Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New words

Jet continuously amazes me with how fast he's learning so many different things. His language development is my current fascination.

He moved up into the Twos and Threes class at his playschool about two months ago, and his sentence structure and vocabulary are much more complex. We noticed the difference in about two weeks.

I love, love, LOVE that he can communicate so well with us. He really can tell me anything he needs/wants to tell me. I think it has a lot to do with us (and his playschool teachers) teaching him a few signs at an early age. He could sign "more" and "please" consistently at nine months old, and we added a few more along the way. I think it eliminated much of the grunting, random gesturing and fit-pitching that is common with some toddlers as they learn how to talk... or I could just be blessed with a very even-tempered kid (which he is, as well).

Back to the topic... He has said two new words in the last couple of days that really threw me for a loop; what really gets me is that he used them both correctly. Yesterday, he said, "Actually, we turned left," when we were in the car. This evening, he used the word "exactly".

What TWO year old does that? At first I was proud of him, like I am with almost all of his new accomplishments (the good ones, anyway). Then it got me to thinking... is he growing up too fast? He really is a smart kid, in an I-can't-trick-him-into-getting-him-to-do-what-I-want-him-to-do sort of way. He almost can't be bribed anymore, either. What if I'm turning him into some kind of geek? Do I expect too much of him and force him to grow up too fast?

I know I have really, really high standards for my high school students; I treat most of them almost as if they're college students. Maybe now I have a bit of understanding when parents ask me, "Do you really think they're capable of handling this/that/the other like you're asking them to do?" or "Don't you think we're pressuring them too much?".

Maybe I'm just rambling a bit, here... (upchucking words, as it were)... I just know that a big part of me wants Jet to enjoy his childhood as much as possible. There are many, many years down the road for him to be all responsible and stuff.

Another big part of me, though, wants to be sure he understands what that responsibility is all about, and I'm a firm believer that some of those skills are learned at a very young age.

Sometimes I feel like I grew up too fast, like I don't know how to stop being responsible and let loose and have fun, even for a short period of time... because that's all I've ever been: The Responsible One, The Oldest. (If you haven't read it, check out The Birth Order Book. To quote my Granny, "You'll find yourself in it." It really is interesting... but then, I'm a nerd.) I don't want Jet to be that way.

Fortunately, though, Knight is a balancing factor in all of this. He is most definitely a Youngest Child -- much more spontaneous and fun than I am.

Hopefully, God answers our prayers and grants wisdom as we need it... and Jet grows up to be a well-balanced man with the best of both worlds.


Heather said...

My oldest was that way! And she was an only child for 6 years. She soaked up (still does) everything. I think if he really didn't have any interest in those things, he wouldn't take to them the way he does. It's his personality. I think it's great, but you're right, it's VERY hard to trick them! I told Little Artist one time when she was fairly young that she couldn't listen to her stereo (preset stations!) as a punishment. I heard something coming from her room, so I checked, and she had put a music CD in her computer (no internet!). I said, "I told you no music." She said, "No. You said I couldn't listen to my stereo." Um......yeah. She was maybe 5.

Damsel said...

Heather, I believe those are the types of things we have to look forward to. What are these kiddos going to be like when they're teens?!? Yikes! I'm trying to get my bluff in early. ;-)