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Eat Your Lunch, Control
December 17, 2011 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Growing Up with Scientist Mom
posted by Knigel (35 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope to be that kind of parent someday.
posted by pemberkins at 7:02 PM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Her neighbors must be weird. I mean, who names their kid "Control"?
posted by smcameron at 7:05 PM on December 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Suddenly for the first time that "null hypothesis" thing finally clicks in my mind.
I always had trouble with that what with all the double-negatives.
posted by bleep at 7:05 PM on December 17, 2011


Let the inbreeding start. Few things are perfect the first time around.
posted by Knigel at 7:08 PM on December 17, 2011


Reminds me of this.
posted by martinrebas at 7:11 PM on December 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh geez, this hit home a little bit. I'm a (computational) linguist, and have a pretty extensive education in theoretical linguistics, especially in field methods. I also a mother to a 10 month old.

Some days I feel really bad for my daughter.

In an attempt to raise her bilingually my husband and I speak to her in two different languages. The second she is old enough she will be enrolled in a preschool in a third language. This third language happens to be my father's native language, so I use it with her when we're alone sometimes, which is bad because I need to be focusing on teaching her language #1.

I also sometimes point at objects and use a fourth language that has different language sound coverage just so she can have all the phonemes. She will probably not talk until she is 14.

When she learns a new phoneme I write it in my baby log. I have no idea what the data means, but I have plenty of it!

Also, to maximize our communication bandwidth we've added signing. I've been signing a special selection of six signs to her for about a month, but instead of learning any of my gestures she's learned how to shake her head for 'no', something I never bothered to teach her.

I realize that most of my little experiments on her might, I dunno, ruin her for life, but I can't help myself. The lure of trying different learning methods on her and seeing how they turn out has been one of the joys of parenting, even if the results mean nothing.

I will also point out that I give her lots of hugs, play with her, and genuinely enjoy being with her. I think most of this is a result of my nerdy coping skills for controlling my easily distractible brain. This makes it easier to give her all of my brain at any given moment.

Finally, I am confident I am among good company in crazy linguist parenting. For example, a professor who hired an Icelandic speaker as a full time nanny so that she could have her own home grown language informants for research.

Science + Motherhood 4eva!
posted by Alison at 7:52 PM on December 17, 2011 [78 favorites]


Alison as a fellow CLer I can tell you that what you've described is essentially identical to the plan I've discussed with my girlfriend about our hypothetical future children. I'm natively trilingual, and have decent possession of a few more, my gf is almost bilingual, and I've been picking up ASL for fun.

My grandparents were eastern european Jews and I think the one of them that spoke the least languages had advanced ability in 6, so hopefully that predisposes my children to absorb all I'm gonna pour into them :>
posted by anateus at 8:07 PM on December 17, 2011


HA! My wife and I realized our sample size was too low right away and started working on acquiring more jusjects.
posted by zomg at 8:25 PM on December 17, 2011


whoa that was a typo. Subjects.
posted by zomg at 8:26 PM on December 17, 2011


Allison, could you please adopt me?
posted by Knigel at 8:30 PM on December 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


As the father of a 4-month-old and a software engineer I mostly just show her YouTube videos on my iPad and fly her around the room making jet noises. I feel like I'm lagging behind.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:49 PM on December 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


My 3 yr old is bilingual and can search YouTube on the iPhone for the vids he wants. I don't think he's broken. Wondering when I should start him on html5 coding though.
posted by gomichild at 9:02 PM on December 17, 2011


I'm disappointed that lunch wasn't double-blind. Sloppy experimental protocol, Mom.
posted by knave at 9:29 PM on December 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


While everyone's at the site, what does the last panel of this comic mean? Is this a gang symbol, or something else entirely?
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 11:08 PM on December 17, 2011


UrineSoakedRube, that's what they call the SuperShocker.
posted by Knigel at 11:12 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


While everyone's at the site, what does the last panel of this comic mean?

WEST SIDE
posted by louche mustachio at 11:12 PM on December 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


UrineSoakedRube, that's what they call the SuperShocker.

No, it's not.

WEST SIDE

So it is a gang sign, then? Which gang?
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 11:19 PM on December 17, 2011


Try it sometime and then tell me that it isn't.
posted by Knigel at 11:21 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


And then Piaget's kid says, "I cant tell, I don't have conservation yet."
posted by GuyZero at 12:04 AM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Alison, don't worry about it, my daughter speaks the three languages I used (seemingly at random) with her when she was a baby - they soak it up somehow. She spoke late, and her first proper sentence was "what the f*ck" but hey, nobody is perfect.
posted by dabitch at 1:50 AM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


My daughter spoke early; she ended up with three languages in her bag (plus the ones she learned at school), nobody ever pressed. Kids. They're all different, ain't that fun.
posted by Namlit at 4:11 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So it is a gang sign, then? Which gang?

