A few months ago Soren picked up a new hobby — participating in research studies. I guess he just likes to do his part to aid doctors and psychologists in their research. He also likes when they offer him toys to say thank you. Sometimes they give me a little bit of cash or a Target gift card. I thought about putting the money into an account for Soren to use someday, but then I decided it would be more fun if we went out to lunch instead.
Soren’s first study was more of a product test. It’s technically a secret, so I can’t say much about it, but I can say that it involved a visit to our home from world-renowned pediatrician Harvey Karp (of “The Happiest Baby on the Block” fame). When Soren was tiny, Tim and I quickly came to love Dr. Karp’s magic tricks for soothing, so when we had the chance to receive a personal visit from the legend himself we jumped at the chance. We sort of felt like celebrities, since Dr. Karp has worked with the likes of Madonna, Michelle Pfieffer, and Pierce Brosnan. He took time to answer all our questions, and was nice beyond belief. He loved Soren, even after Soren spit up all over him.
Over the last few weeks, Soren has participated in two more studies — one through Harvard, one through Boston University. One is looking at cognitive development and mimicking, the other is investigating social interactions. In the photo below, Soren is watching a little video with smiley faces bouncing around. He spent the first half of the video looking around the dark room, completely uninterested in the screen. Since I do all I can to prevent him from watching TV or looking at computer screens, I was thrilled that he wasn’t sucked in. Let’s hope he didn’t skew the results of the study by ignoring it.