But she got me thinking, and watching myself. Recently I caught myself at it.
It was with the baby - I suddenly noticed that whenever I supplied any of her needs, I gave a little audible sigh of satisfaction. As soon as I caught myself doing this I started wondering why, and today I finally realised that it's because I am actually teaching her.
What am I teaching? It can only be one of the most important lessons of my own life that my innate mothering spirit is determined to pass on: be happy to have simple needs met. Appreciate what you've got, and so on. I am, there's no doubt, saturating her little mind with these repeated audio signals to reinforce the message.
I'm just starting to read Charlotte Iserbyte's The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America [opens pdf] which apparently spells out the mind-bending repertoire of subtle tricks employed by the world's governments to manipulate populations. You can watch her discussing it on You Tube. I did, and was simultaneously intrigued and disgusted.
Needless to say, it completely goes against my ethics to consciously try to externally form or sculpt a child's thinking. So I suppose, now that I know I'm doing it, I shall have to stop.