Although I wouldn't necessarily characterize Grandma as being silly, she could certainly make us laugh. She got a kick out of singing old jingles and teaching us phrases from her childhood. I remember sitting on the kitchen countertop, eating cookie dough batter from the bowl, watching her make chocolate chip cookies. As I sat there--soonly on my way to getting a sugar induced tummy ache--she'd sing, Buy me a package of Beeman's Pepsin chewing gum, please!
(Until I Googled it just now, I actually thought the words were Beam and Pepsin.)
She'd sing the Coca-Cola jingle. Sing hymns. Sing songs that sounded like nonsense until we were old enough to learn the real words.
Mares eat oats and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?
If something was outrageous, she'd say, Oh, brother on ice! or Oh, my achin' back! She was rarely sincerely irritated when she said these things unless she was referring to weeds, dogs, or deciduous trees. She had plenty of complaints about those things. But toward us? No. She'd say these funny little phrases to make us laugh.
My grandma taught my sister a nursery rhyme she had learned in grade school. I'm pretty sure I never heard it, but my sister heard it often enough to remember it. While Andrea was home this past week, she taught the rhyme to my girls.
And now they know it.
Here's Sydney: (35 seconds)
And not to be outdone, here's Jules with a mostly accurate (and perhaps slightly more adorable) version: (40 seconds)
Even though my sister recites these poems and phrases pretty regularly, for some reason I don't. Some of the songs I don't even remember until I hear my sister sing them. However, there is one word (or rather, two words) that will be part of my vocabulary for as long as I live:
It's what Norwegian's say as a kind of exclamatory oopsy daisy except it's much more versatile. According to Wikipedia, it's used predominantly by people from Minnesota and North Dakota. Wouldn't you know it. My grandma was born in Minnesota and lived her childhood in North Dakota. Of course she'd say uff da.
I'll always say uff da, and I'm guessing my girls--who are only a quarter Norwegian--will also always say uff da. It's a fabulous little linguistic gift passed down from my Norwegian grandma born in Minnesota and raised in North Dakota.
(She's the sweet girl holding the kitty.)
I love you and miss you, Grams. Always.