American in Spain

Inactivity Mat

April 27, 2009

Marga's coworkers gave us an "activity mat" as a present when Nora was born. It's one of these things where you put the baby on the floor and toys dangle above her and she spends hours and hours getting visual, tactile, and aural stimulation. At the moment, however, Nora's brain hasn't formed the neural connection between her body and the outside world stimulating her nerves. I just don't think she understands that she is an object in the 3D world she is perceiving. Like a guy with a virtual reality helmet on who forgot or doesn't know to put on the gloves to interact with the virtual environment, Nora spends most of her time gazing in wonder at the world around her. All of her behaviors that seem like she's grabbing for something or pushing something away, I think, are still instinctual reflexes. The only "activity" Nora partakes in involves either the beginning, middle, or end of her digestive tract. Thus, the activity mat remains a future activity. Yesterday, however, she clearly expressed an interest in lying on a flat surface so she could stretch her long legs and arms, so we pulled out the activity mat, sans dangly bits, and plopped her down on it. For almost an hour, she was delighted to lie there and kick at the air.

This is 15 minutes compressed to 50 seconds. I look forward to making more timelapse videos of Nora in this apparatus.