A grandson spins his way through life

When you're 2-1/2 years old and there are wheels everywhere, what is a fellow supposed to do? For this particular grandson, the answer is simple: Leave no wheel unturned.

"Car!" he says. It's in the driveway without ignition key. He begins with the steering wheel, swinging it as far and fast as possible for someone standing on the seat and grinning. May I call him Paul Newman for the actor who races autos when he isn't making salad dressing?

Soon Paul is steering with one hand while pressing everything pressable with the other. Was that actually a big right toe activating the big red emergency flasher? Must be some mistake. Or am I contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

Has the driver's seat ever been in a reclining position before? I knew its electronic controls could adjust to a new driver when the driver door was opened. But it was closed. Did I know its controls would work with the passenger door open? What a beatific smile on the face of the operator.

" 'Troller!" Yes, the stroller is available. Clambering into the seat without help. Decisive finger-pointing when asked for directions. Outstretched hand wagging for more speed, a signal evidently learned from his 5-year-old sister. Will I discover she's taught him to ask for their dad's "stroller wheelies" too?

"Out!" No more riding. Now pushing. Not on too-high handles but on lower crossbar. Remarkable steering, but not perfect. No helpers need apply. Restriction overridden to avoid poison ivy or collisions with living things. Pushing energy apparently inexhaustible.

"Bike!" Paul Newman would like to climb on my bicycle, too. Not yet.

He can't push the lawn mower quite hard enough to cut the grass, but he examines the mechanism carefully. Back indoors, he runs toy rolling stock through a forest of chair legs, table legs, and human legs.

What happens when there are no more wheels to conquer?

"T'uck book!" It took prescience to have given him that volume of large stiff pages covered with detailed pictures of large vehicles. He joyfully points to one or another in response to questions. Me! For some reason he places himself in the red delivery truck.

Going through the book forward and backward about three times is usually enough.

I ramble on not for grandson aggrandizement but because anecdotal evidence says this Paul Newman is not the only member of his generation who's always ready to roll.

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