Just in case we had forgotten that our son is a genius, he has swiftly reminded us in the last few days. The last great strike was around March of 2008 (not yet three) when he asked us what a few countries were on the world map on our wall and a few days later remembered what they were and where. Things led to things, and before we knew it, he knew the names of all the countries in North and South America, 75% of Africa and about 75% of Asia, several strange and remote islands (like Reunion, Mauritious and Svalbard) and a few European countries (European countries are too small of the world map). If only we were able to post videos, I would post a video we have of Ari naming all the countries on the map, and ending by peeing on James' knee (its like we asked him to prove that he was actually still a potty training toddler!)
Well, I suppose that even amazing things like this become normal to your average block headed parent, and in due course James and I have let the knowledge that our son is swift as a lightening bolt lie dormant in our minds. Well, about a week ago, Ari decided that he wanted me to read Richard Scarry's Best Mother Goose Ever to him. This is ofcourse a collection of strange little British poems using big British words, in rhyme and rhythm. There are about 50 in a row, so I read the entire book to him twice and a few others one time. So, tops, he heard them three times (one or two maybe four times). Because I didn't think he would be that interested in them, I read them through without hardly stopping to pause between each of the fifty.
Well, low and behold, on Sunday James and I were relaxing in the living room and Ari and Jude were busily putting Curious George to bed. Ari decided that Curious George needed a bedtime story and what did we hear coming from his room (without skipping a beat)?
"Hey Didddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon!"
"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers (Ari actually said peckers!)
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?"
James and I stared at each other open mouthed. Not only did he get almost all the words, he even had the right pitch and tempo, raising and lowering his voice at all the appropriate times. When we decided to test him to see how much he knew, we were treated with about 15 others that he knew. Below, I write a few that were my favorites to hear coming out of his mouth.
"One misty, moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather
I chanced to meet an old man, clothed all in leather,
Clothed all in leather, with a cap under his chin,
How do you do and how do you do,
And how do you do again!"
"Hickity, Pickity, my fine hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen,
Gentlemen come every day,
To see what my fine hen doth lay,
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,
Hickity Pickity, my fine hen"
"There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many;
So they fought and they fit, and they scratched and they bit,
Til excepting their nails and the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren't any!"
What a memory! I tell you this kid is really showing us his artistic streak these days. He has also taken up coloring in the last few weeks, and he'll spend up to three hours a day carefully staying in the lines. Along with the fact that he's been experiencing growth pains at night time, we are becoming very aware that he truly is both physically and mentally growing and developing interests. He is also starting to respond to humor from instinct instead of copying other people's reaction. If he sees something funny on a movie, he laughs instinctually, and it is very interesting for us to see what kinds of things he finds funny. I don't think he realizes that if we watch a movie, James and I are usually watching him.
It is especially rewarding since this is the first time we've been able to observe these types of developmental changes (as opposed to baby development). I'm sure that all the seasoned parents are smiling because we are being so typical for thinking that our child is a genius. And maybe we do suffer from naivety, but certainly we are, for the most part, just very proud of Ari!