Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Smart kids

My husband and I are both very intelligent. I expect that our children will also prove to be very intelligent, barring any disabilities. But at the same time, I know that every parent thinks his or her children are brilliant, so I am not sure of whether to trust my observations. Also, I know there's more to life than being smart, and I'd rather my children display diligence, compassion, and Godliness than sheer brilliance.

A few days ago, Firstborn was transferring water from her leaky sippy cup into a small cylindrical block and then drinking from the block. I was convinced this was a sign of her genius. Even though the cylinder had a hole in the middle. She was making a mess, but I was impressed enough to let her keep doing it anyway.

She has displayed willful defiance before the books have said she "should"--you know, when they give you a big smile and shake their head no as they do something they know they shouldn't.

Someone commented she knew a lot of words for her age--not as sure how typical that is. She seems to be adding a new one almost every day--pop (we have jewelweed to thank for that one :), please, vroom, belly button, shoe, rock-rock, cracker....

Books are some of her favorite toys.

She already plays creatively--the same object can become a hairbrush or a phone. She will on occasion pretend to feed a doll.

She knows how some of her books go--as soon as I turned to the page that said "God made deer," she was already finding my ear. (She always does that--she hears ear and she knows where that is.) She's also associated pictures of objects with the real thing (mainly cats but possibly ducks), but this is a step beyond that, because there's not a picture of an ear on the "God made deer" page.

She knows what button is pressed to get out of her car seat. She can't operate it (which is good), but she plays with it when she wants out.

If she has a shape-sorter toy, she can sometimes put the shape through the hole if I point at the right hole. If she doesn't manage it, she takes the top off of the shape sorter and puts the shape in, then puts the top back on.

So I think my daughter is brilliant. I don't particularly intend to do anything about it--at least not anything different--but I do think she's smart. I think that if I work on things at her level, she's going to pick them up fairly quickly. Some of that's practical--she can now indicate whether she's all done with her food (dah and pushes on tray) or wants more (mmm and pointing). Some of it is less so--I'm working now on "What does the ___ say?" (she will spontaneously make animal sounds, but doesn't know that question yet).

But I'm not pressuring her, because at this age (one might argue, at any age) learning is supposed to be fun. And at any rate, I keep hearing about a friend's niece, her age, who prefers realistic bears to teddy-bear type ones once she saw bears at the zoo and can express this (this was at 12 months), or the boy at church under a year who can already say words and names much more clearly than Firstborn can at 15 months.

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Anonymous Jodi said...

Your first paragraph made me laugh, because we thought the same thing :) I was a physics teacher and dh is a research chemist, so smart genes, right? Do you know *our* firstborn did not utter the word mama (or many others at all) until she was 17 months old?! Now, at 5, she is probably still a smidge behind in speech as far as clarity goes, but totally brilliant in every way. I just had to laugh, because God totally used that to knock some pride out of me. It's such a fun age, especially when they're geniuses, as all of my children are, of course ;)

7:38 PM  

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