I think I’ve mentioned before that Monkey’s great Grampy lives downstairs. He has lived downstairs all of Monkey’s life. Every day of his life he has had access to Grampy and, for some strange reason we could never figure out, he was afraid of him. Not screaming-crying-running away afraid but he would hide behind Duhdee or I whenever we saw him. He would point at airplanes (real and imagined) in the sky to get Grampy to stop talking to him or looking at him.
It was frustrating because Grampy loves Monkey, he loved the idea of having one of his great-grandchildren living here with him. We’ve explained Fragile X to Grampy and he’s read some of the books we have so he understands the root of it but it hasn’t stopped it from hurting him. Over Christmas we saw a shift in Monkey’s attitude…one of my very favorite pictures ever is a picture of Grampy, Monkey and Munchkin watching a movie on Monkey’s DVD player. It was the first time Monkey ever willing sat next to and even touched Grampy. Gah, it still makes me tear up.
A couple weeks ago, Grampy had to spend some time in the hospital. He has COPD and a lingering cold left him unable to breath comfortably. He’s doing well now but it scared him. It scared us. Since Grampy has been home he’s needed a lot of help and Duhdee has been a peach. He’s doing errands, driving Grampy around and even helping Grampy buy items over the internet. This means that Duhdee has spent a lot of time trotting up and down the stairs to Grampy’s house and Monkey was just forced, at least at first, to tag along. After a week or so he began protesting less when we needed him to go downstairs, he even started agreeing…”Sure!”
Yesterday, something amazing happened. Grampy’s new furniture was delivered just before I needed to leave for work, we asked Monkey if he wanted to go down to see it and he said no, which is pretty much his go-to answer to everything these days. After all the furniture was in Monkey and I went downstairs to get Duhdee since I needed a ride to the train station. Grampy was in a back room, at first, and when he came out Monkey said “Grampy! Hi Grampy! Hewwo!” happy as a clam. Grampy was carrying a seriously “retro” lamp and Monkey took one look at it and said “Cool, Grampy!” Ha!
Later, Duhdee and Monkey went to Trader Joe’s and Monkey was given a balloon. He picked a blue one and brought it home. As soon as they got home Monkey started saying “Grampy! Grampy! Grampy!” Duhdee, smarty pants that he is, took advantage and asked Monkey if he wanted to go see Grampy. “Sure!” and he marched down the stairs and into Grampy’s house with the balloon to show it off. Just before bed they went down for another visit and Monkey let Grampy hug him!
Then, this morning, when we woke up we could hear Monkey playing with one of his toys and saying “Grampy” over and over and over. (It’s so cute, I need to record it. ) We told him he could go visit after his shower and as soon as he was done he started with the Grampy chant again. They had a nice visit this AM before Grampy and Duhdee set off for an appointment. As the truck was pulling away, Monkey was in the window saying…”Bye Grampy!”
I’m not sure what has changed in Monkey’s head…but I like it.