Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I am absolutely not immune to the anxious, worried, first time parent thing. By “not immune” I mean I am an anxious, worried, first time parent. I frequently (constantly) check the developmental charts to determine how our son measures up. I understand that every child develops at his own rate and that average ages for developmental milestones vary from kid to kid but I like to know where he’s landing within the spectrum. I also know that I am a little insane in this area and resisted the urge to call the pediatrician when Bob still hadn’t mastered the use of a straw at 28 months. Like everything else, it happened. Eventually. When he was ready.
Bob is a sweet, smart, happy, guy so it took some real effort to find something to be concerned about. Last summer, I decided to start worrying about what I perceived as Bob’s lack of imagination. Bob enjoys facts. He likes to know the names of things. “What is that building called? What is that truck called? “What is that bird called?”
At a little over 2 years old, he went about systematically memorizing the names of the continents, the planets, the streets between the market and our house, the 7 wonders of the ancient world and, the countries on the globe. (Djibouti is his favorite. It’s fun to say Djibouti.)
As crazy advanced as Bob’s memory was, I worried that he did not seem capable of make-believe. I became somewhat (completely) fixated on the fact that he was not interested in naming his stuffed animals, but rather wanted to know their “real” names. When I told him that they did not have names yet and that he could name them anything he wanted, he stared at me exasperated, “No mama. What are they called?”
He was unwilling to create names for his toys and we weren't going to do it for him so, by default, they were known as black dog, small bunny, big bunny and the like. He was suspicious of me and annoyed that I wouldn’t just tell him the big sheep’s real name.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year. My mom received a small, plush, white pony from her bank as a gift for opening a new account. My mom gave the pony to Bob who loved it immediately and carried it through the house, showing the pony around. That evening while tucking Bob in for the night, he held up his new friend and said, “Say goodnight to Wallace.”