A state of being

There is an old teaching expression, 'What you hear, you mostly forget, what you see, you remember a little of, what you do, sticks.'

Children are natural doers, a child's world is vividly and vibrantly tactile. This is vitally important, with their hands and mouths and, indeed, their whole bodies they are engaged in a process of enquiry, exploration and discovery. It is impossible for us to imagine what it must be like to arrive into this strange new world, where every sight, smell and touch is brand new. 

Young children bring the world alive through tactile interaction with it. This so important because they are developing their minds in the process. They do not have the intermediate process that we learn with language and reason. Introduce a new food to a baby and they often react with an instantaneous convulsive shudder. This does not mean they necessarily dislike what they are tasting, it's just a whole body and mind reaction to something new which they need to expand to embrace. After this initial reaction, they are likely to continue to eat the food quite happily. 

This indication that babies are operating as a single united mind/body being tells us a great deal. When a baby cries s/he does so with unrestrained abandon, or when s/he smiles or gurgles with pleasure. This is a unique period in a babies life. The writer is a strong advocate of demand feeding and using a body harness in which babies will reside quite happily, waking or sleeping. 

The photograph below is of the writer with his own child (and Meg, their beloved Border Collie) on a weekly 16 mile round shopping trip from the sailing base where they lived and made a huge difference to his bonding with his child and, he strongly suspects, vice versa, where negotiating the journey with a push chair would not have been nearly as enjoyable or rewarding.

2011 Keith Lindsay-Cameron.