[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] Honestly....

When I was in hospital with my first baby I was sitting on my bed one
morning holding my new daughter and singing her a song, engrossed in how
intently she was watching me. As I sang, a nurse entered the room and
Natalie immediately swung her head round to look at her. The nurse was
stunned, saying she had never seen such a young baby (a few days old) do

About 7-8 weeks later at my new mums group the maternal health nurse
commented on the way that Natalie (being held on my lap) was watching
and smiling at the baby on the Mum's lap next to me. "She's going to be
a bright one, that one!" she 'warned' me.

Being my first baby, I didn't recognise any of these actions as unusual
and thought this must be what all babies do, but the maternity nurses
who had seen hundreds of babies thought it was very unusual. Perhaps
Martin, it was those very early (within hours) intense interactions of
talking, singing and reading to her that 'summoned' her to expect others
to be interesting to interact with too? But don't all new parents do
this? (Well perhaps not the reading! - That was the luck of this child
to have two primary school teachers as parents!)


----- Original Message -----
From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 8:13 am
Subject: Re: [xmca] Honestly....
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> Andy,
> Thanks for the Levontin, which I will read with pleasure. But on 
> this issue I'm drawing more on my own experience than what I read 
> in books. After I finished my undergraduate degree I didn't want to 
> get a PhD, so I looked for work around London and managed to get a 
> research job that involved conducting observations of neonatal 
> behavior at birth and an assessment (designed by pediatrician Berry 
> Brazelton) of their capabilities during the first weeks of life (we 
> repeated it at intervals from about 3 hours to 6 weeks of age). I 
> am attaching a photo I took of one of our research participants to 
> illustrate why I think it's not quite right to say that children 
> must 'acquire' the tendency to engage in interaction. To talk of 
> the child being 'summoned' to interaction works better for me, and 
> obviously children need to be drawn out (but 'trained'? Not so sure 
> about that!). I forget the exact age of this child, but he was 
> about 3 days old. My students are always surprised to see how 
> attentive and intent such a young baby can be.
> Martin
xmca mailing list