He’s only 16 months old, but he looks like a little man. Part of that is his size, and part is owing to the way his mom and dad dress and care for him. He tends to be pretty serious about things, and at times doesn’t say much. There is no doubt that he takes everything in; he’s a pretty astute observer and if you show him something once he seems to process it perfectly. To a certain extent he’s a creature of habit – when he visits our office he’s already got a routine, a circuit that he travels, as if cementing his explorations. Yet he is open to and interested in learning new things.
This is what makes child development so endlessly fascinating. There are traits or characteristics that one will observe of adults whose antecedents were clearly marked at a very young age. As grandparents we tend to see these things more clearly, armed with the knowledge of what tends to change, and what tends to remain. How will a child channel these proclivities? Will he be known as someone who can entertain himself endlessly? Will he be a dreamer, a thinker, a leader, or an inventor? To think outside the box, you first need a box. This is the cherished age during which boxes are created, in which epigenetics are layered onto genetics, and during which cognition becomes embodied in little men like Ethan.