(Today's topics: Bedroom Design for Girls Who Have Outgrown Princess Pink for Heaven's Sake and How Lego Star Wars Transformed my Life in Six Easy Steps.)
Juju Chang, with her shiny hair and sweet 5 month old baby boy, introduced the LENA system. A system designed
The makers of the LENA device claim that babies need to hear 17,000 words a day - any ol' talking will do - for
Now, my son had dyspraxia and other developmental delays so I know the early intervention terrain like the back of my google reader: Folks, I lived it. And I'd be the first in your circle of friends to urge you to seek an evaluation if your kiddo isn't talking. But the chit-chatting to my kid thing? I had that nailed. (Exhibit A: Lexi and her 18 month-old dinosaur vocabulary. Oh say can she say Brach-i-o-saurus.) I imagine Zack spent many hours, squirreled away in his silent world, making plans for a baby man-cave of sorts, to escape the many words hurled his direction during those early years, saddled with his long winded female family all day.
The thought never occurred to me, as I sat in therapist waiting rooms, that if Meth Mama over yonder would have spent just a little more time talking up the latest ingredients in her special peanut butter crank, that her sweetie would be just fine. I'm pretty sure a tweaker could take on my motor mouth but that sort of rambling doesn't undo neglect, I'm afraid.
And that's what got me up in arms. That's the point of the segment: Keeping fear alive and well and in our homes.
That if I somehow chart my child's progress, I can outrun autism. Dyspraxia. Delays. If I monitor my daily word count down to the very last 'the' between saving the Earth, and preventing lice, and following the election, and volunteering, and ignoring Oprah's smug suggestions about not losing myself because I am a mom, and looking 10 years younger, and sneaking spinach in my brownies, and trying to be sexy for my husband, and calling for educational reform, and praying and, meditating, and packing the lunches, and squeezing in my spanx, why by golly, I will come through this life unscathed.
I'm sure the next segment featured some report about how American women are not getting enough sleep; they're eating too much, drinking too much and popping way too many pills. And some reporter will paste a puzzled grin on her face and act all alarmed by these trends. Like she's surprised.
I don't know. I turned it off. I'm too busy to live in fear.
Now excuse me while I conduct my own research. I'm wondering if the amount of words I hear every day, as an addled Supermom of two, could be adding points to my IQ.
I'm going to be a blooming GENIUS.