I have been debating writing this post. On the one hand, I use this blog to record Baby Love’s life and growth, but I realize it is also open for public reading (and I love connecting with others in that way!) and I am afraid this post will come off as bragging. I do want to record this about Baby Love, though, so I apologize if it comes off as shameless boasting. That is not the intent. I simply have no private place where I write these things.
My child amazes me. The things she knows, the connections she makes, I didn’t know were possible for a child her age.
She knows all the letters, and has for many, many months. Not just that she knows the alphabet song, that she can look at any capital letter and most lower case letters and identify them (by sound rather than name since that is how we taught her but still). Her favorite letter is A, and she will even try to write that one with varying degrees of success.
She knows all the numbers 0-9, again, on sight. She can count to about 14 consistently, at which point she tends to get confused and fill in with “eleventeen”. She also can tell you how many items there are up to about four accurately, though this is usually at her own impetus. She tends to shut down if we ask her, but she regularly will correctly tell us the number of items there are. Her favorite number is 11 (hence “eleventeen”).
She knows all of the basic colors. She can identify the color of almost any item when asked and regularly independently identifies items by color (e.g. “brush tooth green” aka the green toothbrush). Her favorite color is pink, much to this blue-loving mama’s chagrin.
She knows all of the basic shapes, including square, circle, oval, rectangle, triangle, diamond, arrow, and to a shakier extent octagon and pentagon. She can identify them by name. She can even identify an item as having multiple shapes. We were recently on a nearby track, walking around the oval, identifying the various things we saw, and she stopped on a basic arrow which was just a triangle. “Awoh!” she said, delightedly. “Yes,” I said, “It is an arrow. What other shape is it?” She contemplated it a moment then cried out, “Twi-angle!” Her favorite shape is a triangle.
She can put these pieces of knowledge together to answer multi-step questions. The other day she was playing with her shapes puzzle and had dumped all of the shape pieces on the floor and was moving them around. The Energizer Daddy asked her, “What color is the diamond?” She studied the pile on the floor, visually identified the diamond, remembered the main question, identified the color, and told him, “Green!” We stared at each other with dropped jaws and asked her several more similar questions, all of which she answered easily.
She has amazing self-control. Every morning and evening she gets a DHA gummy, which is the closest she gets to candy. She LOVES those gummies. When I hand them to her, rather than popping them in her mouth, she holds them and treasures them, sometimes holding them up to her mouth or nose to inhale the goodness but waiting to eat it for ten minutes more more. Usually TED or I finally have to tell her, “You can hold it for one more minute, and then you need to eat it,” just so we can be sure she actually consumes it. Given The Marshmellow Test and the fact that we have never encouraged her to do anything but eat the darn supplement so we can stop watching her, I find this somewhat surprising.
She understands that the function of language is communication and uses strategies to repair broken communication. The other day we were getting ready to take a ferry to a nearby island and we told Baby Love we were going to take a ferry. Since she’d never heard that word before and just kind of stared at us we told her a ferry was a big boat. Several minutes later TED and I were talking about other subjects while she happily munched almonds on the bed when she announced to us, “Baby Love ride ferry!” Not understanding her toddler-version of the word I looked at her and said, “I’m sorry?” She was silent for a second, then said, “Baby Love ride big boat!” That is a very adult repair, to select a synonym your listener might better understand.
Her language, communication, knowledge, synthesis, and understanding shocks me regularly. She’s not even 2 yet. I didn’t know it was possible for a 1 year old to have these abilities. It’s hard to know how much is normal development, which is amazing in and of itself, and how much truly is shocking, but I am regularly amazed by my child and what she can do. It is such a privilege to watch her grow and learn!