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Being Grandpa is as easy as ABC

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My grandfatherness started ticking when a granddaughter crawled up beside me lugging a book titled "Grandmother's Alphabet." You know: Grandmother is everything from an Artist, who does so-and-so, to a Zookeeper, who does something else. It's a charming book, but what about Grandpa's ABCs?

Grandpa is:

An Antediluvian

- or so it seems next to a 4-year-old.

A Backboard

- rubber balls and soft plastic starfish from the Museum of Science are among items that bounce off him.

A Consultant

- he is asked to suggest but not decide what do we do now.

A Dog negotiator

- he parleys with leash holders when toddlers start to run and shout, "Dog! Pet!"

An Early Adopter

- in his case this marketing term for people who seize on the latest thing refers to going online to buy toy ATMs for small girls.

A Flatterer

- boy, does he like to say, "You're a real tree climber!" or "I didn't know you could count that far!"

A Guesser

- on the one hand, he tries to imagine what words a 2-year-old is referring to; on the other he keeps saying, "I guess you don't want any more," "I guess you didn't hear me," "I guess...."

A Hider

- if he isn't playing peekaboo, he's hoping to be found under the kitchen table.

An Impostor

- you can tell him he looks like a grandfather, but he knows he's about 17.

A Jester

- will someone save him before he bombs again? What one wall said to the other is one thing. But what do I have in this bag? The New York Philharmonic. Who's conducting? Granddad needs help.

A Killjoy

- who else would say, "Maybe it's time to stop jumping on the bed and read about spilled milk that looks like clouds."

A Looker
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