Over the last few months my 3 year old sons thirst for knowledge has increased at a rapid pace.
I am now calling him the human sponge!
It isn’t just that he wants to know stuff, it’s that he absorbs it and makes sense of it according to his experience of the world and is then able to regurgitate it to anyone willing to listen.
Last week he woke me at 6am to tell me that the world spins on its axis and then promptly fell back asleep, leaving me trying to remember if I had taught him this (although seeing as how my capacity to store any information outside of medicine has been reduced to zero- I strongly doubt it was me!)
My daughter also went through this ‘sponge’ stage, at around the same age. She is still eager for information but is now more selective about what it is, carefully filtering out the things she considers to be irrelevant – like remembering to do her homework and how to brush her teeth properly etc!!
I love how this developmental stage of my sons’ is coinciding with my current topic of neuroscience at med school (excellent planning there!) And whilst it is an extremely hard topic to get to grips with, I am finding it fascinating.
For one thing, I love how the brain will just make things up if some of the incoming information it requires is missing…. the basis of many an optic illusion.
I also love the plasticity of the human brain, that even as adults we can change the connections between areas of our brain and therefore change how it operates. A study of taxi drivers who did “the knowledge” found that the memory part of their brain actually grew in size as a result of their new learning.
This is fantastic and gives me hope that despite not being quite the sponge my son is right now, I still have the ability to learn and restructure my brain (it just might take me a little longer).
By the way, I passed my exam 🙂