Entry: Manner of Attention Friday, January 13, 2006



It is a commonly held belief, if not precisely articulated, that babies are wise that they have an accute understanding of fundamental truths which we have spent our lives overlooking. Babies just stare at us, unashamedly observing everything we do. They do it without apology, and they do it through something so comfortingly human that one discounts cold calculation immediately: drool. It's hard to feel you're being criticized by someone whose face and hands are dripping with spit.

And when we stare directly back, the baby never seems to mind enough to quit. Watching with large eyes and keeping its own silent counsel. Yeah, Interested Party, I can see why it is that babies may seem, to the layman, like they've got secret understanding on tap.

Rest assured, my Interested Party, babies ain't wise. I mean, it's easy enough to forget babies are folks who, with the addition yet unformed legions of neural pathways, advance to the point where they will try operating a doorknob with their forehead while running as fast as they can. However, let Yours Truly remind you, they're people who must practice for at least year just to contribute to a conversation by shrieking "Nononono!" and "Cooook-ie!".

Wise, my ass. Says a lot about us humans though, doesn't it? We human critters are gooooood at filling in the blanks. If you have a baby, you interact with him or her. Take my word for it, Interested Party. And they leave a lot of blank spots in their socialization. A baby will not, for example, say, "Hey guys, hold that thought while I go somewhere else and take a shit. But just as soon as I wipe my own ass, I'll be back."

There are a lot of things babies don't bring to a social situation. But one thing they do bring is attention. Acres and acres of raw, unabashed, non-critical attention. And one thing other people like is to be paid attention to. It's a perfect match.

Anyway, I expect this gorgeous kid of mine is likely to pick up some of my more endearing habits. He's already a flirt whose taste is developing right along. Some of this is natural apptitude, however, not simply learned behavior. He seems to be sorting out how to make his dimples work in his favor and I, personally, am fresh out of dimples.

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January 17, 2006   09:49 AM PST
 
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Jefferson
January 16, 2006   04:09 PM PST
 
Babies AREN'T smarter versions of ourselves. Everyone just thinks they are.


Now, more CHARMING versions... maybe.
chick
January 15, 2006   09:26 PM PST
 
Good to see you back and ain't babies just grand? Teehee.
plh
January 14, 2006   09:10 AM PST
 
babies are only smaller smarter versions of ourselves, that have decided to keep their mouths shut ;)
Daveman
January 13, 2006   09:35 PM PST
 
Ya see! That proves my point. In many of our arguments, my Grandson (1yr old) has often debated how much more intelligent babies are than adults.

Sure he has some working knowledge of the quantum dynamic and how the time/space continuum operates in flux with relative quark sequencing - but that doesn't prove babies are smarter than we adults.

He says "Arguable oorp gloob awk gnup" which means, "Time variables are always in constant flow toward an infinite wherefore reversal of the time unit can not be retrogressed in backward motion."

HAH! The inferior mind of babies fails to take into account the inconsistent drift in multiversal dynamics as per diem of the quasar registers very well prove. Quarks are comprised of matter and antimatter which can be shifted in polar activity - HENCE - reverse time flow can be achieved with a large enough ....

HEY! I see a pretty red light. Pretty light.

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