It occurred to me recently that watching a child grow up is like watching the evolution of the modern homo sapiens. With every developmental jump, every few months, you can imagine the primate for whom this was cutting edge, genius-level hoodoo.
And then a few months later the upgrade kicks in an there’s a whole new monkey in town.
I realize apes would be a more accurate allusion than monkeys. But say “ape” then say “monkey.” Monkey’s funnier. Monkey’s what I’m using.
But so evolution. I’d heard a report somewhere that teen pregnancy is down lately. Percolating on human development and natural selection and teens getting knocked up led to another realization: it makes perfect sense that we’re biologically able to reproduce right after puberty. If you had a kid at 14 or 15 you’d stand a chance in hell of keeping up with the little dynamo.
Dang, by the time the kid started sleeping through the night and playing on their own you’d be in your twenties with a decade before joint pain was a constant and plenty of brain cells still left to kill.
But so keeping up with the little guy – Sweet Shatner in the Morning, somewhere around 3.5 some sort of calorie furnice kicked into overdrive. Time was, 45 minutes in the pool at the Y and we’d be working to keep him awake on the 10 minute walk home. But now, we’re splashing around for over an hour come home for lunch, then go romp in the lake for another couple hours and the dude’s still winding down 10-20 minutes after his usual bed time.
It boggles the mind (and ruins the knees).
I may have cracked the code, though. The secret, I found, lies in the 3rd dimension, the Y axis.
We went to a giant indoor park with – no exaggeration – a six-story climbing structure (all padded and enclosed and safe), with ramps and slides and tunnels and all the mod-cons of the finest in upscale hamster habitrail. In three hours, the dude stopped moving twice for water breaks.
He fell asleep at the dinner table with toast in his mouth.
Running around and splashing about, you really only stay on a single plane. But you start getting vertical, then you’ve got something.
Get vertical papas, get vertical.