Mum's are the only words for baby boys

WE may have been offered a rare insight into why men and women know instinctively from birth which of us is in charge.

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And before you tell me, Mrs S, I already know – you are, of course.

Apparently it's because babies in the womb do, in fact, hear voices.

But – and you won't be surprised to hear this – the only dulcet tones the wee mites can detect belong to their pregnant mum.

If you can believe research by Washington psychology professor Christine Moon, baby doesn't hear daddy's voice in the womb.

(From personal experience, the little darlings don't hear daddy's voice from anywhere else in the house until they discover the need for money. But I digress.)

Prof Moon claims babies listen to their mothers in the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and they can recognise mum's voice at birth.

Unfortunately, we boys hear only the female perspective and remain blissfully ignorant about what's out there, or even who Andy Murray is.

Perhaps that's why, when we do finally make our entrance and discover the awful truth, more crying male babies than females show their appreciation by keeping their parents awake at night.

That crying game claim comes from yet another US professor of psychology, Marsha Weinraub.

This prof from Philadelphia has kicked a female hornets' nest by claiming to have shown that the best way to ensure a good night's rest for mum and dad is to let baby cry itself to sleep.

It's not a new argument, but always guaranteed to raise maternal hackles and incite cries of neglect.

I CAN'T recall what we did if our two boys cried during the night. Then again, Mrs S says I was usually fast asleep at the time.

But you have to think that babies cry for a reason, so to ignore them completely can't be clever.

Since Dr Spock gave us his 1946 baby bible – for 52 years the world's best-selling book after the actual Bible – much tosh has been written about child-rearing.

So step forward a third US academic, Dr Seethalakshmi Ramanathan, of New York Medical University.

She offers research suggesting that babies born now, during recessions, are more likely to be troubled teenagers with drug problems and criminal tendencies. Only in America.

I don't remember anarchy among the UK's 1930s and post-War new-borns. Kate and William can relax.

It's down to parenting, pure and simple. If you don't believe that, you no doubt agree with old Aristotle.

He believed giving birth to hairy babies was a sure sign that extra-marital hanky-panky had taken place. Naughty gorillas.

Some of these female academics have been vilified because they have no kids of their own.

They may be doctors and professors, but their opinion is denounced as worthless if they haven't themselves given birth.

I'll need to ask Ronan McConville to explain that. He's our vet and claims to know all about our cat.

IT'S no cause for celebration that the Dear Green Place had only 558 cases last year of wilful fireraising.

Sure, such incidents have fallen by more than a quarter in six years, but with an average of 10-a-week still being set this city still has much work to do.

Taking schoolkids to local Strathclyde Fire and Rescue stations, to get a taste of what it's like to be a fire fighter, is a great idea which will build bonds and respect.

We will never deter the criminals, the insurance scam artists, but we can certainly reach the kids.

Families

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