Her bright blue eyes squinted in joy as she looked up at me from her spot on the kitchen floor. Her honey-blonde ringlets bounced up and down, and her chubby face expanded into a wide smile. At one-and-a-half years old, the girl knows the words "no," "shoes," "boom," "play," "walk" and "swing." Her grasping fingers seek out and manipulate anything within reach, and her favorite activity is sitting with grandpa while he plays piano and sings, she banging a drum underfoot to his prescribed rhythm.
The girl's tiny fingers, their nails a bit too long, weren't wrapped around a stick used for drumming as she sat in the kitchen that night, near grandpa while he cooked dinner for his family and a guest. With a thin line of drool forming a bridge between her mouth and the tips of her thumb and forefinger, the girl clutched in her left hand a special treat she plucked from the bowl she circled with her legs. She held the treat up for me to see as if gloating, as if hinting that her treat was the most special of treats reserved for the most special of little girls.
The girl's mom and dad were busy that night, and grandpa offered to entertain. She loves grampy because he lets her play on the swing and the slide at the park, pet and kiss his zoo of dogs and cats, eat exotic cheeses and fruits, stay up late and gulp a swig of red wine here and there. Most especially, grampy lets her have her fill of her favorite special treat - after she scares off a zoo of cats, of course, for a spot around the bowl.