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Baby in the mirror

Friday, September 24, 2010

For many months, baby has been enthralled by her reflection in the mirror. But I've read that she didn't realize it was herself. Even though she recognized my reflection in the mirror and would smile and turn around to find the real me. When she saw her reflection, she would smile but not turn around looking for the real baby. She would laugh at and try to touch the reflection. What did that mean? Obviously, she knew if she turned around she wouldn't find the baby in the mirror. Who did she think that was if it wasn't herself?

But just the other day, she did something that makes me sure that she now understands her own reflection in the mirror. I've been putting bows in her hair lately because I made some with clips that accommodate such scarce hair. At first she didn't seem to notice them, but now she's pulling the clips out of her hair all the time.

The other day, though, she seemed to have forgotten about the bow and let it be on her head for about half an hour. Until we sat her in her car seat, where there is a mirror in front of it. The bow on the baby in the mirror was the first thing that caught her eye. And she immediately reached up and grabbed it off. So, at least by now, at a little over 11 months, I'm pretty sure she knows the baby in the mirror is her.

I don't know if she considers shadows the same way as she does mirrors. She loves to watch shadows on the ground, either of trees with rustling leaves, or a shadow of me holding her. I think that is her favorite. I tell her to wave at the shadow as I wave. And she waves and laughs. I can only guess she knows that is me and her, in a similar way the mirror shows us.

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