Monday, October 22, 2012

It's the Man from S.K.Y.P.E. !

Melinda and The Man from Skype

My husband is a great entertainer of little people. A Pied Piper. When it comes to our Finnish grandchildren, though, most of our encounters happen on Skype. He’s an expert at Pattycake, This Little Piggie and Peek-a-Boo when we Skype. 

Darling Granddaughter #2 is 2 ½ and until last month she had only met her American grandfather once, when she was just over a year old.

Last month we visited them in Polokka Finland. When Grandpa came into the living room, Darling Granddaughter #2 looked up at him with shock and awe. “Could it be . . . . ?” she must have been thinking. 

He sat on the rug beside her, took his foot in her hand and began “This Little Piggy . ..” Her smile lit up the room and she giggled for five minutes. “It’s the funny guy from Skype! He’s real! And he’s here!” flashed over her face as she connected the image from Skype with her grandfather.

Priceless. That moment was worth the whole trip, travel hassles and all. 

The remainder of our visit was filled with This Little Piggy, Pattycake, and Peek-a-Boo. She just couldn’t get enough, and Grandpa was her preferred provider.

Darling Granddaughter #2 is a special child. She is a surviving twin of a premature birth (23 weeks 5 days gestation) and weighed in at 20 ounces at birth. She is a miracle. She faces many physical challenges, so every bit of progress she makes is miraculous in our eyes.

As if her life isn’t challenging enough, she also hears Finnish and English every day, one language from each parent. When she forms those first words we're all anxiously waiting to hear, they’ll probably be in Finnish, her mother’s tongue, and her second language will be English, her father’s native language. In the meantime, therapists are encouraging sign language. Evidently American and Finnish sign language are quite similar, which will be a great mediator.
Little Brother and the Man From Skype

Little Brother was also an active observer and participant. At ten  months, he’s happy, social, charming, and attentive. What a joy it was to be with him.

What my husband doesn’t know is that often when we Skype, he has an audience of Finns who are standing beyond video camera range. They find him highly amusing. So do I. One of the Finnish relatives has proposed a study on family relationships maintained with Skype as a project for her master’s degree. In other words, we’re going to be part of an educational study.

Never underestimate the power of “This Little Piggy.”

But I've never understood why the third little piggy had roast beef. 


Eric Bishop said...

Love this. How cool is right now, when words like "skype" become verbs that connect generations across continents? Great story.

Donna K. Weaver said...

That's sweet. We have two grandchildren living in China. Haven't seen them in person in more than 3 years. Thank heavens for Skype. At least they remember what we sound and look like.

Shaunda said...

so cute.

and good question on piggy diet!

Have you read the Three Little Pigs? Maybe the third little pig was eating roast wolf? Hmmm. maybe not.

Ann Marie Meyers said...

Love this - it just goes to show how important all generations are to everyone. All I can say is that your grandchildren are very lucky! Precious moments are ahead for them.

Pam Williams said...

Grandpas rock!