Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brain Science

I don't know much about human anatomy and I'm certainly not a brain scientist (assuming there is such a thing). In fact, I'm not a scientist in any way, shape, or form (unless you want to count my BA in International Relations and History in which case I could be considered a social scientist - but that's getting away from the reason for this post, so let's get back to the point) Even though I'm not a scientist and the only brain I have ever studied belonged to a fetal pig who found its way onto my exam table in tenth grade biology, I am convinced that I have discovered something that doesn't seem to have been documented by the millions of so-called scientists who have gone before me.

Here's my discovery:
The part of the brain that helps little humans learn to distinguish and recall the names of colors is the same part of the brain that helps those same little humans want to use the toilet. Notice I didn't say "learn" to use the toilet? Noah is my case study. He has learned how to use the toilet just fine. In fact, he knew how to use a toilet before he ever came home to us. I still remember how happy I was the day that I discovered that. I thought "potty training this kid is going to be a breeze" and "Cool. I will save some money on diapers." I actually went out and bought him a bunch of underwear. "Certainly he's ready for underwear" I thought. Whatever. He seems to not be opposed to using the toilet for it's intended purpose either. It's been almost a year now and he is more than willing to go every single time I put him on it. After a year of practice, you would think that it would be starting to click with him. It's the part where he actually tells me that he needs to use it that seems to have completely escaped him, right along with the ability to recall the names of any color under the rainbow . . . except for yellow.

Noah has heard the names of the colors at least 6 hundred thousand times in the past year. When he hears a color, he will readily repeat it. However, after showing him a red block (or green block or blue block, etc.) and having him say the color repeatedly while holding said block in front of his face, when presented with the question "Noah, what color is this block?" he will inevitably reply by naming every color under the rainbow except for red (or blue or green or whatever color the block is that you happen to be holding). We know that he can see the colors because he matches them just fine. He just can't remember the names of any of them two seconds later, except for yellow. Yellow must be managed in a different area of the brain. He gets yellow. He doesn't get any other color. And he definitely doesn't get potty training. I'm absolutely convinced that he has some rare defect in an undiscovered part of his brain that is causing both of these odd disabilities. Either that or he's just working me. Fascinating creatures, these little humans.


Scott said...

Don't worry, Noah and his cousin Jordan might as well be twins as far as the potty training goes; they both deliver every time you put them on the toilet but as far as recognizing an urge, they're clueless.

Kristi said...

This is a very articulate hypothesis but I think you're trying too hard...based on my outsiders view of Noah's personality I'm pretty sure he's working you.

1) He can list every color BUT the color of the block you're holding. You think that's coincidence?
2) He changes his own diaper
3) He can match the colors
4) Have I mentioned he changes his own diaper?
5) He goes on the toilet on command, which demonstrates he knows when you've had enough of his game.
6) He changes his own diaper...which also demonstrates he knows when you've had enough.

By the way, I know it's early yet but I think Kobe is going to be a lot like Noah in personality...hmm I wonder if they could be related!