I have two grandsons now. They’re brothers.
In certain ways they are already different. One is 25 months older than the other. The younger one has longer legs, a longer nose and a larger forehead. The older one was born in a hospital so he had to deal with much more post-traumatic birth stress than his little brother who was born at home.
The younger brother met a lot of his relatives the same day he was born. The older brother had to wait to go home before he could meet everybody in person. The baby’s California grandparents spoke with him by Face Time on iPad Minis. Actually, his parents borrowed his brother’s iPad Mini so they could see the new brother for about five minutes while he was having a diaper change. His California grandfather was the first to notice the long legs.
The older brother has a lot of experience in decision-making. He does it all the time and has certain areas of expertise. He doesn’t much care for peas in his fried rice, he knows how to do most of the car puzzles on PBS kids, but he’s having some trouble lining up bunches of grapes or bananas from smallest-to-largest and from largest-down-to-smallest. So he quits sometimes and moves on to something else that he knows he can do like popping all the purple balloons, or orange balloons, or green balloons before they float off the screen. But he goes back to smallest to largest because he likes challenges, just not frustration.
I brought some of the older brother’s toys and games he had outgrown. A doorbell with a door, with a mail slot. A roof with a water spout that sings “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” when you send a little round ball down the chute. A wheel that you can turn to make a daytime song play or a nighttime song. This was like a year in review for the older brother. He conquered this material a long time ago. And after a while it got boring. So boring that the older brother started to wonder what’s happening with Elmo on the iPad. And he announced to his grandmother that he (He refers to himself in the third person now, exactly like Elmo does when he talks to people about himself.) was going to go check on Mommy and Daddy and Henry.
There was not much happening with those three since they were pretty tired after the big morning they had. Everybody was asleep except his grandmother who may not be as fast of a runner as he is but she asks some perplexing questions about his opinion of pink cake pops.
So the older brother is considering whether or not to go home with her, he has his own room at her house too. But he eventually decides that it’s too cold for the beach anyway and he has to keep an eye on his younger brother at least until he gets to know him better.
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