I guess I expected it someday, but it sure shocked the hell out of me when Owen clearly, directly and perfectly identified a stegosaurus the other day.
Let me be clear, I'm not selling the boy as a genius (yet), I’m not grooming him as a child paleontologist or anything (yet). But, c’mon – to be able to ID three different kinds of dinos at age three is pretty cool. And his teacher, the wonderful Miss Katie, says he’s one of only three kids in his class who can actually pronounce the words. My boy.
The point here, though, is that Owen saying such a thing was a total, utter, wonderful surprise. And I like that.
I’m not a big reader of books on child development. I was, at least for the first 6 months with Owen. I read the “What to Expect…” stuff when Heidi was pregnant and again when he was a newborn.
I think that’s required reading, particularly for the first solo flight with child. Who among us hasn’t had that moment when the husband/wife leaves to run some errands and you are alone with the kid the first time?
Mine went something like this:
Me: “Ok, kid, this is it. No dying on my watch.”
Owen: (Silent, slightly puzzled stare of the confused, doubt-filled or pooping child)
Me: “You can puke, you can poop and you can get hungry. Just don’t die on my watch. Just wait till Mommy gets back.”
Owen: (Looks around the room, sees Mommy nowhere, bursts into tears).
Me: “Ok, ok, no crying either.”
Owen: (Full-fledged wail)
Me: “Ok, cry. Just don’t die.”
Me (repeating): “Not on my watch, not on my watch, not on my watch.”
So I gave up after Owen hit his stride. I put the books away and let pure skill, dumb luck and instinct take over. And Jake, well, he’s been a challenge too but I feel like books are kind of for sissies now.
The problem is when the boy breaks out “stegosaurus” after I randomly asked him which dino was on his jammies. I mean, is this supposed to happen around now? I’m not entirely surprised when he counts to 20 (he always skips 13 for some reason – I think he might be Lucifer). And he’s had the ABCs down for a while now.
But what’s next? Long math, the Dewey Decimal System, and the intricacies of the 3-4 defense in the NFC?
Who knows? And, truthfully, who cares? If I knew, I wouldn’t have the reaction I had when he popped out “stegosaurus” with that big, wide, toothy grin.
Now I just walk up to him hoping those moments do happen – on my watch.