By Ray Lesser
Samson has baskets full of toys at Grandpa’s house but none of them is as interesting as his rock. Samson carries his rock around and pounds it on the floor and furniture. He sometimes carries two rocks and pounds them on each other, like drums. Outside, he finds an even bigger rock, the size of a baseball, picks it up and throws it at a bird which swiftly flies away. He laughs when it skids and clatters across the driveway, picks it up and starts to pound it against Grandpa’s car.
“Samson, stop!” says Grandpa, who has clearly lost a step in his ability to chase down one-year-olds. “Don’t you want to play with the soccer ball? This was Dada’s soccer ball.” Samson takes the ball and, before Grandpa can react, rolls it down the driveway into the street. As Grandpa does his best imitation of a run to catch up with it, Samson grabs his rock and begins to pound the car again.
Samson is very musical and he loves to play the piano. The thing he loves best about playing the piano is that as soon as no one is watching him for a minute, he can stand up on the piano bench and reach the framed photographs on top of the piano and throw them on the floor. They make a wonderful rhythmic noise as they bounce, along with the harmonic convergence of his grandparents hustling to try to stop him.
Samson likes to play the game where he runs away and Grandpa chases him, until Grandpa catches him and lifts him high up in the air. Samson likes to play this game over and over, until he finally gets tired of it. Grandpa is lying on the floor, breathing heavily. Samson is running away laughing.
Samson has a new turtle sandbox, filled with three fresh, clean fifty-pound bags of play sand that nearly gave Grandpa a hernia hauling it from the Playsand Emporium. Samson loves his new sandbox and spends the better part of the morning filling buckets with sand and then dumping them out onto the flowerbeds. Grandma’s flowers will love playing in their new play sand!
Grandpa sips on a nice cold drink while he watches Samson play. Samson comes to see what Grandpa is drinking and plunges his sandy hand into Grandpa’s glass to grab an ice cube, which he pops into his mouth and then spits it out into his hand: Here, Grandpa, you want a piece of ice?
Samson loves to play with Grandpa’s keys. “Maybe he wants to learn to drive,” suggests Grandma. All the keys are fun to look at and chew on, but the big black key with the red button is the most fun. Let’s see what happens when you push the red button. Wow, the horn starts honking over and over, and Grandma and Grandpa start yelling!
Samson doesn’t talk much yet, but he knows how to get his meaning across. He is having a great time playing with Grandpa’s transistor radio, pushing all the station changing buttons and pulling and pushing the retractable aerial in and out, while Grandpa tries his best to keep Samson from bending it in half, when the doorbell rings. “Look, it’s your Dada!” Grandpa is much more excited to see Dada than Samson is. “Show your Dada how much you missed him. Do you want to go home with Dada?”
“NO!” says Samson, slamming the door closed to keep Dada out of the house.
Samson loves playing at Grandpa’s!