Thursday, June 9, 2011

Little Einsteins

Do you think your kids are the smartest kids in the world? Well I have news for you: they are. And mine are too, of course.

My dad once told me that one of the most rewarding things about watching your kids grow up is how they learn and take in the world and how amazing it is. And he is totally right.

I have also realized that when kids hit most developmental milestones often has little to do with their intelligence or potential.

Big A was definitely not an early talker, but when she did start talking, she developed an incredible vocabulary very quickly and since then has been extremely articulate for her age. Yet now that she is in Junior kindergarten and learning to read, she is making taking her time to learn to read. Adam, has pointed out, however, that this is partly because she is extremely lazy and gets frustrated/bored/distracted quickly.

While Big A did walk and toilet train early, Little A walked a few months later and still shows little interest in getting out of diapers. Although she demonstrated astounding comprehension at a young age, she began talking even later than Big A and is still largely unintelligible, so much so that we have her on the waiting list for speech therapy.

Am I worried about her? Not really. Every other sign points to her being extremely smart and developing well. She is extremely social, understands EVERYTHING, can follow complex directions, and has a large vocabulary...we just can't understand her. She is also now MORE advanced than Big A was at this age in terms of both her gross and fine motor skills.

After chatting with my friend Megan, a speech pathologist, I think it problem is likely some sort of speech impediment. When I described how she talks, Megan said it may be she can't pronounce hard "c"s or "k" sounds, which is very common.

Regardless, both my girls delight me on a daily basis with their learning and thinking.

Just yesterday Big A asked me "Mommy, how does disease happen?" I tried to explain to her that some diseases are caused by genetics (because someone's mommy or daddy has a disease or are a carrier of a disease), some are caused by environmental factors, lifestyle factors, some have unknown causes and sometimes people are even born with diseases. So we talked about how even children can be very sick and even die (I don't sugar-coat things). "I know something else, Mommy," she said, "Sometimes when a woman is pregnant, the baby dies when it is in her tummy!" I told her this was true and that, in fact, this had happened to me before she was in my tummy.

She was fascinated and asked if it was a boy or girl and what the baby's name was (I tried to explain that the baby was so small that we didn't know and had not chosen a name. She thought for a few moments and then asked, "So did you and daddy always want 2 babies, like was it going to be that baby and me?"

I was shocked and sort of amused. Instantly her focus was on whether she had always been a planned and wanted child. As the older sibling, who is often very jealous of her younger sister, I think it gave her comfort to think that even if that first baby had lived, she would still be alive...while perhaps her sister would not be! Although this might not be the nicest way to look at it, I can certainly understand her desire to look at it this way and I actually think it shows a fairly mature level of analytical skills. I decided there is no point explaining to her that because she was conceived just 2 months after my miscarriage, that she would not exist had that pregnancy been viable.

Believe it or not, Little A already shows signs of sophisticated reasoning...I am certain, of course, that she, like her big sister, is a genious. We just have to get her to speak English in a way that we can understand!

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