Year 2: Part 2

29 Jun

And now the part, where I sound like I’m bragging

With the verbal leap has come a shocking intellectual one. Shocking to me, because I not one of those Alpha Moms who reads chapter books to her child before bed time, reads quality parenting books, and actively devises lesson plans. Rather, I am a mom who tries to disguise boredom when asked to read Brown Bear six times in a row. We actually own very few toddler books (I prefer to check them out from the library), and several of the ones we do own consist of nothing more than a picture letter or number on each page and a pretty illustration or photo. So, I was a bit caught off guard one day in May when we pulled up to one of our local grocery chains and she began to point and shout. “O! O! OOoooOOO!” from the back seat.

Since this occurred during The Period of Acquiring Many New Words, I assumed at first that her O was just a general sound of excitement. But she was pointing wildly, and continued to point and shout O as I released her from the car seat and plopped her into a cart. It was only then that I realized she was pointing at the large letters on the front of the store: V O N S.

How does she know that’s an O?!

Soon, O would be joined by A, Y, E, I, and U. By  mid-June, she would be able to sit on my lap and say almost every letter out loud (F, S, and R are the exceptions. She can point to these when I say them, but she lacks the motor skills to form these sounds yet). Pointing out letters and naming them is now her favorite past time. She also likes to write them, but her handwriting is purely imaginary at this point. It amounts to scribbles on a paper, and I’m honestly in no rush for it to progress any further.

On a similar note, she has decided in the past week that she loves to count to ten (always skipping seven, though. It’s a number she recognizes when asked, but I’m guessing it’s a pronunciation issue again). I don’t think there is anything worth noting about by-rote counting as this is merely recitation. What shocked me was that, like the alphabet, she has learned what the numbers 0 through 10 look like and she can name them as objects. she also has at least a rudimentary understanding of there being a sense of order and counting because we can tell her that she may have have two or three tomatoes and she attempts to count them (not always successfully).

I’m noting this here because I know it’s unusual. I’m not placing any meaning on it, I’m merely noting it as a quality that is unique to her (much like her strange eye color or late growing teeth). Actually, placing any meaning at all terrifies me. I am too imperfect, too flawed, and often too self-absorbed to be a mother to an unusual child. The idea that my resources–financial, intellectual, emotional–may be inadequate to give her what she needs chills me to bones. I google “22-month baby recognize letters” and my results turn up nothing tangible. Like so many mothers who have searched longingly, but for very different reasons, I’m looking to see her placement on the milestone chart. I want to be safe in the knowledge that she’s somewhere n that curve, and just like everyone else. She can’t use a shape sorter. That evens things out, right?

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4 Responses to “Year 2: Part 2”

  1. Garrett June 29, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    I try to remember that it doesn’t really matter where she is on the curve of life. In the end she’ll wind up in the same place as everyone else. She has parents who care about her and pay attention to her. I’m certain that she will have skills that she will really shine and ones where she struggles. Just like the rest of us.
    I have no delusion that somehow I’m going to be perfect and see everything and help her through it all. There are simply some things that it will be impossible for us to see. For those things it will be entirely up to her to deal with them. I just hope to give her the tools to figure them out on her own.
    I hope too that she will trust us enough to seek our help when she needs it. This one is tough though. Real trust takes a lifetime and can be lost in a moment if one isn’t careful.

  2. niobe June 29, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    Omigosh. This is *exactly* like Gray. Without any prompting from me, he learned to identify all the letters before he was two and his favorite pastime was looking for letters everywhere we went.

    And — if it reassures you at all — these days he’s a perfectly normal, sweet, bright (but not some kind of mad scientist super genius or anything) 17-year-old.

  3. Tammy July 12, 2009 at 4:15 am #

    wow knowing numbers and letters that well at her age is excellent..i’d say she’s very smart not ususual…kady is the opposite..she knows colors shapes etc..can count but cant look at many letters and numbers and say what they are yet…she knew colors by 1 and a half years. Does that make her unusual? no! Just smart..hehe

  4. Kate at Centsational Girl July 14, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Oh, the sheer joy of caring for a precious babe and watching them grow. I so identify with what you’re saying ! I’m not an alpha mom either. I truly treasure when they skip a number or letter, because I know it won’t last long. I remember when my daughter said “Brek-bast” for breakfast, and I never corrected her, because I loved the sweetness of the mistake. And I love how she says “gamote bintrol” for remote control. I treasure that. And she’s five now. They grow up so fast, it makes my head spin.

    Kate

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