03 August 2007

Is my one-year-old smarter than I am?

I have started to wonder if Grace possesses superior intellect to my own. Just look at the calculating expression on that face. She is wondering what she has to do to get strawberry scented bubbles instead of plain old baby bath.

She seems to be in control of every situation. We have speakers next to the couch in our front room, and she loves to tip them over to get attention. Naturally, Alex and I do not condone this behavior, and we immediately tell her, "No, no." in our most stern parental voices. Yet she continues to tip them. She just smiles sweetly, even though I think she knows exactly what we are saying. I have concluded her sweet smile is not one of innocence, but of wisdom. She knows perfectly well that no physical or emotional harm will come to her if she misbehaves, because Alex and I can't bear to berate or punish such a cute little child. I think she knows that she is under the umbrella of adorableness and is wielding this power to her speaker-tipping, drawer-emptying, cupboard-hiding advantage.

I ask myself, "Am I okay with this? Should I really let myself be controlled by a one-year-old?" And in response, I realize that she was in control even before she was born. Due to pregnancy I had a lot of nausea; I couldn't sleep on my back for months on end; I was already getting up several times per night before she was born because I just had to use the bathroom. And I had to re-arrange my entire work schedule just for this small mewling bit of humanity that was soon to encroach on my life. Still, I find that even though I spend my days wiping 5 of the 7 pounds of food I feed her off of the floor, she is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I don't mind that she disembowels the diaper bag and my wallet multiple times daily. Having a little monkey climbing all over you is actually pretty fun. And she's better than a real monkey, because she has a diaper--so her messes are easier to clean up. She doesn't even shed as much as a dog or cat.

Her superior intelligence probably stems from the fact that she hasn't experienced the disaster that is the female teenage years. I read this in the paper the other day. I'll just type it in because it's short:

"A study published this month in the journal Developmental Psychology finds that excessive discussion of their problems might harm preteen and teen girls more than it helps them. Researchers even coined a term to describe the phenomenon; co-rumination. Adolescent girls who co-ruminate, or dwell on their problems by rehashing and analyzing them with their friends, tended to show more signs of depression and anxiety than others, the study found. "

So here I sit, dwelling on my problems on this blog. Maybe I should go clean the bathroom instead. I'm sure that will have a more positive effect on my mental health than this rant. I'll just go ask Grace if that's okay with her.

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