As many of you know, my wife and I are expecting our first child. Fortunately for me, my wife has plunged into the world of literature on the subject and is becoming acquainted with all manner of philosophy on child health and rearing. Since we recently finished The Man Who Was Thursday together, we tried our hand at book one of Augustine’s Confessions. Having read enough of it previously to know he talks about childhood and infancy, I was eager to read it with the wife. Here’s an excerpt we came across yesterday that, I think, will be prophetic for our youngster. šŸ™‚

I began to smile; first in sleep, then waking: for so it was told me of myself, and I believed it; for we see the like in other infants, though of myself I remember it not. Thus, little by little, I became conscious where I was; and to have a wish to express my wishes to those who could content them, and I could not; for the wishes were within me, and they without; nor could they by any sense of theirs enter within my spirit. So I flung about at random limbs and voice, making the few signs I could, and such as I could, like, though in truth very little like, what I wished. And when I was not presently obeyed (my wishes being hurtful or unintelligible), then I was indignant with my elders for not submitting to me, with those owing me no service, for not serving me; and avenged myself on them by tears. Such have I learnt infants to be from observing them; and that I was myself such, they, all unconscious, have shown me better than my nurses who knew it.

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