Waltie Cronkite at 6 Months

Waltie Cronkite at 6 Months
Waltie Cronkite at 6 Months | Source

Reporting from a frame and clapboard bungalow on an elm-shaded street in a quiet residential section of St. Joseph, Missouri — Isn’t this cheerful little guy just the spitting image of his father, local dentist Walter Leland Cronkite, Sr.? He is certainly a chip off the old block. (Now, there’s a cute name: why wasn’t he named Chip Cronkite? Oh, well, guess Dad wanted a namesake.) I think I can also see a glimmer of the Old World Dutch ancestry of the Krankheyt clan in the dimply grin and glistening animated eyes passed along to this wee boy. He’s even got a fuzzy baby version of Great Grandpop Krankheyt’s military moustache!

It’s no surprise to see Little Waltie discovering his toes, happily ensconced atop the world map throw knitted for him by his aging Great Auntie Noretta. He is quite inquisitive and curious for a near newborn. Since birth, the child has been fascinated with both this colorful (and geographically accurate) plush blanket and the large inflated globe mobile that dangles above his crib. He will spin and twirl that sphere endlessly, and — as ludicrous as it might sound — the precocious and perceptive youngster actually seems to be taking note of the topographical features and the various place names imprinted upon it!

Wee Waltie loves baths even more than most little ones. He will splash contentedly for hours in the tub, swirling his collection of tiny sailboats round and round and round. He also seems quite fond of the miniature Commodore’s cap given him by a neighborhood babysitter. Once he’s finally out of his late afternoon bath and thoroughly dried off, out come the boxes upon boxes of toy race cars. All the energy that was earlier expended on swirling sailboats is quickly relayed to the rolling race cars, darting over rugs and under furniture, between adult legs and over the cat’s tail. I’ve never seen a boy below the age of 5 or 6 that was so thoroughly taken by sailboats and race cars!

There almost nothing that can distract Little WLC, Jr. from his map and globe and sailboats and race cars. That is, except for curly-haired Bitty Betsy Maxwell, the cute little 16-month-old from down the block. The two infants are most content to spend hour upon hour circulating the park in parallel parent-propelled prams, googling and gurgling in what sounds surprisingly like babyish conversation.

It is, after all, very, very unusual for a 6-month-old like Young Walter to be speaking at all, let alone being so extremely and incessantly loquacious. One can hardly get the infant to stop making sounds! And, my, does he love an audience! For some inexplicable reason, the happy little boy seems to jabber most each early weekday evening around dinner time! It is almost as if he expects the gathered family members to set down their knives and forks and push back from their fried chicken, green beans and scalloped potatoes, to listen to his latest considered pronouncements on the happenings if his day.

I predict big things for our unusual Little Waltie!

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