The picture you see was taken some five or six years ago... it's me and Monica. It's not the shot I wanted to use, but my computer can't find my scanner. Bummer. Anyhow, let me tell you about my smartest grandchild.
The others aren't dummies, mind you. But Monica recognized letters at age two. She made a pretty good attempt at writing her name by age three. One time I was riding in the car with her (less than two years old), her mom, and her infant sister, when my daughter (her mom) said, "Sometimes she scares me." (because of her intelligence.)
Monica heard the word "scares", and growled like a monster. Amazing.
By the time Monica arrived, I'd learned the value of bonding with grandchildren, thanks to Arick and Amber being forced on me. Since my daughter's family lived only 15 miles away, we made this deal: They'd meet me at Church, on Wednesday nights, and I'd bring Monica home and keep her for 24 hours, every week. I had a crib in our bedroom, and when Monica would wake up repeatedly during the night, Cliff would ask, "Why are you doing this?"
"Because she'll be grown up before you know it," I'd tell him.
It worked perfectly, and we did this for about eighteen months, until my daughter and her family moved out of this area for a few years.
Monica gives great hugs.
Monica loves her grandpa (after all, he's the only one she has).
Monica is nine years old, going on thirty.
I love Monica.