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.