From the day he was born, my son has filled me with wonder and amazement. And, I must admit, no small amount of pride. Not because of anything I’ve done. No, I get excited about the things that he accomplishes. Lately, I’ve been watching how much he’s growing up - the information he’s absorbed over time that is coming out in our everyday life. He knows almost every letter of the alphabet. He’s getting to know his colors. He’s starting to *get* the concept of numbers and counting and “how many”. He’s beginning to let us know his preferences for food, clothing and toys - all little pieces of the puzzle that will eventually become the person that is Brandon.
Over the weekend, in his hoodie that he insisted on wearing, I decided to introduce him to markers. Washable markers. He took to them immediately. He loved how easy it was to draw with them. On paper and his hands. He doesn’t like it when something gets on his hands. It’s worse with sticky substances, like the marker he got all over himself.
Do you ever watch your child doing activities and look for clues that they have talent or even greater interest in the activity over others? I do. Not that I want to plan his life out for him, but I love knowing about the things he enjoys and I sometimes let my mind wander through the possibilities.
At 29 months (almost), he’s been doing puzzles for over a year and he loves them. Every morning, he goes down the stairs yelling, “puzzle…puzzle…puzzle”, until he finally arrives in his play area. Through sheer determination and persistence over the past few weeks, he’s gone from saying “need help” every time he gets to a new piece, to confidently putting them in by himself.
That ability to keep trying is something I want to encourage in him so that when he meets the inevitable obstacles later in life, he won’t just give up. I also hope he keeps on asking for help, because sometimes you just need a little boost to get you through.
I thought for a long time that Brandon’s verbal skills might be a little on the slow side of the development averages. I wasn’t and I’m not at all worried, because he isn’t struggling and he is progressing. He’s setting the pace for himself, which lately has picked up speed dramatically.
As he was putting together the pieces of his snake puzzle today (with numbers on one side and letters on the other), he started pointing at and saying the numbers.
Later, as he was playing with one of his noisy toys that plays music, he was pressing the buttons and saying the letters on them. Matt was amazed at how many letters he knew.
And honestly, we can’t take any credit for Brandon’s knowledge. I don’t know if he’s behind, normal or ahead for his age on these things and I don’t think it really matters. He doesn’t need to know these things - I’m just so happy he enjoys learning as much as he does. Because we’re not pushing him to learn. He’s doing it on his own.
Even if his verbal development seems to slow down again, I know he’s an observer. He watches the world around him before he decides what action to take. But watch out when he’s done observing; this kid has a serious need for speed. He hears words and practices them in a whisper before saying them aloud. (I do this, too!)
I like saving the best for last, and this new interest of Brandon’s has me absolutely tickled pink. He’s “reading” to himself. It started with Go, Dog. Go! and he’s slowly picking up other books we’ve read to him a thousand times and he’s “reading” them on his own.
One of my greatest desires as a mom - since before I ever got pregnant - has been to teach my child to love to read. Somehow, someway we got him interested at a very young age and he’s still hooked. I wondered what would happen when he backed off of books for a few weeks earlier this year, but he’s asking to read every night again. I won’t push, though. I want him to love to read of his own accord. But I have to say that I get positively giddy when I see him “reading” to himself. It gives me hope that 5, 10, 50 years from now he’ll still be picking up books to read for pure enjoyment.
And…after all the busyness of the day…sleep and Teddy Bear are all he needs.