Friday, March 21, 2014

The Development of a Brain, Hanson-Style

Have you ever really sat down and thought about your brain? Or, if not your brain, some other human's brain? Our brains are pretty amazing things. They can, you know, remember stuff, and figure stuff out, and, um, you know, other stuff. No, really, the human brain is the most amazing thing here on God's green Earth, as far as I am concerned. Our brains have a seemingly limitless capacity to store information, and learn new things, and solve problems, and retrieve memories you haven't thought about in 20 years or more. It's pretty wild!

My own brain has the innate ability to remember pretty much every song from the 1980s and who sang it, but can't remember to eat the tub of imitation crab meat in the fridge, despite the Wife reminding me every night for the past two weeks. What's that all about?
Is it weird that, whenever I see a picture of a brain, I get a craving for morel mushrooms...?

Being the owner of three small- to medium-sized children, I have had the great opportunity to watch three very different brains develop in three very different ways over the past 5 years. Our oldest, the Girl, seemed brilliant straight out of the womb, at least in my eyes. Particularly when it came to her speech. I remember going to one of her scheduled doctor visits -she must have been about a year old or so- when the Dr. told us she should be able to speak about 20 words. When we went home and counted all the words she could say, we got well over 200, which of course made me declare we had a Super Baby on our hands.

It also made me think that all of our kids' brains would be like that. Apparently, it doesn't work that way. Who knew that all of our kids would be totally different from each other? What a crazy concept! Both the Boy and the Little One have been more in the "normal" range when it came to their verbal skills.

In fact, the Little One's brain is just now in the process of becoming more fluent in the English language. The good thing is that she has a gameplan on how to become a better talker. She developed this plan all by herself, which shows that her brain is quite capable of brilliance. Somehow she seems to have figured out that practicing her talking will help her to become a better talker, so she can be heard practicing all the time. Her favorite way of practicing is by screaming the word "MOMMY!!!!" over and over at the top of her lungs for at least a half hour before the rest of the household is ready to wake up each morning. She is definitely a proponent of the idea that practice makes perfect. One of these days she is going to be a brilliant linguist. And I guess she'll let us sleep when that finally happens...

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