Nurture Or Nature?

The debate has gone on for years and still continues. Are we more shaped by our DNA or our environment? I always believed it was most likely a 50-50 combination of both. But after yesterday, I’m not so sure. Yesterday, my daughter, Chenoa (Iroquois for White Dove), took her daughter, Audriana (Olde English synonym for Kali the Destroyer) to Wal-Mart. Among the purchases, Chenoa got Audriana a new backpack.

I affectionately call Audriana, the Thief of Bagdad, because she’s always grabbing something and running away with it like it’s a bag of money. If you’re in the bathroom, she runs off with the toilet paper. If you’re dressing, she grabs a shoe and bolts to the other end of the house. She’s been doing this snatch and grab thing since she discovered her hands at the ends of her arms. As an infant, you couldn’t wear any jewelry near her because she could yank off a necklace or rip out earrings faster than you could imagine. [expand]

It made me wonder; there are developmental markers that science uses to measure whether or not a child is developing normally; first words by age 12 months, first steps by 14 months, etc. So, do you think there are developmental markers for future lawbreakers? First snatch and grab; 6 months. First grab and crawl; 9 months. First break into Grandmother’s jewelry box; 12 months. First undetected snatch and grab; 14 months.

Audri’s become particularly adept at the undetected snatch and grab. At first it bothered me a lot. But now I know, if something’s missing from a drawer, or a handbag, or locked safe, there’s a good chance I didn’t misplace it and lose it due to memory loss from advancing age. It’s likely that Light Fingered Louie got to it and I will eventually find it in her stash places—behind the couch or under the TV, behind the VCR.

So, as I mentioned earlier, my daughter bought Audri a new backpack. Audri chose it herself by yanking it off the shelf and shrieking when her mother tried to take it from her. That’s how Audri makes a lot of her purchase selections. It’s a little primitive right now, but I anticipate that when she’s older, she’ll use the same technique with her boyfriends but the shrieking will be replaced with smoldering looks that promise and never deliver.

As I was admiring the new backpack, I unzipped it. There was a knit headband inside with the price tag still on it. I looked at my daughter and she said, “Oh my God, I didn’t buy that! She must have grabbed it and put it in there!”

Yes, she did. She did it five times. Five new, tags on, very nice knit headbands, all neatly secured in her new backpack. My daughter was horrified. “No sense in trying to return them,” I said, “who’s going to believe the old, ‘my kid put it in her backpack unbeknownst to me’ story?”

I say, let’s look at the bright side, in the predicted post apocalyptic world, she will be the girl to know…

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