Kelli’s sister is in town dragging along her not quite 2 year old son, and I’ve had some babysitting time in play.

This is a really well behaved kid. Like crazy well behaved.

Of course whenever someone sees me with a kid, me being in my 30’s they say “you should make babies!!!!1!”

And while I don’t have any huge objections to baby making, I’m not particularly enthusiastic about it either, for various reasons.

But one thing I find fascinating with most young kids is the opportunity to watch them build neural connections in real time. Watching them trip over something, then when confronted with the same obstacle, not tripping a second time. It’s amazing what our gigantic human brains allow for, and it’s easy to get jaded by how much we take for granted in developed human brains.

It’s also interesting that once most kids start to talk, have command of their bodies and start basic reasoning skills, we tend to assume that their brains are functioning like ours are. Sure we think they aren’t as smart, but we assume that given the same sets of input data, they’ll reach roughly the same conclusions. This is especially true for teenagers. We assume that what’s driving differences in decision making are differing degrees of experience. Which in some cases is true, even biologically speaking. But some structures in the brain aren’t done cooking until the early 20s.

I was thinking about this in consideration of how charitable we are of a toddler’s learning process, even fascinated by it, but how quickly we start having adult expectations of behavior by the time kids are entering adolescence.

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