I: Tell me about what you can remember from the beginning of your life.
G: I tried really hard to break free at 32 weeks, but was not successful. It took me another 6 weeks to perfect my second escape plan, and this time it was executed with perfection. I stuck my finger right through that sack of water I had been living in, and whoosh, there was no turning back.
Soon I wished I was back inside.
I: Why is that?
G: Well, the first 2 days were a luxurious vacation. Mom and dad and I just watched movies, snuggled, slept and drank warm sugar milk. But then they brought me home and these two big, loud, wild boys could not keep off of me and they kissed and coughed all over my face.
Before I knew it I was not feeling so good and I was back in the hospital. This was illness #1.
Kicked that, but it didn't take too long for me to realize that I had the reflux, real bad. My parents took a bit longer to figure out why the heck I could not stop screaming. They got one thing right though, I loved to bounce. They would sit on that red exercise ball, hold me close and bounce. Then, and only then would the blistering pain subside enough for me not to scream.
As if this was not enough I got sick at least a dozen times in the first four months, had a few ear infections, and broke out in huge hives all over my body a couple of times.
And to make matters worse, my mom and dad couldn’t even name me. They called me a new name every few days and just as I started to connect with it they would change it again. Daddy would come home from work every night, bounce and bounce and bounce me, look down into my incredibly cute face and ask, “What is your name little buddy?”
Grady. That is what we all finally decided, and boy am I a Grady. It took us two months, plus the 9 they were pregnant with me. Sheesh.
Mommy always knew I was an incredibly happy, joyful spirit though. I remember one night she looked at me fondly and said, “Isn’t he so cute Mark? He is definitely the happiest baby we have had.”
Dad looked down at me in pure bewilderment and exhausted confusion with an expression that clearly said, ‘Are you crazy? This is the saddest baby I have ever seen!’
But I grew, and the blistering throat stopped, and I was so happy to feel better that I have been pretty merry ever since.
In the first five months of my life I perfected my shriek, sob, cry, snivel, whimper and weep. I took the next five months to perfect my giggle, guttural laugh, snicker, grin, chuckle and chortle. Holy moly, I am adorable.
I: What is it like being the third child? Do you ever feel like you are forgotten?
G: Some people think that by the time the third kid comes around the poor little babe does not get enough attention. They could not be more wrong. Instead of just having a mom and dad admire and care for me, I have four people constantly adoring me.
Everyone in this family is quite lovesick over me. Lukey never even purposefully hits, kicks or throws toys at me anymore.
I: Have you been working on any skills?
G: Look lady, I came out as a helpless blob, and now I can crawl around with great agility, stand up, and dance like nobody’s business. I am beyond satisfied with my skills. That is why I can’t stop smiling.
I have also been working on a different skill. For the last ten months I have watched the one they call Lukey disassemble, destroy, shatter and break many things. I have learned a lot from my observations and the other day I saw my chance to present myself as a true threat to the items in this home. Lukey and I worked side by side in silent camaraderie to completely take apart and take off the doors on the t.v. stand. Skills? I think so.
I: Any particular events in your life that have a special place in your memory?
G: I have done something that many have never yet had the chance to do. I got to ride in an ambulance to the hospital.
You see, I love to put things in my mouth? Who doesn’t? It’s all the rage. But I also like to store them in my mouth for long periods of time. Much like a chipmunk.
Long story short; found a button, went in the mouth, choked, mom frantic, dad frantic, emergency room, ambulance to primary children’s hospital, x-ray (most adorable bones anyone has ever seen), i.v., sleep, bronchoscopy, home.
I: Well it sounds like you have been able to lead a pretty exciting life thus far and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you.
G: Thanks, let’s meet up again in another ten months.