Sunday, July 31, 2005


Now, I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about this, like we're going to be one of THOSE PARENTS who make their kids take a thousand classes and prep courses and strap them down to listen to Mozart because they must be SMARTER THAN ALL THE OTHERS, DAMMIT. And also keep in mind the fact that Joe is an ophthalmology resident, so it's kind of a cute gag. But yesterday, we ordered this Allen eye chart as a decoration for Cal's room.

This all started when I printed out some black and white patterns for Cal to look at. Babies can't really see that well, but they respond best to high contrast patterns and human faces. I mean, not that I know that for sure, but supposedly, RESEARCH SHOWS. Credit where credit is due, I originally got the idea from from Ben and Jenn over at The Trixie Update. They even share some of the patterns they had designed, some of which we printed off and laminated into these giant flash cards. (Did I mention that we have a home laminator? Yes, we do. It is officially The Greatest Purchase Ever, and we laminate everything now. We're even considering laminating the dog, so that she'll shed less.)

We tied some of the patterns up on the inside wall of Cal's crib, and I think (so far as I can really tell anything about what goes on in his little melon) that he likes them. He started staring at them really intently, and his eyes were making these little saccades over the patterns, scanning them like crazy. Then he fell asleep. ("Aaaand, I'm spent.")

Of course, once Joe cottoned to this idea of visual stimulation, he completely threw himself into it. Talk started about "center surround inhibition" and "ocular dominance columns," (which I politely mmm-hmmm'ed), but when he started opening up Photoshop and tinkering around in there, I knew that the man was serious. One thing led to another, and by the end of the evening, we were proud owners of an Allen eye chart, set to be delivered sometime next week.

Of course, commercially-prepared products not being good enough for our boy, Joe decided to free-hand large versions of some of the Allen figures for Cal to ogle. Again, who can tell if he likes them or not, since he's just, you know, a BABY...but he did seem to be fixating on them rather intently.

And we didn't want to leave the dog out of the fun either, so...

Don't worry, it's all just for fun. We won't be crazy brainiac pressure parents. There will be no enrolling in any baby Kaplan courses.

(We prefer Princeton Review.)

Currently reading: I'm thinking about re-reading "The Da Vinci Code," just because it's fast and easy and breezy and I don't really have the concentration for much else right now.