My Little Pet

A warm breeze slipped in through the open window and made a circuit of the living room. It felt nice. My mother, brother, and I paused in our conversation. Leaning back in her recliner Mom said, “Niki and Anne visited us yesterday afternoon.”

My daughter and I had talked about her visiting ‘Grammie’ last week. I nodded and said, “Niki said she was going to bring you some ‘goodies’. What did she make for you this time?”

Mom answered as she got to her feet. “Something good. Come out to the kitchen and taste. She shouldn’t bother so much with making stuff for us, though. We’re just happy to have her come for a visit!”

Handing me a cup of tea, my brother said, “That little Anne is really something. She can really get around! I bet she’ll be walking in a week!”

My eight and a half-month-old granddaughter had crawling down to a science. I laughed and said, “Only if she wants to. That little girl has a mind of her own!”

One week later Niki called. “Mom, guess what! Anne just took two steps!”

Glancing at a nearby calendar I exclaimed, “My brother was right about how soon Anne would walk!”

“I can’t get over it!” Niki sighed, “I was sitting in the living room eating a cookie. Anne wanted a bite, but I didn’t know how she’d do with it so I wasn’t sharing. One minute she was standing on one side of me…the next…I didn’t even SEE her do it! I was watching television. I HEARD her feet shuffle!”

In the background I could hear Anne babbling. She was doing what Niki and Mike called yodeling. Her baby voice fell and rose as she sing-songed, “Low-dee, low-dee, low-dee.”

My granddaughter was clearly a child after my heart. It made me proud to hear that she took her first steps for a cookie. Smart kid! She instinctively knew good stuff when she saw it. I invited, “Would you, Mike, and Anne like to come for a visit and dinner on Sunday? Maybe then I’ll get to see Anne walk.”

On Sunday we visited and ate on the back deck. Everyone moved indoors as I cleared the table and put the leftovers away. Anne entertained us with bursts of speed crawling and babbling. As I moved around the house, I suddenly became aware of Anne following me like a faithful puppy on all fours.

I went back and forth between the kitchen and living room several times. My Little Pet kept pace with respectable speed and a smiling face. Each time I reached down to pick her up for a hug, she happily reached up to receive it. Later, in my lap she played with ‘Stinky’, a small naked doll that had belonged to Niki and Tammie. After chewing on it’s leg for a while, she carefully studied it and yodeled, “Low-dee, low-dee, low-dee.”

Anne’s eager audience didn’t get to see her walk that evening. I figured that without a cookie she didn’t have the proper incentive.

When Niki and Anne visited me one week later, Anne still refused to repeat taking solo steps. Taunting us, she stood in the middle of the living room where Niki had put her down, doing a baby-butt-wiggle dance. She held a blue and green planet earth stress ball that belonged to my other daughter. With a big grin she bit into it. A foamy chunk of the Atlantic Ocean came away between her sharp, new incisors.

Niki jumped to her feet and took the ball away from Anne and did a finger swipe to clear the debris. She said, “Oh my gosh, I’m sorry she did that!”

I said, “Don’t worry about it.”

That evening when Tammie saw the damaged ball she demanded, “What happened? Did those darn cats do this?”

Apologetically I intoned, “Low-dee, low-dee, low-dee!”

Tammie’s indignant expression softened into a smile of forgiveness. OUR Little Pet could do no wrong!


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