Monday, January 05, 2004

OK, he might not be a Super Genius (progress report)

Maybe not, but it sure seems like that. Who do I refer to? Why, our son David, of course!

To be a little bit serious, it's not that he's an incredible prodigy or anything like that. What I can say is that it's been absolutely fascinating to watch him develop over the last year or so, as he left behind being a helpless little baby and turned into a fairly bright, inquisitive toddler who seems to be picking up a new skill every day. I don't really think he's way ahead of all his peers. I've seen them all over the last several months - more often since I've been home than I did before. Some of them are more advanced than David in some ways, some of them are behind him in some ways. They all have their own little quirks and skills that make them individuals, and make them all wonderful as well. And the biggest privilege of all in parenthood is learning to understand and appreciate this.

Where does David stand right now, a couple of weeks past month number 19? Well, he's highly verbal. Unlike his dad, who didn't talk until late (and some might say has been making up for it ever since!), he's mastered around 50 words at this point, and has started to put together occasional 2-word statements - the beginning of sentences. He also babbles in clear form, saying words that make perfect sense to him but have no relationship to reality at all. Which is fun. He can read a couple of words off the page, and recognizes around 10 letters (he names them when he plays with the refrigerator magnets). He doesn't know any numbers yet, but he finds them to be interesting.

He reads (as best as he can) a whole mess of books every day - from little mini-picture books to bigger board books. He's not automatically shredding any non-board books anymore. That's a relief. Many times during the day, he'll walk up to one of us with a book in hand, and demand "up!", which is his way of making us read to him. We're expected to comply immediately. He has also become a lot more gentle playing with Gracie in recent weeks, and is starting to improve with other people's pets as well. He and Danny still hate each other, though.

When we were in Connecticut, we visited our friends Flip and Judy on Christmas Eve day. David played with their three-year-old, and started trying to use their older daughter's Mac. He seemed to finally grasp the mouse idea, after trying to play with the mice on our Macs at home. We have an old iMac that's being refurbed for David now (it was Jane's about four or five years ago), and a couple of early educational programs for him once I get that done. It's just another neat educational toy.

He still loves music, though I don't think there's a musician inside him. I could be wrong, though. He has an electronic piano I bought him back about a month ago (he'd seen it at our friend Rob's house), which he likes to play. It also has a microphone attached, and he goes up to it and howls. When he hears the amplification, it gets a giggle out of him.

Other than that, he's definitely turning out to be a lefty, he still loves the "unload" segments of Trading Spaces best, has turned into a "Blue's Clues" fan (to the exclusion of his older favorites, except for "Sesame Street"), and he loves to play "peeka". David thinks a riotously good time can be had chasing me around the house in circles, which entertains him and has helped me lose some weight. He's shaken off most of the physical developmental delays that come from being both a preemie and an only child (with no other kids around at all), and is now pretty rough-and-tumble. As I posted a couple of weeks ago, he can now escape from the crib that contained me as a child. We've probably got another month or two before he's out of the one here. Pillows are being laid in the room in preparation for the day.

Basically, what we have here is a typical little boy. He's a happy little guy who loves learning new things, is spoiled rotten by having his parents around all the time, and still gobbles pretty much anything we put near him (unfortunately, sometimes that gobble list also includes our limbs, which we're trying frantically to stymie). It's been a terrific time so far having him around, and I'm looking forward to the new things he'll do later today, once he wakes up from his nap.

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