Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nature Versus Nurture

Scientists and psychologists have long debated nature versus nurture. Are we born with our personality traits or do we learn them from our environment? Little King David has finally answered that question for all of us.

First of all, I need to tell you that Mommy and Daddy adhere to certain rules regarding sharing. Neither of us can eat the last cookie, use the last piece of toilet paper, drink the last glass of milk, use the last of the salt, or take the last sip of coffee from the pot on Saturday morning. If we get Chinese food and there is an uneven number of fried dumplings, the last dumpling will never be touched. It’s just the way it is.

One might conclude that this pattern has evolved over time. If you consider that we’ve lived together for over eight years, it’s reasonable to assume that we each brought different customs and practices to the relationship and over time we have created our own home culture. Our customs include sharing everything and never taking the last of something in a vain attempt to always be considerate of the other person.

It seems that David is assimilating to our customs.

He proved this to me the other day when he decided to share his snacks with me. Actually, he didn’t decide to share them with me as much as I used it as a diversion to convince him that he was not finished with the grapes and cheese that I spent ten minutes chopping up for him and that he needed to eat more than two bites after all the work I did!

We chatted as he fed me:

David: gestures with hands, “All Done!”

Mommy: “You can’t be done already! You only ate a couple grapes and Mommy spent so much time chopping them up for you!”

David: gestures with hands, “All Done!”

Mommy: “Do you want to feed Mommy?”

David: nods head, “Yes! Yes!”

Mommy: “Give Mommy a grape”

David: gently places a grape in Mommy’s mouth

Mommy: “Mmmm! That’s yummy!! Do you want a grape?”

David: nods head, “Yes! Yes!” and eats a grape

Mommy: “Give Mommy a grape”

David: gently places a grape in Mommy’s mouth

Mommy: “Mmmm! That’s yummy!! Do you want a grape?”

David: nods head, “Yes! Yes!” and eats a grape

David: realizes that he ate the last grape. He promptly spits it out, half chewed, and places it in Mommy’s mouth.

David: gestures with hands, “All Done!”


Evidently, the rules have evolved.

You may not eat the last grape, even if you have already chewed it.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Wow. What a generous boy. *ahem* Yeah, generous.