Well…enter Grandpa Blueberry. I have discovered that kids universally love blueberries. And, none of their parents object to me offering them (as opposed to candy, cookies, or other sweets). So, what do I do every Wednesday morning? I go to the supermarket and buy a package of blueberries. When families arrive with their kids, I am prepared. Little Joao raises his arms as he comes through the front door, and we go straight to the refrigerator. He often takes two berries at a time and hands one down to Gracie, who gladly accepts it. The generosity of a two-year-old can sometimes put to shame adults like me!
Last night during the discussion and prayer portion of the evening, Joao came up to me and pointed to his wide-open mouth. Yup, he was ready for another round of blueberries. I nodded to affirm his request, but because we were praying, I folded my hands to signal that he, too, could participate. He was incredibly patient and waited quietly. When finished, I took Joao and Gracie to the kitchen, sat them on the counter, and started handing out blueberries. Then, little Joy came into the kitchen and wanted to get in on the action. I picked her up and held her. Like Joao and Grace, she couldn’t get the blueberries down fast enough. Then came little Julia (almost walking), pulled herself up by my pantleg, and wanted to participate. Try to picture two toddlers sitting on the counter, legs happily swinging, a third held in my right arm, and a fourth in my left arm, all the while keeping the blueberry train going. Finally, I sat Joy down next to Joao and Gracie, and had them joyfully consuming berries for several minutes until I peeped around the corner and asked the parents if it was okay to feed them so many. They, of course, were enjoying a few minutes of distraction-free fellowship, and waved me on to keep going. One came in and took a picture of the spectacle. Hilarious!
I don’t know how far this will go as the weeks progress, but it will be hard to top last night…in their minds or mine. But, Grandpa Blueberry will surely make another appearance next week. Not that I like being called Grandpa anything, but I am proud of being able to entertain four toddlers for an extended length of time (five whole minutes?).