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Baby's Diary

A newborn in your arms searches your face with inquiring eyes. You see a quizzical look and wonder, “What is she thinking about?” Or “Why did my little guy frown?”

A flood of recent studies of the prenatal brain and of mind development in newborns makes two things clear: We’ve greatly underestimated how much these little ones know, and their thought processes are much more advanced than we’ve imagined.

But…we’ll admit we stretch things in “Baby’s Diary!” We want this Every Kid a Winner feature to deepen your awe for the preborn, add to the delight you feel for newborns, and to provide insights into their new, wonderful, and perplexing world.

First, though, this isn’t a secret diary. The little one will be happy for you to let others enjoy it. See the guidelines by clicking on “Share with us” on the Home page.

Dear Diary,

I’ve only been out in this big old world a few days, but I’d like to share some first impressions before I forget them. Here goes…

I was quite content floating around in that place where I lived before. It was wet and warm, with year-around temperature control. Couldn’t see much, was a little cramped, and the place was noisy, but I liked it. There was something comforting about that ever present “Thumpa, thumpa, thumpa” sound. And there were gurgles and grunts and groans. I especially enjoyed groups of sounds that came repeatedly. One set was, “You’re so precious! Mommy sure does love her baby.” I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant, but I sure liked hearing it.

Another sound was a soft, “sigh, sigh” that happened again and again. My warm place would move up and down each time, pushing me down then drawing me back up again. It happened over and over-several times every minute in a pleasant steady rhythm. But the “sighs” got shorter and out of rhythm toward the end of my stay there. Sometimes there’d be a long, drawn-out, “whooooooo” and my place would get really cramped for a moment. Sometimes I kicked a bit, or used my elbow to try to get more room, but it didn’t do much good.

Toward the end of my stay I sensed something different was about to happen. I flipped upside down! And my place became tighter than ever, so I got very still. Then things really broke loose! I’ll not even try to describe what happened, but let me tell you this: I don’t ever want to go through that again! I was squeezed and squeezed for what seemed like hours! Then, whoosh, there were bright lights. I squeezed my eyes shut tight. It was cold there, too! I held my breath. Then someone popped me on the bottom of my foot. That wasn’t nice, at all! It hurt, so I cried. The people all laughed and someone wrapped me in a cozy blanket. Next thing I knew, I was snuggling against something soft and warm. It felt so nice. I could hear that friendly “thumpa, thumpa, thumpa” in the distance and I could barely make out that “sigh” sound, and feel its rhythm again, too. Soon, something brushed my cheek. It felt sort of like my thumb-you know, the one that I sucked in my warm place. I turned toward it and took a little taste. Bingo! That was the right idea! Only it was much better than my thumb ever was! I was so surprised I opened my eyes and looked up. Two black dots were looking down at me! And below the dots a curved line opened up and out of the opening came-can you believe it?-my favorite set of sounds: “Aren’t you precious! Mommy sure does love her baby.” That made my own “thumpa, thumpa, thumpa” go even faster!

“Diary, I think I’m going to like this place-and I know I like her!

Note to readers: Just wait till you read the next “Baby’s Diary” entry! Would you like to try your hand at writing an entry for a future issue of “Baby’s Diary”? If you so, click on “Guidelines” for instructions.

© 2004 Philip Dale Smith