It’s the last week of the Monster’s day camps. I’ve been running his morning carpools – it lets my wife tend to the baby without having to get everyone out the door first thing in the morning – even though the one camp that’s still running is decently out of my way.
When I dropped him off this morning and he dashed off, I called after him in Hebrew to ask him to come back to give me a hug and kiss before I went to the office. He turned right where he was, came back, hugged and kissed me, and dashed off again to play with the magnets (one of his favorite things). The teacher commented that she was very impressed, especially in light of everything, that he understands so many words in multiple languages.
Of course, I don’t actually know that the Monster understands that he knows vocabulary in three or four different languages at this point – I don’t know that it occurs to him at all that they’re not just different words all in the same language. As I’ve discussed, language and communication are clearly not his talent.
Counting… may well be. Granted, we held him back a year in nursery school, but all of his teachers were shocked at how high he can count and the fact that he can recognize numbers quite high. (He also knew the English alphabet fairly early. Give him something that Sesame Street teaches and he’s going to nail it.) On the other hand, I wonder how much of this is simply due to repetition from television and the fact that he does like to line things up and count them, so he’s had a lot of practice. He could have a decent career with numbers if he ever figures out more than counting… or he could work for the US Census.
One thing that I do know he has a talent for is music. He’s unfortunately inherited my grace with dancing, but singing and playing along in some fashions, he’s great at. One of my first memories of teaching him something was inadvertent and the side-effect of the amount of Rock Band we were playing at the time – he picked up the chorus of “Eye of the Tiger” at 2. You haven’t seen cute until you’ve seen a 2 year old trying to blunder his way through that song.
This isn’t something new, though. I have a video (if I find it on my computer, maybe I’ll post it) of him banging the Rock Band drums at his uncle and aunt’s house while the music was playing on the opening credits… and stopping when the music stops, waiting, poised to play again when the music resumes. If there’s something in the room that has a rhythm and he has his toy piano nearby, he’s as likely as not to pull it over and tap along with the rhythm. He still – at four – picks up songs that are sung close by him and can pull them out of his memory almost at command.
(And this last one’s decently useful, since I will admit that I’ve already started considering how to teach him for Bar Mitzvah when we get closer…)
Perhaps when the school year starts, we’ll keep an eye out for musical programs for him, something to channel him towards it and see if that’s where his talent lies.