When I was a young child my grandfather would pick me up, put me on his knee, bounce me up and down, and sing, “Cross eyed baby on each knee and a wife with a wart on her nose, on her nose, and a wife with a wart on her nose.” I would laugh, savor the moment, and beg for more. Grandpa used this little activity with all his grandchildren and it was a great way for him to bond with us and let us know we were important and that he loved us.
When my children were young I sang this little ditty to them and now to my grandchildren. They react the same way I did when I was their age. I also notice that I benefit just as much, if not more from this activity than they do. Singing this simple song while bouncing them on my knees creates a similar bonding moment that I felt with my grandfather. Today I recognize that the simple things in life are some of my favorite memories and bonding relationships with my family.
My grandfather sang this song in a fun way to interact, create smiles, and enjoy quality time together. My grandfather had a beautiful voice with which I was not blessed but it doesn’t matter because I still experience the same smiles, laughter, and positive feelings when I sing this song to my family.
Whenever I put a child on my knees, bounce them, and sing, “Cross eyed baby, …” I recall the happy times I had on my Grandfather’s knees. At these precious moments I still feel his love, I hear his voice, and I remember the time he spent with me. I remember his example of family togetherness, fun, kindness, and the appreciation he had for his family. He helped me learn to love and respect my family, others, and myself. This family tradition has been a great resiliency tool for me to share with my family and watch my grandchildren’s eyes when I bounce them on my knee
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