Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So this is wild...

I will post photos soon. August has been a crazy month, and it ain't over yet baby. Right now we have Lolli and G-Pop here for a visit, and that's been really fun.

But I didn't want to let a day go by without capturing something so strange that happened last night. After a long day out and about seeing the sights in Boulder, Aunt Jen and Roan were drawing some pretty pictures with her jumbo crayons. Jen spelled Roan's name out in letters and then said the letters. ONCE. Jen then said "R - O - " and Roan finished "A - N." We all looked at each other thinking Did she just really do that? Then a few minutes later as Roan was distractedly putting crayons into the container and taking them out of the container she did it unprompted all by herself. "R - O - A - N." (She says her Rs "aww"; it's so cute!) That seemed really crazy. Jen also wrote Sasha's name down and she said some of its letters as well. Then an hour or two later as she was sitting in the bathtub, I used one of her tub crayons to write her name on the wall. I didn't spell it out for her, and she didn't take much notice of it at the time. She played happily in the water with her cups and her rubber duckies and drew a little on the tub with the soap crayons. Then at the end of the bath as we were getting ready to get her out, I asked her to help me clean the crayons off the tub. She looked at what I had written earlier and said completely unprompted "R - O - A - N."

Now is that weird or what? She is spelling her name and she is not even 18 months! It actually seemed slightly spooky to me. I haven't been working at all on the alphabet with her. I can only assume this is something she's picked up at school. I do not plan on sharing this latest development with the neighborhood mommies either; they already refer to her somewhat self-consciously as Baby Einstein. One asked me for tips and pointers on how I have gotten her vocabulary so high. It must be all the hours we keep her locked in her room going through flashcards. "You can eat as soon as you say antidisestablishmentarianism, Roan."

No but seriously, people might think I'm hell bent on getting her to read by age two or become the next Doogie Howser, but I'm not. From the day she was born I have told myself that we all have different sets of gifts that make us who we are, and I want to honor them in her. It's important to me to encourage Roan at whatever she's good at, whether it's building train sets or making art or reading. Whether it's an interest I share or not.

And anyway last night could have been some kind of a fluke. I can't help but feel though that Roan is a very bright little cookie though. Not only because of her large vocabulary or the way she is now stringing two words together at a time. But also because she has been so physically advanced from the begining - sitting up, crawling and walking early. She's been going in the potty every morning - just pee; poop is still giving her trouble. And she's a complete social butterfly, saying "Hi!" to every person we pass at the grocery store and going on hugging sprees with her little friends at daycare. It makes me wonder whether we're doing enough to challenge her and keep her interested in learning.

I guess you can drive yourself crazy with that though, and if you're not careful end up being the mom shuttling her between chess club and math tutoring at age 5. Don't want to be that mom. And anyway, just because you get a bright start doesn't mean your life is all roses. There's the friend of a friend who got a free ride to Yale and ended up as a clerk at a bookstore. Or that evil little genius on CSI who conspired with her brother to murder a cheerleader in her high school. Yes I know CSI is only for pretend, but she had a line in that episode that went something to the effect of "When I started spelling words at 18 months, my whole life changed."

Roan is 16 months, by the way.

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