“Grandma go airplane.”

That’s what Flynn has been saying to anyone and everyone who will listen, in both English and French, since his Grandma Jeanne took off a few days ago after a five-week visit to Benin. He doesn’t seem as broken up about it as I would have expected. It’s just a fact.

“Grandma go airplane.”

Yes Flynn, you’re right, she did.

Flynn of course loved having one of his grandmas around, and I loved that spending all day every day with an English speaker allowed Flynn’s English to catch up with his French.

So, it seems only appropriate to recount Grandma Jeanne’s visit for you through some of the new phrases Flynn picked up from her along the way…

  • “I will catch you Grandma” — Said when chasing her around the yard, which was often.
  • “No bed, go couch” — Grandma Jeanne passed on at least one of her bad habits to Flynn: sleeping on the couch (with the TV on). I haven’t succeeded in breaking this one yet.
Tired boy.
  • “Under blanket, mommy bed” — Under the blanket in mommy’s bed is the only other possible bedtime option, according to Flynn.
  • “Ready, set, go!” — Said before diving headfirst over and over again onto “mommy bed,” which is what seems to always happen there, rather than sleep.
  • “Ohhhh Grandma…” — Said, of course, in the tune of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse refrain, “Ohhhh Toodles…” Grandma Jeanne watched a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse during her stay, although I’m not sure she minded. After communicating with Flynn’s nanny via cave man sentences and gestures, hearing some English was probably welcome, even if from Mickey.
  • “Flynn go swimming pool” — Yes, we often went to the swimming pool, especially when you, like Flynn, categorize “swimming pool” as any body of water in which you can get in, be it an ocean, a lagoon, a bath tub…
Hi there swimming pool.
  • “It’s okay” — Once at the “swimming pool” (lagoon) we forgot Flynn’s floaties. It was a little nerve-wracking for us, but he wasn’t fazed. On the few occasions when his head fell under water and we quickly snatched him up, he giggled and assured us, “it’s okay.”
  • “For Flynn” — Accompanied by a territorial snatch whenever a new toy began to emerge from Grandma Jeanne’s suitcase…
  • “How about… cookie” — Yes, Grandma Jeanne shared many cookies. Flynn learned that “how about…” could also get him ice cream, outside, a walk…
  • “Mmm mmm good” — Rarely said about anything other than cookies or ice cream.
Here Grandma, take this pickle. It's not "mmm mmm good."
  • “How about… double decker bus” — Grandma Jeanne made the mistake of once doing a Google image search of airplanes for Flynn. She never got to use the computer again, what with Flynn’s constant demands for helicopters, trucks, diggers, firetrucks, ambulances, buses and even double decker buses, which he learned about from Grandma Jeanne.
  • “Flynn need that” — Said emphatically when “best toddler toys” was entered as a Google image search.
  • “Pick you up” –A little confused about his pronouns, yes, but this still got him what he wanted.
  • “Grandma draw… horsie” — Grandma Jeanne spent a lot of time drawing with sidewalk chalk anything requested of her, usually animals.
  • “Cock-a-doodle-doo” — Speaking of animals, Grandma Jeanne taught Flynn what all kinds of them say, from a rooster to a donkey to cat to a cow to a sheep to a pig to a duck, and more.
Hee haw.
  • “Go outside car” — Though she stayed home with Flynn while I worked all week, on weekends we headed out to show Grandma Jeanne what Benin is all about, from markets to art vendors to stilt villages and beaches.
  • “Come on” — Said when grabbing Grandma’s hand and leading her over to whatever he wanted her to be…
Come on, this way.
  • “Grandma, come back” — Despite not seeming terribly broken up when “Grandma go airplane,” he does miss her.
Come back.
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