pour soul.

But not before I took a picture.

Baby Elle, we are going to have an awesome time. Between you "mind melding" and my singing "The Wheels On The Bus..." I think we'll get along famously.

Grandpa love's you.


Anonymous said...


I know just how you feel. My daughters have the same effect on me. It's just amazing seeing the world through their eyes, where EVERYTHING is new and wondrous.

Enjoy it, my friend.


Anonymous said...

worst photoshop job ever!!!
next time call me.

Anonymous said...

when elle stares at me like that I just assume it is her way of saying "I sincerely dislike you"....

mainly because she does.

Anonymous said...

Ok, this blog started off really sweet & turn weird very quickly. I'm not even sure how your mind took you to this place? Anyway, Elle is very crazy about all of her grandparents. She doesn't respond to everyone like she does you guys.