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Question of the Week - My Child's a Supergenius, But...

You all know how I feel about babies/toddlers/kids all being supergeniuses. It's simply amazing the things they learn and how quickly they learn. But physically, mentally and emotionally. Really, they are all amazing.

The Pumpkin is no exception. She really is a supergenius. She has been fast to develop her motor skills and communication skills. Physically, she is currently working on jumping, which is soooooo cute. She bends her knees and then straightens them, getting a little lift off the ground, although it's usually one foot and then the other. Sometimes she gets both off the ground at the same time! And then she says, "Good jump!"

As for verbal skills, she has had word explosion after explosion. I could not possibly count all the words she has, but let me tell you a story of a walk Londo, the Pumpkin and I took a couple weeks ago, in which Londo and I had just been talking about how she picks up just about every word we say:

Pumpkin: Look at the tree!
caramama: Actually, that's a bush.
Pumpkin: Bush!
caramama to Londo: She's like a sponge.
Pumpkin: Spone (sponge).
Londo: That's irony.
Pumpkin: I-o-e (irony).

But that's not what this post is supposed to be about. Yes, my child is a supergenius. And yours is too. That's a given. But each child doesn't develop ahead of the curve in every area. I'm afraid that always talking about how great they are at this and that gives the impression that there aren't struggles, that everyone else's kids are all advanced in every way. I'm afraid that that might make some parents feel bad about their kids who don't develop as fast in some areas or have real delays. So in an effort to help us all realize that each supergenius also has struggles, today's question of the day is:

In what areas does your child not develop as fast as you expected?

I've been pretty vocal about my daughter's problems learning to self-soothe and sleep well. She's just not good at either. However, there is another area that I don't think I've talked about much that has surprised me.

Since the Pumpkin has started to play with toys and read (okay listen to) books, she seems to do better with toys and books geared towards children younger than her age.

For example, she is currently almost 21 months and I just pulled out some older toys we had put away for a while (we try to rotate toys), and she is really getting into some of the toys with the label for 12 months and up. She was not interested in these toys at 12 months. And at 12 months and a bit older, she was starting to get into toys labeled for 6 months and up.

As for books, she still cannot handle books with long text or with paper pages, since she will rip them. She prefers books that are more interactive, with tabs and things to touch and feel. Yet I remember hanging out over the summer with a friend and her daughter who was about 17 months, and her daughter would sit still on her lap and listed to long pages of text in paper books and want to hear them again and again. My friend tried to read the same books to my child (at the time about 15 months), and she got bored very quickly, got off her lap, and started to climb on things.

I'm not concerned that she is delayed in any way. She is just developing these skills in her own time. Really it's her personality too. Anything that she has to sit still for is not something she gets that into. Yesterday, I tried her with big lego-like toys, which she was okay with, but she had more fun picking it up and pulling it apart while walking around. She just isn't a sit-still-and-figure-it-out kind of girl. She is a climber and a talker, though!

What about your child? Is there an area that you were surprised about his/her development? What does your supergenius struggle with?


Charisse said…
Hmmm, I don't know about surprised, but I will tell you that Mouse has been quite slow on major motor stuff her whole life. We are used to it now, but the way she does things is to wait and wait and wait...and then do them very well. So, she didn't crawl until just after her first birthday but then crawled fast all the way up on her fours; she didn't walk until nearly 16 months but walked steadily from the beginning...trying out jumping was more like 2 years, and at 4 years 8 months she has just now learned to skip, which many of her friends have been doing for months. She's never been a creative or fearless climber at all.

And also, though 4 years 8 months she still prefers someone to hang out with her while she falls asleep. (This is actually more common than many books will tell you.)

But hey, she is a SUPERgenius in other respects, not to mention a flawless beauty. ;-)
Jan said…
The Munchkin's fine motor skills are waaaay behind her gross motor skills. She's (at 4 1/2) barely (if at all) beyond her little brother (at 3). We've also had big-time separation anxiety in her, that's spanned several "normal phase" times. Also, she's still (again, 4 1/2) putting everything in her mouth, which makes me c-r-a-z-y.

The Little Dude has apparently read all the baby books, because he is Joe Textbook. (OK, Joe "brilliant" Textbook.) Maybe a little behind socially (his teacher says he doesn't seem to have any interest in playing with other kids, but I suspect that's because his sister never leaves him alone and he's a little more of an introvert).

They are, of course, the two CUTEST children ever to come down the pike. Duh.
paola said…
I have to be honest, I don't really know what my 23 month old should be doing now, or at any point in her development after the usual crawl, walk and first words. Can you tell she is a second child??

She did most of the above right on time, although the ped raved about her being precocious for crawling, (but 8.5 months seemed totally average judging from what some MoxieMoms had written.).She is a very good talker too considering she is bilingual.

Behind? Oh, yeah, with food. I could go as far as saying she didn't really start on chuncky solids till she was 18 months old. I always offered, and she almost always refused, except for bananas and crackers that is.

