Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Our grandson Iggy is staying with us for a week - eight days to be exact, and Iggy is always exact - while his parents are in Iceland. Yes, Iceland, where all the hipster sheep plunge into geothermal pools and knit.
Iggy comes with a long list of instructions that cover important topics ranging from “poop sit” modalities, to bedtimes, to bubble blowing skills, to fruit and vegetable preferences.

This morning, Iggy was eating waffles dipped in Lithuanian honey (we are out of Let it Bee Hastings honey), which he said was good, but not as good as our own bees' honey.
We were sitting on the porch. I was nibbling on blueberries, and casting an eye on the crossword puzzle, then noticed this Jeopardy Clue of the Day.

“Iggy, what is the most venomous marine animal? Bone-free, so obviously not a shark.”
With a piece of waffle impaled upon his fork, he answered immediately, “The Blue-ringed octopus. Yes, definitely it’s the blue ringed octopus.”
“I have never heard of the blue-ringed octopus,” I said.
“If you touch one of the blue rings… zingo…you are seriously dead. Maybe if you touch the octopus not on the blue ring you might survive, but mostly, you die.”
“I think I will just steer clear of blue-ringed octopuses entirely,” I said. “But are you sure? More venomous than a sea snake.”
“Sea snakes have bones. Eels don’t have bones, but snakes do.”
“Of course.” I remember once buying several dozen snake vertebrae to give as party favors for a long-ago birthday party for Iggy’s mother.

One thing about Iggy - and presumably all small persons - is specificity. He is very specific, and he demands specificity from the rest of us, of me, his ofttimes vague grandmother. This morning when I was dropping him off at day camp, I said, “Grab your knapsack.” And was indignantly corrected. “Nana, you mean my backpack. If you say knapsack I won’t know what you are talking about. Also book-bag. If you say book-bag I will look for a bag full of books.”
“Okay,” I said. “Henceforth I will always say backpack. I will TRY to say backpack. But I might forget. Did you know, Iggy, that there are often many words for the same thing?”
“Like venomous and poisonous?”
“Exactly. Though that wasn’t what I was thinking of. How about happy? Can we think of ten words for happy?”
“Glad. Cheerful.”
“Joyful. In a good mood.”
“We need six more,” Iggy announced. Then we went down the grassy hill and met with the head of the Hillside Day Camp.
Upon introducing Iggy to the young woman with the clipboard and a satchel full of permission slips, he announced “I am six.” Next, because we noticed the bees amusing themselves in the clover on the grass at Hillside, he added, “I am not afraid of bees. Do you know why that is? Because my grandparents are bee farmers. Also egg farmers.”
Then I delivered Iggy to his group of campers and counselors.


Jane Evans said...

Can you ask Iggy why the blue rings other than to kill. Is it to lure other creatures to them by their beauty? Camouflage?

Rebecca Rice said...

Wow! You've got one smart six-year-old grandson! Reminds me of the poem by A.A. Milne:

When I was one, I had just begun,
When I was two, I was barely new,
When I was three, I was hardly me,
When I was four, I was not much more,
When I was five, I was just alive,
Now I am six, I am as clever as clever
And I want to stay six forever and ever.

May Iggy stay (in spirit anyway!) six forever and ever!
Thanks for making my morning brighter!