November 11, 2008

All About the Kids...For Once

I thought I would take a break from talking about me for once and spend some time on my kids. OK, you don't have to cheer so loud. I do realize that life is not all about me...sometimes.

I was driving Bubba to speech/playgroup last night and he was fascinated with the moon. It was a full moon but it was slightly veiled through the clouds. It was an incredible sight. Even as we were driving he had to keep watching it. Then he asked me a great question. He said, "Mommy, do you think there's anything undiscovered on the moon?" Those were his exact words. I love that question. After Bubba lost his first words, he never said anything until after he turned 4. Now he's 8 and asked me that. I'm just amazed at his brain and the things that come out of it.

All 3 of the kids are taking piano lessons now. Howdy is doing it somewhat reluctantly. He'd rather do guitar lessons. I told him he has to give me a year of piano first. It seems to come more naturally to Bubba and Sassy than it does to Howdy. This makes sense if you know them. Bubba and Sassy are more analytical. They love math and numbers and patterns. Howdy is my artistic, creative one who struggles with math and the concrete side of things. I sit in the room while they have their lessons. Their teacher does this exercise with them that I love to hear. It's my favorite part. She gives them certain keys on the piano to play and then they are to accompany her while she plays a particular piece of music. They get to play their keys however they want. For the most part, when Bubba and Sassy do this, it actually sounds good. It fits. They do their best to follow the rhythm and stay on beat. However, when Howdy plays, it usually makes my hair stand on end. It's just not obvious to him where the notes should fit into the music. I'm not too worried because they are just starting. And they don't get to practice a whole lot at home since we don't have our own piano or keyboard. But when I was watching Howdy last week something looked different. He looked very natural at the piano. And he looked like he was trying very hard and enjoying himself. I'm not sure why but I was very proud of him as he sat there on that bench.

Bubba picks up on music pretty quickly, as I suspected he would. He can look at a new piece and figure it out without too much help. But he tends to be impatient. He thinks he knows everything there is to know and doesn't always have the patience to listen to instructions. We just have to take our time with him and have patience ourselves. I'm so used to always having to repeat and go over things that I forget there are some things he's way ahead of me on.

Sassy is my prodigy. OK, so she's not technically a prodigy. But I've secretly thought her a genius since she was about 2. At 5, she's reading chapter books, playing solitaire, doing first grade addition, memorizing worship songs from church and showing the boys how to do the laundry. I remember when Bubba was in preschool, I asked one of his teachers if there was a way to get Sassy's intelligence tested to see if she was beyond her age level and he kindly brought me back to reality. He told me that she probably just seemed so smart because I was comparing her to Bubba at that age. Well, he had a point. I can't remember what Howdy did at that age (that's why I write things down) and I know Bubba wasn't doing any of those things when he was that young. But I do know that she is slightly above her age level. (Does that sound unbiased enough?) When you look at how she's grown up though, it's easy to see why. She has 2 older brothers for one thing. If you're going to be the youngest and the only girl, you'd better catch on quick or you'll be left behind. Plus, Sassy's always been the one who's been with Bubba while he was in speech or being quizzed with flashcards or learning his letters. When we found out that Bubba was learning his words by memorizing them, we went through the house and labeled everything. We've read to the kids almost every night before bed since they were born. She has grown up surrounded by words. Bubba's area of expertise is math, anything with numbers. During the summer, he actually asks me if he can do math worksheets. If Bubba is doing math, Sassy wants to do math. So she's had a pretty good jumpstart on a lot of things. But since I'm her mother, would it still be alright if I quietly think of her as a genius?

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