Monday, January 15, 2007

The Letter A

Nate and I have truly tried not to give into the pressures that inevitably come along with having kids. For example: "My son was potty trained at 1," "Our daughter could sing the alphabet at 1 1/2," "Our 3 year old knows how to read write and do arithmetic at 3!" Back in the States this is they way it is and it certainly is no different here when it comes to the expat community here. Children that are from wealthy or expat homes here start school around 18 months old and if not then, then certainly by their 3rd birthday. From what we have heard, the private schools and academies are very good here, and we are excited that Holden will have the opportunity to attend one of these.

We know our son, and no matter how hard we try to teach him something, he is going to learn it on his own terms. The child was cursed with two stubborn and independent parents, so really, what did we expect? We have always sung the alphabet to him, he can sing it too, but prefers not to of course. We point out letters, "Look there is the letter H, Holden starts with the letter H." This is always met with "Ugh, Mom I already know that!" Sometimes we try with "Holden! What letter is that on the sign?" This is of course met with an exasperated "How many times do I have to tell you, I don't want to talk about that!" I tell you this background because no matter what we try, if it sounds, smells or tastes like we are trying to teach him something he backs away like it is the plague!

Recently something new happened. A few weeks ago we were out to dinner and the restaurant had the paper table cloth to write on. We were all drawing and I was writing letters in hopes that Holden would express interest.
It happened this fast:
Wrote the letter K. "Holden, what letter is this?"
"Kuh" he said, as in the sound the letter K makes, not the letter.
Wrote the letter M"How about this one?"
Wrote the letter A"And this?"
On and on we met, a few wrong ones, a few I don't knows, but most of them RIGHT! Nate and I looked at each other with shock and disbelief.
"Did you teach him that?"
"No, did you?"
So, looks like our son, who does things on his own terms, knows most of the sounds of the alphabet. I don't know why we are shocked, the kid has always determined his own time-frame; nursing, sleeping in his own bed, potty training, and now learning the alphabet. We really need to remember this the next time we panic over nothing due to the parent pressure of creating a super-child! We are so blessed to have such a happy, healthy, beautiful child and that is constant and true no matter what other peoples children can do! I hope all parents can see that in their own children.

Holden is big time into arts right now, he could spend the day coloring, cutting, pasting and painting. Here is some of the art along with the letter of the week, "A." That's right, now he is writing the letters himself!

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