Okay so my obgyn has a wall in his office covered in pictures of babies he has delivered. The week after Bean was born, I went in and looked at that wall and was basically like…. you could hand me any one of these kids and say “here’s Bean” and I’d believe you. For about five or six months I’d pick her up and look at her and not recognize her at all. Like, I know she’s my kid because nobody snuck in and switched her out, but if somebody had, they’d totally have gotten away with it.
Starting at about nine months though, I could tell her from other kids. And I don’t think it’s parental instinct, I think it’s just that I’ve been looking at her for 12+ hours a day for nine straight months. But like, if something changed, I’m not sure that I could do it reliably. Like if she was with a bunch of other kids and they’d just gotten their faces painted I’d probably have some trouble.
On a possibly related note, I can recognize Misha Collins by his hands and butt, now. Like I can see a photo of hands on hips and be like “yah that’s Misha.” I can also recite pi to 100 digits so it’s possible I’m just good at patterns.
Thank you. That’s very interesting 🙂
Pattern recognition is how I’m pretty sure I recognize people – tattoos and moles and scars, etc. Faces are hard, but easier the longer I know a person and the more I care about them.
Even in people I know well, if they change their hair color, the way they do their make-up, or if they wear a hat or other things like that, it throws me off. My mom started getting perms when I was a kid and it became hard to pick her out of a crowd for a good few months. She hasn’t permed it in a long time, but the changeover to gray hair has tripped me up a little.
If it’s truly a neurological issue, then of course being a parent wouldn’t change that fact, so that answers my question 🙂
It has always blown my mind that parents could recognize babies. Babies have the least amount of unique features and yet parents can still pick them out of 50 other infants and I’m like WHAT?!!