While we're on a totally different subject, I want to tell you wonderful parents about this new book I just read.
Paul Tough has been looking at some psychology studies and reports back to us. In the first part of the book, he talks about rat specialist Michael Meaney. He did a little experiment on hundreds of rats that went like this: the baby rats were taken out of their cages, handled, which they hated, and then put back in. Either their mothers rushed over to them and licked and groomed them to reassure them, or their mothers kind of ignored them.
Baby rats who were licked and groomed were OK. The ignored baby rats, rather than develop strength of character, became nervous wrecks and developed a host of problems in later rat life; rat juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, early teen pregnancy. They were little rat failures.
From behind my desk, I watch you parents licking and grooming your little ones every time you come in. You really are a wonderful set of parents, and you're raising a bunch of successful rats by what you're doing.