The fascinating developing mind

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 11:07 PM | comments: 0

Simon's various developmental delays have certainly been frustrating at times. It really came to a head when our school district decided he was not behind enough to bring him into school, and on appeal, third party experts they had to hire told the district they got it way wrong. Fortunately, I think the range of things that Diana has him involved in are helping in the short term, until we can get him into something regular and structured.

(By the way, I'm not looking for advice here on what my kid needs. Truth be told, I'm kind of burned out on advice.)

We've been excited to hear more and more complete sentences come from Simon in the last month or two. I always give the analogy that he has been developing more and more as a strong play-by-play commentator. He loves to explain what's going on, even if it's obvious. Like today at the sink, he declared, "Daddy, I'm all done washing the blueberries!" It's beyond cute. What I'm hoping for is that transition to color commentary.

What's really fascinating is that, despite his obvious delays, he has a completely incredible ability to retain what he hears in some cases. This is particularly true with Sesame Street, which we keep on our DVR. He can always tell you the number and letter of the day before he sees it. If that weren't enough, he recently began reciting all of the dialog from certain segments along with the audio. Sure, he's seen some of these episodes a great many times, but so have we, and we don't know the dialog. Today, we also found that he remembers the dance moves from the Bollywood dancing segment from this season.

Also fascinating is Simon's understanding of navigation. If getting between points is a series of decisions, he knows when a particular decision or turn isn't going to where he would like to go. For example, a mile out, with several potential interim turns, he knows when he's no longer on the right path to the library in the next town, where they do story time and have an epic playground in the back. Similarly, if we make a side trip for lunch on the way to Cedar Point, he knows instantly that we've deviated course. I honestly think that if his language skills were just a little better, he could steer you the entire 60 miles to the park.

Beyond the retention and logic, you can also see the very human side of an emotional 3-year-old. There's no doubt in my mind that empathy is the hardest skill to master as a parent, but the memories of early childhood come streaming back with great intensity when Simon is having a meltdown, or just being dramatic. I've been there, and I get it. It's a connection you couldn't make with him a year ago.

There's no question that 3-year-olds can really suck when they're testing you constantly (or at least, testing his parents). Fortunately, you can overlook it to some degree when you watch this little person forming. It's really amazing.


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