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My 36 Inch Parrot
by Earl Taylor  
2/21/2010 / Parenting

I have a grandson who is four and says and does everything I do. I hunt, he wants to hunt. I fish, he wants to fish. I mow the yard, he wants to get on the mower. I speak a word, he repeats it. It didn't take me long to see this 36 inch parrot was soaking me up and swallowing anything I would throw at him.

Being a former English teacher and one that enjoyed a good word, I started throwing out morsels of words that he could chew on: wonderful, marvelous, stupendous, Praise the Lord. I moved a little deeper into the thesaurus and declared one of my favorite words, bodacious! He bit and was hooked.

It has become a game around our house: during and as we are finishing a meal, we begin our litany of words to describe the delicacies that grandma had prepared for us. "Delicious", I cry. "Wonderful", he shouts, "Stupendous", I retort "Bodacious", he crows. Grandma feels good; we laugh and think of other words that might describe such a feast as we just devoured.

He is four and will be 14 in ten short years; 14 and dumber than a rock. 14 and squirrelly. 14 and interested in girls, but has no idea where to start. Perhaps even, 14 and no longer a parrot of grandpa's, but a brazen tree cawing crow.

My work is cut out for me this next ten years.

Proverbs. 22:6 Train up a child when he is young, so that when he is old, he will not depart.

I am the Director of Vision and Design at Hidden Acres Christian Center ( in Central Iowa. I have an M.A. in English Education from Truman State. You may follow my writing at the website listed below.

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