The amount of information my daughter has absorbed, retained, and been able to communicate or regurgitate completely astounds me. I think one of the reasons every parent thinks their child is a genius is just because you watch them turn from a bag of drooling, pooping, puking flesh into a small person who can string together sentences and make jokes in a matter of a couple of years.
And, yet, some of the things Bea understands just seem so advanced for her age. Does a kid who’s not even three understand sarcasm? This one does. Of course, it helps that she’s lived with me her entire life, so she may have just developed an understanding of when I’m joking.
I’m going to take a moment to brag here, but she can count to twenty in English, and ten in Spanish. She knows a couple of words in Chinese (Mandarin), German, French, and Japanese. I don’t think she understands the difference between all of the languages, but she knows what the words mean. She knows quite a few words in Spanish, but probably couldn’t string together a sentence. She knows 20, maybe 30 signs. She’s been speaking in full sentences for about a year. Of course, she isn’t full potty trained, and I admit I had no idea it would take THIS LONG, but we’ve made a tremendous amount of progress in the past week, so I’m pleased about that.
Her memory is also astounding. As we went down the stairs this morning for our Monday visit to the local cafe/play area for toddlers, she was talking about my friend Liz, whose house she hasn’t been to since last November. She furrowed her brow, looked up, and put a finger to her lips in one of those hmmmm-I’m-thinking-here kind of moves, then says, “I went to Liz’s house and played with Play-Doh and we made a snowman.”
That was seven months ago. I’m not sure Liz would remember making snowmen out of Play-Doh.
But then again, there isn’t anything else in their brains. They come out, the mind is empty, save for a few synapses firing that control the arms and legs (barely), and they spend decades filling it up.
One tear-jerker moment we had was yesterday morning. I was making her bed and she kept trying to climb into it to jump up and down (typical). I asked her to stop and she wanted to know why. I said, “One, I’m trying to make the bed and I can’t do that with you jumping on it. Two, you could fall off and really hurt yourself.”
“Fall off and hit my head and go to the hospital like Kermit?” She asked, referring to Muppets Take Manhattan when Kermit gets hit by a car.
“Or maybe I fall off and get hurt really bad and die?”
Of course, her next question was “Why is Mommy crying?”
I know she sort-of/kind-of gets what happened to Trinity last summer. She understands Trinity isn’t here anymore and that she “fell asleep and never woke up,” but I don’t think she full comprehends what that means. Still, hearing her say something like this was just traumatic for me. I explained that it made me cry because I’d prefer to keep her around and talking like that tends to make people feel kind of bad.
Then I changed to subject and we started counting in Spanish.