December 17, 2014
Baby brains are freaking freaky. They absorb and process more information than ours could ever hope to. You’re trying to utilize Rosetta Stone to learn a second language and it’s just too difficult. Babies are processing language cues constantly. How many bilingual kids do you know that make you look like a moron? When I was doing research in Prague there was a four-year old girl named Zuzanka who would laugh hysterically because I could not say the word “čtyři” properly. That’s the Czech word for four. Are you smarter than a 4th grader?
According to Dr. Frederick Wirth, author of Prenatal Parenting (2001), “At birth the human brain weighs only 25 percent of its eventual adult weight… An infant brain’s metabolic rate during his first two years is three times that of an adult.” Basically, baby brains are hyper-active sponges organizing every possible bit of data and building the brain around that data.
I love watching Cozy’s neurological development. The first time she recognized my face and then the first time that she recognized my face and smiled. The first time she grabbed her mother’s hair. The first time she realized she could see more if she raised her head. The first time she figured out that if she opened her mouth, a spoonful of pureed banana would come in (and that if she closed her mouth, green beans would not). I think she’s just a few days away from speaking complete sentences.
Obviously, my daughter is in the top 1 percent of all babies that have ever existed. She makes those Baby Einstein posers look like knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers. I can see her at Cambridge busting Stephen Hawking’s balls. We’re at the grocery store and she is studying the layout of the shelves while the other babies are just drooling. (Of course she will be raised to not devalue the other 99 percent of drooling babies, but somebody’s gotta take the lead.)
Today is her 4 month birthday. I can’t believe I’ve been staring at her bright eyes for 4 months. We began the day by watching Obama’s press conference about opening relations with Cuba (She approves). Later we worked a bit on learning ASL. Sign language is the second language skill I wish I had so it’s fun to learn it with her. The sign for “milk” is almost as awesome as the sign for “milkshake.” (Look it up.)
She also learned an important lesson today. You can’t laugh and cry at the same time. I interrupted a crying jag by blowing belly farts on her tummy and I could see the wheels spinning as she tried to laugh and cry simultaneously. #Fail. She also learned today that if she sticks her finger in Daddy’s ear, she might pull out something sticky. I also leaned that lesson.
It’s so cool to watch her synapses connect thought and action. She can already hold the bottle by herself (freeing dad to blog) and when she does Bridge (as we call it in yoga), it’s time for her diaper to go bye-bye. She is still having some confusion about the dream state and the waking state. That’s a fun one in the morning.
Of course the gender imprinting is happening as well. Every day I wonder what I would do differently if she was a he. And then I let her cry just a little bit longer. Just a little bit. I recognize that biology and hormones may play a role, but it’s never to soon to discuss quantum physics with baby girls. Stephen Hawking’s balls await.