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Catching Up Post IV

September 8, 2011

7/4/10 “What Does a Baby Know?” is a recurring theme of this blog. A baby’s communication skills are so limited it’s hard to tell, so sometimes we think “a lot.” Other times, not so much.

When at nine months Jane first started to walk with assistance, I thought, “now I’ll see where she wants to go, where she’ll go when it’s up to her,” and it turns out she wants to walk from one end of the room to the other and back again. There is no “where to”.  Walking was an end in itself. No destination needed.

–Like an animal, there is no why, there just is or is not.

When Jane started babbling, there was a remarkable sensation when you listened casually, inattentively, that she was speaking English. But if you tuned in and listened for real, it was just babble. She babbled in English.

The nanny said, “she knows what she’s saying.” The daycare workers said, “Oh yeah, she’s talking, she just can’t form the words properly.” But when she finally started to use real words, the rich and fluent babble-speak became “dog, ball; ball, dog.”

So a heavily accented “well, most assuredly, if you accept the Platonic view that the pink pony I want from Santa is merely my individual conception of an ideal pony that already exists in the ether” is now “ball, dog” simply because balls and dogs are more interesting than ponies today?

I have my doubts.

From → Jane

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