One of the most frequent comments in our house has lately been “Man undrar vad som händer i det där lilla huvudet” (“One wonders what is going on in that little head”) – along with such parental staples as “She is so cute” and “She’s a silly little thing”, of course. Because I really can’t help but wonder.
How well does she see? How far, how fast, how sharp? Can she see the cars driving by in the street when we’re out walking, or does that happen too fast?
Does she remember places? Does she recognise the house or the yard?
Does she recognise the play mat when she sees it from a distance, when I’m carrying her?
Does she remember sequences? Does she understand that sitting in the pushchair means that we’re going out, and that stomach medicine is followed by feeding? Would she understand that certain words precede certain events? Is she as teachable as a puppy? More? Less?
Does she recognize the toy that she last played with a month ago? Does she recognise the lullabies she hears at night?
Does she have intentions? Does she grab at a toy in order to put it in her mouth, or does she grab it because her hand happens to touch it, and only stuffs it in her mouth because that’s what one does with things held in the hand? Does all the kicking and leg-waving happen because she wants to move her legs, or do the legs move on their own? Does she splash in the bath water because she likes the sound or the sensation, or does it just happen?
Does she “talk” with intention? Does she cry because she has a problem, or because she wants us to fix the problem?
How does she know that pulling her facial muscles like this makes a smile? How does she know how to make the expression on her face kind of match the one on mine?
Why does rocking calm her?
The Internet was no help at all with this topic (except for one really interesting article about baby vision) so to slake my curiosity we have now bought a book (Lise Eliot’s aptly-titled What’s going on in there?) which will hopefully answer some of these questions. The author seems to have asked herself very similar questions, and being a neuroscientist, she set out to answer them. Looks very promising!