THEY say that babies who are breast-fed tend to have higher I.Q.s than those who are not.
However, having been a formula-raised baby, I always take umbrage with that statement. Anytime I hear it, I immediately turn to the BossLady and say, "I was only fed formula. Look how smart I am!" Of course, my lovely wife always retorts back, "Yeah, Einstein. But think how much smarter you'd be if you HAD been breast-fed." That usually shuts me up as I sit back and ponder the possibilites. Hell! Maybe if I'd been breast-fed, we'd have a cure for cancer by now! Or I'd have been able to prove Fermat's Theorem. At the very least, maybe I wouldn't lose my damn keys every week.
THEY also say that co-sleeping with your infant lowers the baby's risk of stress disorders and makes it more likely that they will grow up to be well-adjusted adults. Whenever I hear THIS statement, I always think back to that classic dialogue between those two great American parents, Marge and Homer Simpson...
Marge: I think we're going to need a bigger place.
Homer: No, we don't. I've got it all figured out. The baby can have Bart's room and Bart can sleep with us in our bed until he's 21.
Marge: Won't that warp him?
Homer: My cousin Frank did it.
Marge: You don't have a cousin Frank.
Homer: He became Francine in '76. Then he joined that cult. I think his name is Mother Shabubu now
Upon further research, I've found that these studies are not relegated just to the U.S. I'm sure if you went to Siberia, you'd find plenty of articles like "Blubber Hats: Warmer Heads, Smarter Babies!" If in Nigeria, you can take part in the great "Goat Milk vs. Beetle Dung" debate.
I don't mean to disparage all this medical science. Any study focused on improving a baby's health or well-being certainly has a high degree of validity and a noble end cause. But somewhere along the line, I think we've lost a little perspective. Our C.S.I. obsession with NATURE and SCIENCE tends to obscure the beneficial effects of NURTURE and ENVIRONMENT. There's got to be a balance between the two.
All I'm saying is that I'd like to think that good parenting has the greatest influence on your child's development. Sit and talk to your child every day and your child will soak up the knowledge. Take him out to play in the park and he'll develop healthy lifestyle habits. Feed her nutritious foods and she's less likely to become diabetic. Take the video game away and replace it with a book. Am I wrong?
As a new parent, I find that all the medical information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Let's not get carried away with it all. I'd love for the Peanut to be the first Asian-American woman on the Supreme Court. But if she doesn't drink enough breast milk or sleep in the same bed as us, is she going to end up as a stripper on the Jersey Turnpike?
I think not, my friends. I think not.
(But on the off chance that my daughter DOES end up being a stripper, I can assure you she's going to be the fucking smartest stripper on the Eastern Seaboard.)