If everyone else were jumping off a cliff…

Little Miss Lizard is four-and-a-half months now, which means all of the supporting medical professionals are talking seriously about moving towards “solids” (which as far as I can tell actually means “mush”, but anyway). Baby wisdom is pretty nebulous in general, because unless you’re the Nazis, it’s difficult to get run with babies the sort of tests that get you genuine information about medical and behavioural development. But there’s a lot of “try this” and “think about that” and “oftentimes the other”.

One of the others in this case being that it’s good for the baby to sit up at table with the growed-ups. She sees that people eat, and she becomes interested in doing the same. And they particularly like food that comes off Mum or Dad’s plate. “Similarly,” the nurse noted, “we find that even picky-eating children, when you sit them down at a table of their peers for lunch, will eat when everyone else is eating.”

It reminded me of something we observed with the Lizard. Christmas and New Year’s was, as always, a time of lots of gatherings, and we included bub as much as possible (because she loves people, and people love her). After a party day, when she’d been around lots of people chatting away, she would chatter a lot more, burbling and babbling happy syllables at the ceiling. “She’s learned that this is what our tribe does,” I joked. “We make mouth noises. Better join in!”

But it’s true, isn’t it? Babies learn from us. They copy us so as to become a part of our society. Fitting in is less about fitting in and more about learning how to human.

Succumbing to peer pressure is a biological imperative. Or at least a strong drive.

I just hope I can remember this when she’s a teenager and driving me batty with the need to have, do and be in accordance with her peers. Remember, Evans, it was a developmental requirement. Growing up means overcoming it, but it’s not easy. Have patience!

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