Dora Rocks!

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As a grand-dad, I have had a chance to watch children’s television programming and I have to say it’s impressive. No, I’m not in my second childhood; I never left my first childhood, thank you very much. It’s just that the programming I’ve seen is gently instructive as well as fun and musical, and that’s a good thing.

No one in the world struggled with learning Spanish as much as I have. My parents even hired a private tutor for me for a year or so, and for whatever reason, learning a different language was just was beyond my abilities. I have always been awed by those who could master other languages; my daughter, Colleen, showed a real knack for that early on and I was so proud of her.

My grand-daughter Maddie absolutely loves Dora the Explorer, and has learned a lot of Spanish from watching the show. There are other shows that involve math and other things that kids benefit from knowing, and the animation styles are often impressive.

When I was Maddie’s age, weekend broadcast television didn’t even start till about 11am, and the shows were almost all adventure series. Captain Kangaroo, shown during the week, was somewhat educational, and I loved him, but the shows I liked the best were Sky King and The Lone Ranger.

From those, I learned that folks with black cowboy hats were usually villains, and if they wore a thin mustache they were guaranteed to be bad guys. The Lone Ranger tipped me to always wear two six-guns on my belt and if I was chasing bank robbers to always be ready for an ambush when I rode past a certain gigantic rock formation.

But learning new languages, math and other skills are probably more useful. When Maddie uses Spanish or talks about geometry, I am so proud!!!

How To Make A Granddad Feel Great . . .

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And the answer is not a quart of Old Grand-Dad!

As mentioned in an earlier entry, I visited my daughter and grand-daughters today in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Patty had to work and Aaron is away for the week, so I drove up by myself. Being the world’s worst driver made me nervous about the trip, and I couldn’t stay as long as I wanted to.

So we toured the Utz factory, explored Hanover a while, and then, back at Neenie’s, I got to play with Sophie (nine months old and now crawling) and Maddie, who’s three. Maddie and I did a jigsaw puzzle, watched some TV, and Maddie played her pink Dora the Explorer guitar for me.

After I got home, I was a bit downcast that I couldn’t stay longer than a few hours, and then Neenie emailed me something that made my day. When Greg came home after work, he asked Maddie. “Did PopPop come visit you today?”

And Maddie replied, “Yeah; it was awesome!”