Having grown up at a time when we had but one television station, this Poppy learns something new every day from the 4- and 7-year-old set. I watched my grandson Jackson's viewing habits for a few days and felt confident suggesting we play Power Rangers when his attention began to wane.
“Which Power Rangers, Poppy?” he asked.
Sensing my bewilderment, he enlightened me that there are several kinds. “Wanna play Dino Thunder Power Rangers or Jungle Fury Power Rangers or Super Samurai Power Rangers?” he asked.
“Well, what's your favorite?” I countered, wondering for the good old days with just one Roy Rogers or Lone Ranger.
“I like Super Samurai, but which ranger do you want to be?”
I had no idea that each set of Power Rangers had a set of colored uniforms the rangers wore. When Jackson told me the choices, I said, “I'll be the red ranger.”
“No, Poppy,” he replied. “The rojo ranger is my favorite so I'll be him.” Rojo, I wondered. I'm missing something. Jack sensed this.
“Rojo means red in Spanish. We learned it in school,” he explained.
Not bad, I thought, since he's just in preschool. And here I thought they were stacking blocks.
With the cast of characters delineated and the colors explained, it was then I decided that I shouldn't be a Power Ranger at all, but instead assume the role of a “nylock.” The nylocks are the bad guys from the underworld the Power Rangers fight. And so the battle commenced. Each of my moves was duly disqualified by the rules governing such battles; rules known only by a 4-year-old. After being sufficiently vanquished, I checked on my granddaughter, who had been conspicuously silent during the mock warfare.
When I approached the computer room, Abigail was working out new dance routines to the latest Justin Bieber songs on YouTube. As I watched her orchestrated gyrations pretty much keeping time with the music, I was impressed. Before I could tell her, though, the door was unceremoniously shut in my face and her little voice came from the other side. “I'm not ready for you to see me, Poppa,” she shouted.
Before I could counter with an argument, I thought of all those after-school hours I put in pining over Annette and Justine on “American Bandstand” and decided Abby needed her space. When she had worked her routine to her liking, Jackson and I were treated to a one-woman show of grand scope and marginal intricacy.
In the process, Abby taught me something I didn't know. I, too, could use YouTube to find and listen to music more to my liking than Justin Bieber. When the kids settled down with their drinks and snacks, I plied my newfound knowledge to conjure up a little Jimmy Buffett music. Jackson interrupted my reverie as he came into the computer room with his Oreos and iced tea.
“Poppy, that's old people music,” he reminded me. “You're weird.”
Yes, Jackson, I suppose I am weird; just as you will be weird way down the road when you baby sit your grandkids. And if you're anything like me, you'll love every minute of being weird.