Friday, December 12

Baby II

Anneke was born yesterday to proud parents Peter and Catherine. Bravo! Welcome to the world of sleep deprivation. Last night I watch a program on early child development and learn that new-borns, it is now believed, have a "core intelligence" or specifically, "infants begin life with innate, special-purpose knowledge systems referred to as core domains of thought." There are five crucial for survival and simultaneously prepare us to develop key aspects of early cognition; they are: physical, numerical, linguistic, psychological, and biological. Prior to this study, it was accepted by development theorists like Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Eri Erikson that we start from a clean-slate, absorbing our environment and learning directly from experience. This has been rejected by various tests including a new-borns recognition of face patterns and ability to mimic, say, a parent's tongue sticking in-and-out. Or her fear/avoidance of heights. While I don't remember any of this from my early days as a father, I do recall Eitan's thoughtful entry and slow scanning of the delivery room. He paused before screaming as though trying somehow to understand what he had gotten himself into. Madeleine, on the other hand, came barrelling out of Sonnet in a two-hour delivery. She bellowed upon arrival, of course. How interesting to consider that these characteristics remain today.

Natasha tells Madeleine she must do her Kumon before eating a candy bar (that I brought her from the US). 15 minutes later, Natasha finds Madeleine on her bed in her room, homework undone, wrappers on the floor. Madeleine bursts into tears - "I am sorry I did something bad" she wails.