When I had just had Anna, I received some mail from the University near us about the Infant and Child Studies Centre and their need for young babies to research what they call "the cuteness quotient".
Okay, I made that last bit up. But Anna would totally be off the charts if it were true.
Yesterday morning, I did take Anna to the research lab at the University, but it was to help further the study of language recognition in babies.
We sat in a little room together, Anna on my lap, and Mama with a big old pair of headphones on so I couldn't hear anything and couldn't influence Anna in anyway. Then, some blinking lights went off while passages were read out in English and then Norwegian. I think the study was based around the whole idea that if they play English (which Anna is used to), she would eventually get bored with it because it was so familiar. So, if they played Norwegian (something different and new), and Anna turned to look at the source, that would mean she could recognize a difference between the two languages already.
I should have warned them that Anna is very advanced for her age and they may want a "regular" baby to test.
Anywho. It was interesting! And Anna got an official certificate from the University, proudly presenting her with the Honourable Title of Junior Scientist - "in recognition of outstanding performance in a Language and Speech Project which has greatly contributed to the advancement of science and the understanding of child development."
After that, I took her to a park to meet up with some girlfriends. The park had a great wading pool, so I brought Anna's ridiculous bathing suit with us. I say ridiculous, because it's pretty much a pant suit. But in little baby size. Which means? It's insanely cute.
Anna can't have sunscreen put on her delicate little skin yet, and because she has Andrew and I for parents, she doesn't have much hope of ever being a bronze goddess. Therefore, a few minutes in the sun and she'd sizzle. So - that's why we went with the bathing-pant-suit. I must reiterate: CUTE! Cuteness overload. Honestly.
Anyway, Anna had a great time. It was so adorable... she was squealing and smiling and looking around at everyone. And afterwards, when I put her in the car seat and headed home, she was out cold immediately. Good baby.
The day ended on somewhat of a depressing note, however, when Andrew and I took a tour of a local daycare. The place seemed good... the kids all looked like they were having fun. But... I don't know. Something didn't feel right.
The kids were all separated by age into different rooms. So - the infant room had babies from about 12 to 18 months. The toddler room was 18 months to 2 years, etc. etc. Makes sense. But there was just something about seeing those little babies in the infant room that broke my heart. The daycare was fine and the kids were all sitting there together. But they just seemed so little. Too little to be outside of a home... in a centre all grouped together... being cared for by strangers. Sigh.
I know this is normal. And this is what happens. But it just made me sad. And - as my parents both said to me - I'm probably going to hate all daycare centres, and I'm probably going to be a complete and total mess when it's Anna's time.
For now, I think I'll just focus on her little bathing suit and her Junior Scientist certificate.
That makes me happy.