Monday, June 7, 2010

Wicked Smart

A year ago, our Developmental Pediatrician asked me a question. My response has haunted the vacant parts of my brain ever since. He asked me if I thought J-man was smart. I am not sure his motivation at the time… I would imagine he was just curious about my perception of his skills… but who knows? I never asked for clarification.

What haunts me, though, is my response. I said “I don’t know.”

I think this haunts me because, in many respects, it shows my doubt in my own son. At that time, he had no words. No language. No way for me to know. And yet… shouldn’t I have rallied? Insisted that he IS smart? Given him every benefit of the doubt?

Parenting is a minefield of mistakes.

So let me set the record straight.

J-man is wicked smart. Wicked smart.

Aside from the fact he has crazy-mad puzzle skills, visual-spatial and problem solving skills that are beyond good, and a keen ability to make his point known without saying a word, the J-man has yet again shown us that he is absorbing the world.

Tonight at the park, J-man took my hubby up to the jungle gym and proceeded, without further ado, to point to each letter of the alphabet inscribed on the wall and say each letter out loud. Except “G” and “J”. Apparently he skipped those.

Now, you need to understand. I have not made any serious point whatsoever to teach him the alphabet. Or numbers. I do label them on occasion… and he has some alphabet puzzles and magnets… and good old “Sesame Street” and “Super Why”… but it isn’t like I run flashcards at him all day. He never seemed terribly interested, and I‘ve had bigger cognitive fish to fry.

But somewhere along the way, he learned his letters. Without language to support it, he learned them. On his own. Think about that!!! And now that he is starting to use that mouth, it is coming out.

Wicked smart.


pixiemama said...

Just as there are all different kinds of smart, there are all different kinds of good mamas.


Apraxia Mom said...

Love the "wicked smart" referral. These kids cease to amaze us! And don't put yourself must be doing something right for that little guy!

Keep up the great work, Mama!

Anonymous said...

When Curt was 3 (isn't J-Man three?), we were on a trip. He, too, had practically no language at that time.

He had an alphabet game in the back seat. He played with it often. It would ask, "Where's the letter W?" and you were supposed to push it. Curt always preferred the music part of the game.

However, that day, a beautiful Friday afternoon on the way to Alabama, my Curt answered every letter it asked while I sat perfectly still in the front seat watching him in the rear-view mirror -- petrified if I moved it I would wake and realize it was a dream.

Tears are in my eyes years later when I remember that moment when I realized Curt was wicked smart. You hang in there, Mama.

Pia said...

Thanks all!

Today, he actually did it again.... to his teachers at school. Shocked them, to be sure... And now I think my point to them about how much he is learning without us knowing is crystal clear.

Don't you just LOVE hope!?


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