It's not really a gang sign, it's a "west coast" sign. Cause it looks like a "W". Means you rep the west rather than east coast.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:17 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ps turn it on its side and it becomes an e and means "east coast"
posted by nathancaswell at 5:18 AM on December 18, 2011


West Side til we die
posted by King Bee at 5:29 AM on December 18, 2011


"...her first proper sentence was 'what the f*ck' but hey, nobody is perfect."

I fail to see the problem here.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:19 AM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


her first proper sentence was "what the f*ck"

That's impressive, at that age. I still haven't mastered the asterisk sound.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:03 AM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Her neighbors must be weird. I mean, who names their kid "Control"?
Miss Jackson, if you're nasty.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:02 AM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Finally, I am confident I am among good company in crazy linguist parenting. "

I think you're in pretty good company among highly-educated parents generally. I mean, after all, there are few things so fascinating as the development of the human organism. I teach philosophy, so when we begin on ethics mine will get a real dose of parent-crazy. (I joke with my students, "Now, did anybody's mother tell them, 'Sweetie, you just need to use the Principle of Utility and figure out the most good for the greatest number in this situation.'?" and they all laugh, but I WILL TOTALLY DO THAT.)

However, a month or two ago my two-year-old announced, while pointing at the appropriate orifices, "Burps come from up here! Farts come from down there!"

I said to my husband, "It's so fascinating that he's already developed a theory of selfhood that suggests 'he' exists in his head (here) while his body is away from 'him' (there), that he locates his thinking and unextended self in his head in some fashion. I wonder if that's because of the eyes being used for so much communication with very small children --?"

"Or," my husband interrupted, "he just likes to talk about farts."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:07 AM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's not really a gang sign, it's a "west coast" sign. Cause it looks like a "W". Means you rep the west rather than east coast.

That makes sense -- thanks, nathancaswell and louche moustachio.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 11:13 AM on December 18, 2011


Suddenly, my desire to name my (potential future children) after Greek characters and teach them Latin grammar first seems so reasonable! And there really are so many aspects of children in archaeology that could be solved by lugging them around to digs and giving them potsherds for playtime...on second thought, may stick to puppies...
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:02 PM on December 18, 2011


Alison and anateus, have you looked into John Stuart Mill's Autobiography?

John Stuart Mill was born on Rodney Street in the Pentonville area of London, the eldest son of the Scottish philosopher, historian and economist James Mill, and Harriet Burrow. John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age other than his siblings. His father, a follower of Bentham and an adherent of associationism, had as his explicit aim to create a genius intellect that would carry on the cause of utilitarianism and its implementation after he and Bentham had died.[4]

Mill was a notably precocious child. He describes his education in his autobiography. At the age of three he was taught Greek.[5] By the age of eight he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis,[5] and the whole of Herodotus,[5] and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato.[5] He had also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic.


At the age of eight he began learning Latin, Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with ease. His father also thought that it was important for Mill to study and compose poetry. One of Mill's earliest poetry compositions was a continuation of the Iliad. In his spare time, he also enjoyed reading about natural sciences and popular novels, such as Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.

But then:

This intensive study however had injurious effects on Mill's mental health, and state of mind. At the age of twenty[7] he suffered a nervous breakdown. In chapter V of his Autobiography, he claims that this was caused by the great physical and mental arduousness of his studies which had suppressed any feelings he might have developed normally in childhood. Nevertheless, this depression eventually began to dissipate, as he began to find solace in the Mémoires of Jean-François Marmontel and the poetry of William Wordsworth.[8]
posted by jamjam at 12:27 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


jetlagaddict, having been raised by an archaeologist and going to digs from an early age i can say that the tantrums involved when they have to give up artifacts they found digging near your site will be pretty nasty. However kids do have keen eyes for picking small artifacts out of the sieves and can be easily trained and bribed into sorting gigantic bags of midden into the appropriate categories.
posted by fido~depravo at 9:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Suddenly, my desire to name my (potential future children) after Greek characters

In college, I had a TA (for a Greek Civ class, no less) named Athena. Somehow she wound up in the most suitable field for her name.
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:03 PM on December 18, 2011


Suddenly, my desire to name my (potential future children) after Greek characters

Might as well start training them up to win Only Connect as soon as possible - if I have a kid I'm calling it Horned Viper.
posted by pmcp at 3:40 AM on December 19, 2011


Well, my daughter said her first word as we were packing up to go to an overnight New Year's party, so it happened sometime before the age of 14. I would say that her first word was {da}+ because she doesn't quite yet know where to stop with the syllables.
posted by Alison at 1:57 PM on January 2, 2012


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