Little genious?

8 Oct

Every first time parent thinks their little darling is an absolute genious, right?  People tell us all the time how smart T is and we are constantly blown away at how quickly he learns things.  But I have a hard time accepting the fact that he might actually be really smart, and it’s not just my pride and love fogging my vision. 

T is involved in a study the psychology department at the local University is conducting which studies infants’ and toddlers’ memory, temperment and cognition.  He was enrolled when he was 5 months old, for no special reason other than he was 5 months old and I thought it would be a cool thing to be a part of.  We have the most adorable videos of his participation when he was 5 months and 9 months. 

Last weekend was the first of the toddler visits, which are done at 2, 3 and 4 years of age.  T did a wonderful job and we scheduled it at just the right time – before he got hungry for lunch and needed a nap.  He ran around a little at first but after that, he really got into the “games” and cooperated beautifully. 

The amazing part is how well he did on several of the games/tests.  I was told to not try and help him with any of the games or tasks, as many were designed to invoke frustration to see how he would handle it.  They also said that some of the games were to show that 2 year olds can’t do them.  Well….sorry to skew the data, folks.  

The researchers were really shocked that T did so well at a few of the “games”.  One game in particular involved putting together a hard puzzle with similarly shaped animals, but in graduating sizes.  I was to sit back and pretend to be busy reading something, and to see how he handled it.  T went to town right away on the puzzle.  He said “Mommy?” once but then quickly went back to the puzzle.  He ended up with 4 of the pieces in the correct places and would have kept working if the time for that portion of the study hadn’t expired.  What I didn’t know is that the researchers in the other room viewing it on a monitor were telling my husband that they’ve never had a 2 year old get 4 pieces in the puzzle.  Most get 1, maybe 2, and then start running around the room and totally lose focus.  In fact, they shortened the time for that task because so much time was wasted with the kids just running around. 

Another task involved 2 baskets: one that had a picture of a red flower on it, and the other right next to it had a picture of a blue car.  It began by showing T that the flash cards with red pictures on them went into the basket with the red flower.  There were red flowers and red cars.  And flash cards with blue pictures went into the blue car basket.  The researcher walked through a few cards with T, then scrambled them up and gave him 6 to do on his own.  He got everyone right!   Then, they changed the game up.  All the pictures of flowers, regardless of color, went into the basket with the red flower and all the car pictures into the blue car basket.  Again, she walked T through a few and then scrambled the cards and gave them to him one at a time.  Not only did he get every one of those right, but you could see that he instantly knew which basket the card should go into.  Hubby says he and the others were blown away at how quickly he did it.   And there were some other things that impressed them about T, but those were the 2 major ones. 

So, is he a genious?  Most likely not.  But I’m coming to realize that it’s not just me, that he really is a very smart kid.  (Not that it’s exactly a bitter pill to swallow.)  The daycare director told me that he will probably be ready developmentally for the 3 year old room by Christmas.  What?!  And this was not long after he had moved to the 2 year old room.  

So to me, the trick is finding the appropriate schools to keep challenging him, and pray that he stays interested in learning for a looooong time!

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