Thursday, March 5, 2009

I hate to brag

but I think Amelia is some kind of genius. Or something like that.

I began teaching her signs about a week and a half ago. She immediately understood that they were significant, watching me very closely. We're only doing a couple signs with her right now, for "more," "thirsty," and "eat." Everything I've read indicates that you begin teaching babies signs at Amelia's age and hopefully, by the time they are between 12-18 months, you begin to see them communicate with their signs. (Isn't that the coolest thing, btw? That babies have the ability to communicate long before they have the cognition of actual speech?!) Okay, so I'd ask Amelia if she was thirsty, while making the sign, and then would give her her water bottle. She luuuurves her water. Only a couple days after I began using this sign before giving her a drink, she made the connection. I asked, "Amelia, are you thirsty?" while making the sign and she looked at her water bottle. . . Whoa! I did it again and she looked at her water bottle AGAIN! Nice, I thought. And THEN it happened. She held her hand up to her mouth in almost identical to the thirsty sign!


It's so amazing to watch her figure things out. She approaches something new and runs through a whole exploratory process to decide what the new thing does. I gave her a hair tie recently, trying to buy myself an extra 3 minutes on the computer. (The story of my life.) She took this glorified rubber band in her hand. She shook it like so. Nothin. Then she slapped it into the ground. Nope. She put it on the ground and smacked it repeatedly. Nuh-uh. Put it in her mouth. Still nothing. Then she took both hands and pulled. YES!

Onto another genius spotting.

Amelia got this toy for Christmas. You push the plunger and music starts along with a tiny motor thing that spits the balls into the air. Sometimes they land in the tray and drop back into the toy but most of the time, they pop into the air and around the room. Think popcorn popper meets kids' love for brightly colored objects. (Sorry, I just couldn't bring myself to say "brightly colored balls." I just can't say it.) When A first saw this toy, she was 6 months old and not quite "ready" for such excitement. She could see that it was fun and exciting, but couldn't keep up with the movement and would break into tears. Well anyway, in the last couple weeks, she has rediscovered this toy. She loves to chase the balls all over the room. Last week, I brought her over to the toy and showed her how to put the ball back into the tray so it would wind back around and down into the tray. I did this knowing the effort was futile. Why would a little baby give the toy back when she could hold on to it, crawl around with it, and otherwise just put it in her mouth? So I showed her and she watched. The next day, after she retrieved them, she crawled back to me and the toy and I asked her to put the balls into the tray. She did it! Cool, I thought, she's not just quick, but helpful too. But that's not all.

Then, this Tuesday, something really great happened! I put her in the middle of her blanket in the playroom. She was surrounded by all of her toys and I was off to the bathroom for a minute. When I came back to her she was crawling towards the window. Under it, there was a pink ball from the toy. No biggie. It didn't get put into the toy the previous day and she wants to play with it. She then crawled, with the ball in hand, to the other side of the room to the toy's base. . . and put it into the tray! I couldn't believe it. She had to use some serious critical thinking to not only match up that pink ball with that toy (she surely has other balls in her arsenal of distractions), but then to have the focus and wherewithall to place the ball into the tray across the room! That's some serious dot-connecting right there, people.

Thank goodness for that, too. Heaven knows she does enough goofy things to make me wonder sometimes.

See Amelia's ongoing hat giveaway here


Michael & Amie said...

Gosh Gena, She is SO freaking cute! I am jealous of her hair :)

Sara said...

brilliance begets(?s) brilliance! -Sara

Amelia said...

I'm sorry. I do not know this brilliance of which you speak.

CheekyMonkey said...

I started doing signs with the little monkey quite a while ago and he would "get" them, but the only one he'd be able to do was eat and more... ALL.THE.TIME. Now he's finally gettign other ones like kitty and ball.. it truly is amazing how smart they are!!!