How do you build a “better baby?” Flash cards, apparently. From the Philly Inquirer:
Angelo Calafati munches a fistful of Cheerios. Directly across from him, his mother, Dana, coos and smiles. She holds up a stack of 10 large cards with pictures of exotic flowers, and like a gunner who has found her target, she rattles off complex names for several seconds.
South African daisy. Feverfew. Greater stitchwort.
Angelo grins. He shows off his two front teeth. He gazes intently at the purple prickly pear. He furrows his brow. At times, he looks away.
Over the morning’s breakfast at the carriage house in Oaks, Calafati, 32, will present more large flash cards, many handmade, that cover a variety of subjects: European flags, mammals, forest animals, composers, even historical farm tractors and military helicopters with model numbers.
Sikorsky CH-53. Kamov Ka-25. Boeing CH-47 Chinook. . . . Henry Hudson. Marco Polo. Christopher Columbus.
“Christopher Columbus found the Americas while seeking a sea route to India,” Calafati, a gymnast by training, says, sounding peppy as she shares occasional trivia.
Angelo gurgles. At 13 months, he may not talk, but he’s an old hand at this. Like his two older siblings, he’s gone through these paces since birth.
Mom is using the Better Baby Program, which sounds like a complete crock. “Controversial,” says the Inquirer.