Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

A CLEAN SLATE
You would expect a new born baby to have a clean slate. In other words its little brain is uncluttered with the images, sounds and ideas that will pour in during its lifetime.

I don't think that is altogether true. He or she will already have the equivalent of a computer
Baby Comp
operating system, the 'Firmware'. This is the stuff that makes your computer, or our baby, (We'll call him Fred or Freda from now on) work. It can't add up, write, draw picture or do any of the really clever stuff but the 'Firmware' is ready and waiting to accept the 'Software' that makes a baby into a full blown person. Fred will already know how to breath, pump blood round his body, make noises when he's hungry and do all the other new born baby things. Also, In that tiny little, helpless being is the blue print for the human being to come - height, hair and eye colouring and many of his or her adult characteristics.

At the back of our mind I think we all know that, but what else comes down in our genes? Does our 'nature' come down. 'Fred's a sensitive/grumpy/happy/thoughtful/dopey little thing' and that could be a label that stick to him for the rest of his days. How about aptitudes? Mechanical, musical, language for example. These are among the things we describe as 'Nature', the next few years are
soccer scared
when 'Nurture' comes to the fore. Dad always had aspirations to be a footballer so as soon as poor little Fred can walk, Dad is getting him to kick a ball. Freda's Mum had dreams of being a ballet dancer until she realised she was too dumpy to star in Swan Lake. Ballet shoes will be soon on the birthday list.

If we said to Fred's Dad "Why not show him a few ballet steps?" Shock horror! "He's going to play for Liverpool". Perhaps little Freda could play Rugby - "What, in a tutu!?"

If Mum and Dad are religious so too will our baby for at least several years. If they are devoutly religious that will probably stick for many years and possible his whole life, especially if that religion is one that is an integral part of every day life.
Child's sholulders

When you think about it, parenthood is a tremendous responsibility. Without even trying you are going to pass on your prejudices, attitudes and beliefs. In addition you are going to lead your child away from some paths you went down and towards others you
think you should have taken. You might, unwittingly, try to load onto his or her shoulders some of your unfulfilled aspirations.

Poor child! Not only is it bombarded with the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and prejudices of parents but as it grows, teachers, tutors, peers, the media, pop stars, advertisers and a host of others do their utmost to target them.

Bill and I have said right from the start of these blog pages that we aren't clever, we don't have any answers but by heck we have a lot of questions. We said recently "It's good to talk!" Let's add another "It's good to ask questions!"

One More Thing
Have you washed your hands?

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