Anna June is developing into quite the advanced little thinker. She has picked up all sorts of ideas and phrases from her parents, teachers, friends, books, television, and other sources, but the way that she integrates them and remembers them is truly remarkable.
I feel like I never sit down in the evenings, but last night I had a glass of wine and was determined to finish it before starting on the dishes. I sat down on the couch near AJ, who was watching Sesame Street. While it is not uncommon for Radar and AJ to fight over my lap, it turned into quite the struggle. Radar was trying to tell me that he needed to go out, AJ was trying to snuggle, and I was trying not to spill my wine (again) on my freshly-cleaned beige carpet. Radar was scratching and biting me to get my attention, AJ was bouncing up and down along with Bert and Ernie's song about counting, and I was holding my quickly emptied glass off to the side of the commotion. I couldn't help myself, and I sighed a long, deep, exasperated sigh. AJ turned to me, full of concern, and asked, "Are you OK Mommy?" I explained that I was not really OK, that I needed to put down my glass and take Radar outside. She complied and I came back a few minutes later with a calm dog to find her pretty much where I left her, watching Elmo.
Another time, I had a stomach ache and had been complaining about it all day. I was not myself and was not up to chasing Anna June all over the house, yard and town. I told her I wasn't feeling well. She asked, "Do you need some medicine?"
I was reading I am a Puppy to her, and when Bruno meets a skunk, I decided I would point out that Curious George had met a skunk in an episode we watched together recently. Last night, Ben read the same book, and at the same point, AJ declared, "Curious George met a skunk, too!"
While reading an article called "How to Tell if Your Preschooler is Gifted," one part of the description stuck out for me: "While hyperactive children often have a short attention span, gifted children can concentrate on one task for long periods of time and are passionate about their interests." I talked to her teacher about this just this morning. If Anna June is interested in doing something, she gets really focused. Despite whatever else is going on, she still concentrates on the task at hand: dressing a baby doll, "reading" a book, playing with a toy, etc. This can be really frustrating as a parent. I don't really know how to divert her attention well. Of course, she's too young to really tell that she's gifted, per se. I know that many of her friends in her class do the same things and are every bit as advanced as she is. But to us, of course, she's very advanced, in everything but sleeping.
One bad thing about the ability to focus and remember is that we can't tell her anything ahead of time. On Sunday night, we were talking about animals, and decided we'd go to the zoo this Saturday. She's been deciding what animals to see. She declared that her daddy must ride the camel with her. And we should feed the giraffes and see their blue tongues. But Sunday to Saturday is a long time. Every morning since then, she's woken up asking if this is the day we can go to the zoo. She's asked about it when I pick her up from school. The answer "no" is met with pouting and sometimes tears. We've worked with her on the days of the week, and she even knows a song about them and can therefore sing them in order. She knows it is Thursday, but two more days to a toddler is torture! I am going to take my friend's advice and in the future, just not tell her where we're going until we're in the car on the way there!
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