Our youngest grandson recently had his first birthday party. He proved to be a fine host even though he was sound asleep when his guests began to arrive.
When his dad woke him up he looked sleepily around the room. As he noticed each guest his eyes and his smile got wider. He just about burst when he spied an 18-month-old little girl who is a family friend.
He willingly let her help him open his gifts, and he watched happily as she walked around the room displaying each gift to the guests. It looked like true love might be blooming until the little girl decided to use his walker toy, which looked like a little car with a long handle. A battle ensued. Ah, well, males and their cars.
Sonny is able to walk now, but he prefers crawling on one knee and one foot. The speed he achieves when he thinks someone is chasing him to prevent his doing something is amazing.
We were baby-sitting him one day last week when he decided to tour our house. I let him go, but followed him for safety sake.
He made it through the kitchen without stopping, but the basement way slowed him down. He decided to sit down and take a closer look. I almost made a grab for him.
Years ago, when we had resident babies and toddlers here, one of Sonny’s uncles took a ride in his walker from the top of the basement steps clear down to the bottom, even making the right turn at the landing.
I raced down after him, hoping to catch him before he hit the bottom. I needn’t have bothered.
The walker flipped him out, head over heels, into a laundry basket full of clean sheets and bath towels. He lay there screaming with delight, ready to go again. I just stood there trying not to scream.
Sonny apparently decided to save the basement for another day. Just before I grabbed him, he crawled away. That was good because we no longer have baskets of clean sheets and towels at the bottom of the basement steps.
His next stop was at the bottom of the steps to the upstairs. He does that every morning at his babysitter/aunt’s home. Then he began the long climb up the steps. I followed slowly behind him so he wouldn’t fall back down.
By the time he got to the landing, seven steps up, he stretched his little body out and just lay there. Then he turned his head and saw four more steps. The look on his face clearly said, “Oh, no!” He seemed grateful and relieved when I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way up.
When we went back downstairs, he decided to continue his crawling tour of the house. As he went through the television room he spied an old remote under the lamp table. He immediately picked it up, sat himself down facing the television, and began working his thumbs to surf the channels.
Grandpa noticed what Sonny was doing, so he picked up the real remote we use. When Sonny hit a button, Grandpa did too. They both surfed quickly until Sonny thought he had found a cartoon channel. He stopped, watched the cartoon for a moment, then pushed the button to change it.
He watched again, but this time it apparently suited him because he dropped the remote, settled himself comfortably on the floor and watched the cartoon contentedly.
This just proved to me that channel surfing is an innate male characteristic. They are born with it, and able to use it as soon as they can get their hands on the remote.
In the beginning it seems they can find a program to watch. I don’t know yet at what age the channel surfing takes precedence over actually watching a whole program. But I will continue to watch our youngest grandson’s development, and I will tell you if I ever determine the answer to this universal question.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Daily Advocate Oct. 6, 2004.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.