Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Dangerous Mind

Sometimes, just for S&Gs, I like to offer a task to Playette for the simple delight of seeing how she'll respond.

I know my kid is bright. I don't care what anyone's random assessment or evaluation says about this percentile or that developmental age, because I know what I know. This kid's cylinders are firing and I love to see them in action.

So, this afternoon, after Playette had completely jacked her shirt up with the remnants of 1-2 bananas (we're still not sure) that she stole off of the kitchen counter and shoved in her mouth faster than we could even notice, I cleaned her up and asked her to go upstairs, pick out another shirt, and put it on.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But this is big. If you have a kid like my kid, I didn't even have to tell you that.

Just so you know, she's not able to say the words I said to her all in a row like that. But I knew that she knew that I said. No question about it. Her receptive language skills are awesome.

And then I waited.

She went upstairs.

Closed her door.

And then a few minutes later, she came down like this.

New pants. Backwards. No shirt. Over the shorts she had on.

I had to laugh.

Honestly, there are times that I get frustrated, sometimes to the point of tears, when she doesn't get something. Or if she's not telling me something that I know she knows. I do let it get to me...sometimes...and usually I kick myself for it afterwards because that has sooo much to do with me and my issues and not her as a person at all.

It's a delicate balance, attempting to keep expectations high, yet realistic. I don't always pull that off perfectly.

But today? It was just funny. And I appreciated what she did know.

She knew to leave me and go upstairs.

When I went up to see if she had destroyed her room in the process, I learned that she knew to go to her closet and open it up.

She knew to grab a new piece of clean clothing from a hanger.

She knew to put the clothing on her body.

She knew to come back to me with a look of beaming pride on her face to show me what she had done.

I really had no idea how she'd come back or even if she would, when I sent her upstairs to get that new shirt. But what I've learned time and time again is that I have to give her the opportunity to impress me. She rises to meet challenges and I think that's the most important thing I need to keep at the forefront of my mind. She won't always get it right away, but what are the chances that she'll ever get it if no one ever expects her to, y'know?

And, by the way, if you're totally amazed at my mad digital art skillz as displayed in that last photo? You're in luck. I'm unemployed and looking for things to do that don't involve cleaning my house or going to doctor's appointments. Hurry though. I expect an onslaught of jobs coming up from this post.


Linda said...

I love it. And I can definitely relate to all of this. Made me cry. In a good way.

Not a Perfect Mom said...

yes, totally agree...
If we treat our kids like they can't do anything for themselves that's exactly what they're going to learn.

Lacia said...

LOL! I can totally relate! Kaia used to come up with some of the craziest ensembles. Actually, she still does sometimes, but she's now got some mad dressing skills pairing outfits I never thought of pairing together. Ones that actually look good!!

And I have to ask....can you come make Kaia's closet look like that??? She has pretty much the same organizer, but not near as neat!

Wendy P said...

That kid. Love.

And ftr, I can't always count on J going and putting on what I've requested.

Roo's Mom said...

She is so darn cute! What I've seen over time with Roo (now 8) is a slow but steady progression in understanding. For the longest time I thought we'd never get past 1-2 step directions, and now she can understand more complicated requests and instructions. Not at the same level as a "typical" 8 year old, but I'm way past truly caring about that. I'm just happy to see progress, no matter how long it takes to get there.

rastagalnj said...

I know exactly what you mean...exactly! Playette had me cracking up over here, she is just adorable. Tatiana just mastered going down the stairs and I can't get her to stop, even when she knows she shouldn't be going down the stairs.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

OK I'm totally jealous of her well organized closet! I know that wasn't the point of this post really, but my OCD-ness loves it! :)