Children live closer to the ground.

They all start out active life on the ground, perhaps because it is safer that way — even they can’t fall off it. Well, they do manage to fall on it though — when they are learning to walk or trying to run too fast for themselves — those bits are hilarious. But they begin by rolling over on it, crawling on it, sitting up on it, and then standing up holding on to chairs, tables, sofas and people’s legs — flashing up toothy grins as they do that. They draw and paint sitting on the ground, they play with train sets sitting on the ground, they build towers of Hanoi sitting on the ground and they do jigsaw puzzles sitting on the ground.

Till a certain time, their butts are closer to the ground than to the seat of a chair anyway. In the beginning they have to be put on highchairs by someone else, and only for eating, but as their (soft, smooth) butts get higher and higher, the balance shifts. Soon they are sitting on chairs, writing on tables.

In a few years time, the ground phase is forgotten. They may still sit on the ground occasionally — in a crowded airport, say. But that easy sitting down and getting up is gone.

It does sometimes return for a while though, when they have kids of their own, or hang out with other people’s kids. The kids force them to the ground once again, doing jigsaws and making trains go through tunnels. And perhaps it returns yet again — when there is yet another generation to play with.

It’s not only children who live closer to the ground, the people who play with them do too.

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