Saturday, June 13, 2009

Love your parents? or is it Stockholm Syndrome?

Now that the boys are 10 weeks old, we are starting to get substantially more feedback from them. They seem to orient toward our voices and recognize our faces. We have even been getting smiles for the past couple of weeks. All very reinforcing after so many weeks of nothing but dirty diapers and closed eyes.

But I started to think . . . I would smile, too, if I thought it would ingratiate me to the person who was solely responsible for not only my day-to-day comforts, but my very survival. "Yeah, you better smile at me buddy, or no milk for you!"

Then I remembered a psychological condition in which you identify with your captors: Stockholm Syndrome. Made famous by Patty Hearst when she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and ended up joining forces with her abductors.

Apparently I'm not so far off-base, as Wikipedia explains the psychology of the condition as follows: "According to the psychoanalytic view of the syndrome, the tendency might well be the result of employing the strategy evolved by newborn babies to form an emotional attachment to the nearest powerful adult in order to maximize the probability that this adult will enable — at the very least — the survival of the child, if not also prove to be a good parental figure."

Note: People often ask us if they are aware of each other yet, and we don't think so. However, when I put them in the bassinet this morning, they ended up touching hands, as shown in the photo. It is amazing to think that we used to lie them down cross-wise in that same bassinet- now it's crowded even when we lie them down the long way!

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