So I have been asking Martin if Kendi is self aware (I ask Martin so may questions a day, I don’t know how he keeps up with me. Sometimes, he’ll ask, ‘honey, why do you think I know the answer to everything?’ after I ask him something like, ‘why do you think that cow is curled up like that on the ground? Do you think he’s cold?’ And I’ll stop and wonder why indeed).
Anyway, I’ve been wondering when a baby see themselves in a mirror and knows it’s them.
I turned to uncle Google. I asked him, ‘when is a baby self aware?’ And after too many words like neuroinhibitory and cortial hemisphere, he told me that a child knows it’s her in the mirror at around 1 and 1/2 years old. Before then, the child just thinks that the person in the mirror is a personable play mate.
Just by chance, Kendi and I were at my Aunty Bulu’s spa on Wednesday and the place has a whole wall of mirrors. Soon after we arrived, I put Kendi down on the floor to explore (which is something I like to do, so that she can build her own relationships with things, places and people). After a while, she caught a glimpse of herself, squeaked and made a mad dash for the baby in the mirror. She had to crawl in between my legs and under my chair to get to the baby, but she was determined.
She got there, put her hands up to touch the baby and felt the cool glass under her palms. This invoked another squeak and a look up at me. I was watching her because I was so amused and I wanted to find out the answer to my question. I looked at her and explained ,’mano in‘ (that’s you).
Disclaimer: I don’t know what would have happened had I not said anything.
But, as soon as I said that, she looked at the baby and went in for a kiss. Repeatedly. Maybe 12 kisses in all. Each followed with a squeak. Aunty Bulu and I laughed and laughed.
Now, I think that my baby may be self involved. Maybe she was kissing the baby in the mirror because she knew it was her. Maybe she knew she was kissing herself. Or, maybe she’s just sweet and loving and was happy to be kissing a baby who, for the first time, didn’t grab at her ears (like all the ones she’s tried to kiss before).
I will go with uncle Google and claim that my baby is kind and personable and likes to kiss other babies.