Thursday, 24 July 2014

Letter to a Granddaughter - The Joy of Telephones

Dear Small Granddaughter,
We don't see each other very often, so now you have decided to telephone me.
Quite often, if you can get away with it.
"Annie, Annie, Annie!" you say (you can't say Granny, and I like 'Annie').
"Hello, hello, hello," I say. "What do you want me to sing?"
I sing 'Baa baa black sheep', and it meets with approval.
I sing 'Humpty Dumpty', 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', 'Jack and Jill Went up the Hill', 'Oh, The Grand Old Duke of York.'
Each rendition meets with huge approval, a demand for an encore.
I never realised that I was so skilled vocally. I have never played to such an enthusiastic audience, never received such totally admiring, uncritical approval.

I divert into a slightly dubious song about a baby who behaves rather stupidly in his bath-tub (he drinks the water, eats the soap and tries to eat the bath-tub but it won't go down his throat.) He is taken away by a lady with an alligator purse, probably from the NSPCC.
"Where did that come from?" asks your father.
"It's one of those deeply traditional tales, probably by the Brothers Grimm", I say, but you are already calling for an encore.

When there is a brief lull I tell your father that we should be using Skype, as you are showing me toys and teaching me the difference between blue and yellow in between songs.
"Oh no!" he says."If she thinks she can see you by pressing a few buttons we'll never get her off the lap-top".

Thank you, Little E. for making me feel like the most desirable, entertaining person on the planet.

With love from Annie.


Marigold Jam said...

How lovely!

Zhoen said...

You are the most important person in the world. We all are, once we are loved.

Relatively Retiring said...

Marigold and Zhoen: thank you, such an amazing bonus in my life.

Elephant's Child said...

Awwww. Sentimental leaky smiles. And I am going to have to track down the Tale of the Baby in the Bath.

gz said... grandsons (4) haven't yet got to the phone Nan stage! but it wont be long!!

Relatively Retiring said...

E.C.: The Baby in the Bath was sung to my own small sons by a friend. Sons claim they have no memory of it - probably too scared!

gz: Little E. is phoning Granny at 22 months, but is dependant on a parent to find the right numbers.....for the moment.

mm said...

This made me smile. And I'm very glad the old nursery rhymes (that I learned as a child) are still going strong. The Baby in the Bath passed me by, though. Maybe my parents thought it was too frightening!

Relatively Retiring said...

M.m.: maybe my sons did,too. They blanked it out of their memory boxes!

Jee said...

My mother used to sing the Baby in the Bath though I don't remember past eating the soap. F is an expert Skyper as other Grandma lives far away, however, she's only recently realised tha Grandma and Grandad can also exist outside the computer screen!
She doesn't like it if we Skype. Favourite song here is pop goes the weasle with F adding the 'pop' at the appropriate moment.
Away for 4 days next week, I'll call when we get back. J

Relatively Retiring said...

Jee (and others):
Sarah had a baby,
She called him Tiny Tim.
She put him in the bath-tub
To teach him how to swim.

He drank up all the water,
He ate up all the soap.
He tried to eat the bath-tub,
But it wouldn't go down his throat.

In came the doctor,
In came the nurse,
In came the lady
With the alligator purse.

and then I make up the rest!

Isabelle said...

Oh, lovely!!!