Friday, March 09, 2007

Close Enough

(Please allow me to whine for a moment. . . Harper is just about over her cold, but she coughed in my face and wiped her nose on me for nearly a week so now I have it too. My allergies have kicked up in the last two days so I am miraculously afflicted with congestion and a runny nose as well as sinus pressure and one eye, the right, which seems to be tearing/weeping uncontrollably. Lovely right? Do you remember Patrick Dempsey from the opening scenes of Outbreak? That's pretty much me right now. To top it off Matt left for Bloomington, Indiana, for the weekend. So it's just Harper and I until sometime on Sunday. It's my blog and I'll cry if I want to. But the pity party is over now, thanks.)

Despite our sniffles, I had to run some errands with Harper today. One of which took us to the post office. I generally try to avoid heading there with Harper but we didn't have much choice. Today we were lucky and there were relatively few people in line ahead of us. I was trying to point out various things around the post office and keep Harper talking and entertain her. I noticed that the tiles on the floor were unusually shaped (they were hexagons) so I asked Harper if she knew what shape they were. By now, most of the people both working there and in line were looking at me like I was crazy, but Harper thought for a moment and said, "ocagon?" I told her they looked a lot like octagons, but were actually hexagons. To which she said, "otay!" Meanwhile the people around us were gaping. It was pretty funny. Then she also pointed out the circles at the bottom of the stands which held the line divider. When we were paying for our postage the clerk held up a package and asked what shape it was, Harper identified it as a "swear!" She was right. She also knows what a trapezoid is, which is fun just to hear her say it. It comes out "tap-i-zoid." I may have mentioned that one before, because it totally cracks me up. Sadly, there were no trapezoids in the post office.

She likes shapes. Recently she was riding in the car and I heard her shout, "Yook Mommy! I made a ti-an-gol!" She figured out how to form a triangle with her thumbs and index fingers and was exceedingly proud of herself.

Now I don't think Harper is some kind of math genius, or any genius at all. I'm sure she's bright, but she is also good at memorizing things. She pays attention. She has a peg puzzle made of shapes and we've watched the "Shapes and Colors" Blue's Clues DVD more times than I can count. So the kid knows her shapes.

I would like to point out that I'm not really a flashcard kind of mom and I'm not pushing to teach Harper much of anything. We talk to her and read her books, but I'm not so much interested in sitting down and working our way through flash cards of the presidents. I have no problem with people being more deliberate in their attempts to teach their children. That's just not really my style. And it wouldn't jive very well with Harper's personality. She pretty much bulldozes any attempt at structured activity; in return I have a child who has her own ideas about how and what she'd like to play and often doesn't want much interference from me. She likes me to be in the room, and watch her, but she doesn't necessarily want my input. We do actually have some flashcards, but Harper mostly likes to take them out of my hands and throw them on the floor, so you can see how that's not a great learning set up anyway. I believe that if kids are in a nurturing environment they will learn what they are supposed to learn when they are ready to learn it. But children are all different, and we each know our own better than anyone else. So if your child likes/learns from flashcards, go for it. If not, don't sweat it.

Besides, I'm pretty sure Mensa won't be accepting any members who were ever photographed like this:


Giselle said...

I can see you are running into the same situations as me. Having a bright kid gets you lots of funny looks out in public. I'm proud of my kid for knowing weird stuff...but almost embarrassed by the attention it gets.

Yea to Harper for knowing her shapes! I love when kids know "big" words...they sound so cute coming out of those little mouths.

Erin said...

Flash cards of the Presidents?!?!

You are a genius, Kelsey. Now I have the perfect weekend project for me & Cal.

(I'm kidding. Please. Calum would promptly EAT any flashcards set in front of him, no question.)