Still Waiting

Another long gap without any updates. Maybe this time I’ll actually start updating regularly.

We’re still waiting for our son to be born. He’s now more than a week overdue and Kathy is getting very tired of being pregnant. We keep talking to him, letting him know that as comfortable as he may be in there, there’s a great fascinating world of wonder out here for him to explore and learn about, but It seems he’s being stubborn (like his mom).

The interesting thing is that both of us fully expected him to be late, but are still having trouble dealing with it. I guess you just can’t completely psyche yourself up for a baby to be late, because you still have to be prepared in case the little guy shows up early. He’ll be here soon enough and I’m certain we’ll look back on these quiet, relaxing days of waiting with a certain fondness.

Among the huge stack of pregnancy, birth, and baby books we’ve managed to accumulate over the last ten months or so, a couple really stand out. The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn by Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff, and Patricia Kuel, and What’s Going On in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot are a step above the typical “how-to” style books. They make a nice pair; The Scientist in the Crib could easily be an extended introduction to What’s Going On in There?. Both books discuss fetal and early childhood development from a truly scientific perspective, relating developmental milestones and fetal and childhood behavior to corresponding neurological growth. Because the authors base their writings on sound scientific research, the books avoid many of the overly simplistic notions that seem to be bandied about parenting magazines and talk shows these days–there’s no “make your child a genius by playing Mozart for them in the womb” marketing mumbo-jumbo. (The study that led to that likely fallacy actually involved teaching young children how to play Mozart on the piano; somehow, that got translated to playing Mozart for fetuses…) The authors do have suggestions for how to raise a happier, smarter child, including common sense notions such as talking with and making eye contact with your child from day one, holding and comforting your child often, playing with your child. While these ideas are hardly radical, the science behind why they are effective is truly fascinating. I can’t wait for our own little scientist to enter the world!