Tuesday, September 11, 2007

War & Peace in the closet

First off - sorry to not be posting much. I have a paying knitting project, and a semi-paying (barter) project of reading academic articles onto tape for a Ph.D. student with reading difficulties. I still have an enormous stack of articles to do, but I'm beginning to get into a rhythm which works for me, so the rest of my life is re-emerging.

Now, for the title of this little piece. My sons, Aaron and Robbie are both quite bright, but very different critters. Robbie is academically quite brilliant - and loves everybody to know it. If he learns how to do something, or figures out some obscure thing, he will broadcast it to the world. Nobody is in any doubt of how much Robbie knows.

Aaron is much quieter. A lot of people don't really have any take on how smart Aaron is, because he not only won't broadcast what he knows, but will actually hide it unless directly asked. We didn't find out he knew any of his letters until he knew all of them. By the time I figured out he was a dinosaur nut, he could tell me that a Dimetrodan was not, in fact, a dinosaur, but rather a mammal-like reptile - at 3! The family quote on Aaron comes from his aunt Kelly. "You'll find out Aaron can read when you catch him in the closet with War & Peace."

Well, Aaron can read - and Kelly was damn near right. We knew he could put together short words, and keep up with the reading requirements of his first grade class pretty easily, but that's a far cry from sitting down with a book for enjoyment. I still had him classified in my head as a "learning reader", rather than as an outright reader. But last night after shutting down all the lights, I went upstairs and noticed a light coming out from under the bedroom door. I opened it, and there was a little thump as Aaron dropped what he was holding and looked up with big eyes. "I'm sorry, Mommy. I was just doing a little reading."

Sitting on the floor was "The Pokemon Handbook", which is a book of lists about various things Pokemon. I've had Robbie following me around with it before reading things off. It's cut into short hunks, but it is not an easy-reading book. I would peg the reading difficulty at about chapter-book level, though with fewer big blocks of text.

When the heck did this kid start reading bigger books for fun? I'm not complaining, mind you (far from it), but how did he slip this little development past us?

Do I ever stop getting floored when Aaron trots out some dramatic new ability completely out of the blue? Do I want to?


somaserious said...

"Sorry mommy, I was just doing a little reading." OMG that's so incredibly cute!!! Did you just hug him to bits or what? Little children never cease to amaze me. I have a son who will be 3 in December and I'm constantly amazed at what he can do. They are so much fun!


Becky said...

No, don't ever stop being floored by what your children can accomplish. Cody is still amazing me, even today.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Yes, I gave him a hug. I did insist that it was time for lights out (it was almost midnight), but hugged him and kissed him and assured him that Mommy wasn't mad. How could I be mad? I spent most of my childhood doing exactly what he was doing.

Both my children amaze me constantly. It's just that Aaron always seems to catch me flatfooted by being about six steps ahead of where I think he is.

somaserious said...

Hi, PB. Figured this was the best way to contact you. Thanks for offer of copy-edit, but, alas, the paper is due this evening! I really, really appreciate the offer, though...