Noah OTOH, is a very laid back child and does not try anything until he is 100% sure he will not kill himself in the process. He wasn't really into the playground equipment till way after 3. He'd climb half way up and then get stuck and then someone'd have to go save him. Even recently (3.5) he managed to get to the second 'step' of the rope net they have at the park, which is about 50 cm. from the ground and it was all 'wow, look mummy'. Fortunatley he is not a rough and tumble laddy.

Oh CM, Zoe was the same with the books until only recently (21/22 month or so). She would get bored after a couple of pages, and say 'nuff'and close the book for me. Now, finally, I can read her a story she likes fro start to finish without her getting bored with it. Definitely a developmental thing, book appreciation.
Becoming Mommy said…
Sasha's talking and motor skills seem about average to me. His interest in learning social niceties and helpfulness to me is what makes him ahead (at least to me). He's also always been good about being read to and playing with toys--we still get board books though because he'll shred any book if left alone with it.
What I wish we had less issue with was his sleeping and eating. He just doesn't appear to be a child who needs much sleep, though, so I have my doubts that will ever rectify itself. Eating, I think may be age appropriate combined with persnicketty-ness. We've been finding ways around it and simply helping him understand he WILL EAT. We don't care that he'd rather be down, he's not getting it till he eats (Sasha will go on hunger strikes for no earthly reason...for days). So he whines incessantly while eating.
Cloud said…
My Pumpkin (20 months) is behind the curve in sleeping/self-soothing, too. Thank goodness I found all these blogs about babies who also don't sleep so well, or I'd be feeling pretty bad. All the babies I know/know of in real life are excellent sleepers!

Pumpkin will sit still for books, but is only now starting to show any interest in songs, and still doesn't try to sing along. Both Hubby and I are musical types, so that has been a bit of a surprise.
eating... anything but rocks he's pretty behind in.

Sitting still, playing independently, sleeping through the night.

Not sure on the talking.

Everything for him seems to be motivated socially. He eats well socially but not on his own, he wants to help out and do things with us, so anything that there is not a social motivator for he kinda ignores for awhile.
- Dana said…
Aria is a good sleeper at night (her one nap is another story) and she was a quick talker. She is constantly suprising me with the words/sentences that come out of her mouth. Communication definitely isn't an issue. Now - I REALLY wish she had an interest in the potty. She's done both pee and poo in the little potty ONCE like 2 months ago. Ever since, she will NOT sit on the potty. She tells me she needs a new diaper, even when she's getting out of the bath and is RIGHT next to the potty. She asks to change her poo diapers, which is a good thing. But she could care less about pee diapers and she usually wears cloth and I know they feel wet! Her teacher told us to buy under pants and prep her about the big day and just put them on (only diapers at night). She said she's subborn but is quite aware, so not giving her a choice is probably the best way to go. I'm so nervous about it, because I don't want her to get pissed off at us! I'm definitely waiting until after the holidays. Half of her classmates are starting to catch on to potty training or have already been doing it for months. I would love so much for her to join them and want it!
ImpostorMom said…
Hmmm, I want to say that Boog's fine motor skills took a little while to develop. He's getting it now but he's only just now getting good with utensils and most of the time just opts to use his hands to eat anyway.
I'm Not Skippy said…
The suggested toy ages are less developmental and more safety oriented. A 12+ toy means it is safe for a 12-month-old to play with they toy, not that only a 12-month-old can play with it. My nieces and Nephew are 4, 5 and 7 and they play with my 13-month-old son's toys like they are the best toys ever. It's like you rereading a book. Reading a book you read when you were 16 doesn't mean you've regressed to the intelligence of a 16-year-old.

Plus isn't it more fun to play with a toy you've mastered than a toy you can't figure out. Then it's less about learning and frustration and all about fun.

Other than that I'm with you, I'm not worried about most of my son's developments either. We have the short attention span for long books thing too. So much so that instead of reading the book we flip pages with him and make up our own shorter stories. Which still bore him, but then he'll sit and flip pages on his own and talk to himself. . . normally with the book upside down.

So yeah, I'm happy with where he is. Sure I wish he'd move faster on his eating skills but all in all I think he's doing OK.
AmyinMotown said…
Maggie was exactly like Pumpkin when it comes to books. She was late 3 before she would sit in my lap and listen to me read to her for any length of time, and stlll has trouble sitting still and listening a lot of the time. And again, it's personality -- from the time she could move on her own she has been a girl on the go. I have noticed even when she's talking to a friend she's really excited to see, she can't stand still, she kind of hops and wiggles.

She's behind on independent play, probably because she's a first child with a work-at-home mom who was able to do LASER FOCUS on her and amuse her all the time. Her teachers tell me she does well at school.

She was also late to talk -- we actually were in the process of having her evaluated because she was so behind and she up and started speaking in sentences, exactly like she was supposed to. Now she never, EVER shuts up and has a pretty advanced vocabulary.

And shes not very emotionally mature --she has trouble controlling herself when she gets upset. Like, um, me.

She is of course a superstar :-).

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