Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why I Made My Daughter a Lab Rat

Today Samara was a lab rat in a behavioral study at a local university (the same one her father attends).

We walked to the lab in the blistering heat and when we arrived we were greeted by the sweetest grad student to ever probe and test young infants. The lab was small and sparsely furnished with five or six computers and several video monitors all of which were playing Baby Einstein (an aside: I don't know what freak subliminal messages are in those videos, but the kid.was.riveted, could-not-look-away, crazy enthralled)

We put some heart rate monitors on the little one, I signed the consent form and into the little video room we went: just me, Samara, a high chair, a TV and 15 video cameras all pointed at us. It was all very Clockwork Orange for babies. And I mean that in the nicest way. I think.

While I answered a questionnaire on Samara's love of peekaboo, Samara actually played Peekaboo with the video monitor. Peekaboo, then a happy face appeared, peekaboo, then a happy face appeared, peekaboo, then a mean face. And that was the end for our intrepid young scientist who apparently does not like mean faces. Massive tears ensued. Who can blame her?

The testing ended and we were sent away with a T-shirt and some mixed feelings. But overall, I am happy that we did it. Having an infant has proven once and for all that the medical community knows approximately 0.03 percent of what there is to know about the minds of babies. If we can help change that, I am psyched.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Neat. I would love to know what's going on inside Isabella's head when she does some of her crazy antics.