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Rearing Adults-When Does a Human Begin to Learn? #IAN1#SampleSunday

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 A rough draft from "The Natural Parent"


How Much Do They Really Know?

    It was December 1983; I was sitting on the edge of the bed in the bedroom of my mother's house looking into the face of my first born daughter.  She had arrived nearly two months premature, and I'd waited six long miserable weeks to get her home, and now there she lay. Her tiny, sixteen inch body weighing in at four pounds, twelve ounces , released tiny wisps of air as she slept quietly in my arms.
     She was so much like a doll I couldn't believe she was real. Nothing moved. She was so motionless, I thought maybe I had done something to break her while releasing her from the blankets. And then she did it. This movement from such a tiny being changed my way of thinking, forever.  She lifted one of her little arms, moved her tiny bony fingers towards her head, and scratched a spot near her temple. I was like, “Oh my God, I didn't know they could do that.” 
     In all of my life it never dawned on me that a baby so young and so tiny would know when their head itched, let alone when or how to scratch the itch. It was like a light was turned on. I had already been a childcare provider for nearly ten years and witnessed the intellectual development of many babies. It could have been the fact they had been older, but I really just never thought of infants in the remotest way as self thinking individuals. Just the concept of the idea, a baby could really think to scratch made me wonder how much a newborn infant really knows. 
     My life was totally changed. From then on I watched every movement my little girl made and took note. When I returned to work I was no longer just a child care provider I was now a student of human nature. I had a new respect for children and God. I was amazed at them and awed with her. In her first days of life I was warned she would be physically and mentally delayed. What an ever lasting joke, she made of those statements. Karra has been, and will remain in my mind, a genius. She was talking in full understandable (off the chart)sentences by the age of 18 months, had a firm grasp on the basic educational foundation, and could read 9th grade level in first grade. Has she ever stopped talking? No, she talks in her sleep.
     Years have passed and yet I am constantly flabbergasted by the intelligence hidden in the depths of the eyes of a baby. They are like blank slates born to be interrogated. For my own children I have always thought of them as older than the day they were born and treated them as such. I believe that a child whether born at six, seven, or nine months gestation are not the one minute old individual thrust into the cold bright lights of the delivery room, but are in fact, the six, seven, nine month and one minute old little human they opened there eyes to be.
      I often wonder how much knowledge God and the angels gave to the child before He let them come to us and just how much do they remember.  And when they are laughing at the ceiling, are they and the angels laughing at us when we can't understand the cooing and gooing of their conversation? Sometimes as I watch the infants in my home based childcare center I feel as if I can almost hear what the children are thinking. I look into their eyes as I hold them and ask them what they want, offer a choice and can read the yes or no they give in response. It’s so amazing. After the awakening of seeing my minuscule daughter scratch her tiny head I have never treated a baby as a mindless, person just because they couldn't control their body movements or functions. Sometimes I feel like a 'baby whisperer' and my mind is controlled by the question or answer I see in their eyes.
      How magnificent and intelligent God made these youngest of humans. For a long time I treated children as if they knew nothing until I accepted the fact, if God could give the intuition of survival to the smallest animal/creature why couldn’t He do the same for an infant. I’m not saying they can do everything on their own, but I do believe if we as adults, paid my attention to their reactions we could learn exactly what they are trying to tell us.  If I have learned nothing else in life I have learned that all life is valuable and teachable. And that in the main scheme of things we should remember our children will not grow up to be babies, but to be adults.

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