Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Grandson, Age 14-20 Months

My 1st grandson, Sam, was born July 2014 in Zagreb Croatia. He and his parents came back to Louisville in July 2015. His parents went back to teaching elementary school in JCPS. For 6 weeks starting in September, I babysat Sam 1 day/week. It was fun, but a long day, what with driving to Louisville and back.

During that period, he seemed to be really into pushing buttons to make things happen. He was particularly fascinated by the water fountain at the library. It had large buttons on 3 sides, push any 1, out comes the water! What fun! I couldn't help thinking, well, I guess we know that the main survival skill for his generation is!

He wasn't much into building, but, anytime I made a tower of russian doll blocks, he would pause with a gleam in his eye before going all-out Godzilla on it. His mother says he's now starting to get into building things.

The 3rd week of March I got to spend 5 days with him and his mom in Florida. His playing skills were greatly improved. He totally got that you put the Fisher Price people into the cars, chairs, merry-go-rounds, etc.

One day we went to the beach. The Gulf was calm as usual, 6-12 inch waves. He loved it. There was a girl maybe 4 YO and her brother maybe 6 YO who were playing near him. The boy would kick at the waves coming in, and Sam decided that that was the ticket. He got full on belligerent with the waves. He would bend over swish his hands back and forth in the water - clearly saying, "take that, ocean". Another wave would come in and hit him and he would squeal with excitement.

It was really interesting, there was no fear, just total excitement. I figured he maybe got a double dose of adrenaline junkie genes, from his maternal grandmother and his dad both. But my daughter-in-law, the mother of my 5 YO granddaughter Lucy, said that Lucy was similarly fearless up until about 2-1/2 YO.

Last week one of my daughter's oldest friends was in from Philadelphia to help her mom move, and she brought her 16 month old son with her. We had them over for salmon on the grill. It was great seeing him and Sam play together, and it was notable how he seemed to mimic Sam's behavior heavily.

Sam shows the same behavior: if he sees a bigger boy doing something, he's going to try it. It made me wonder: is this all that defines alpha males? The algorithm, "copy the behavior of the biggest boy around", makes a lot of sense. The biggest boy is likely the oldest and most experienced. Copying his behavior seems like one of those "good enough" adaptions that evolution comes up with.

I had thought that a lot more went into defining what makes an alpha male. But, maybe it is just that they are the biggest?

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