Big News

From Happy Baby

Sophie’s not a little baby any more!

Actually, I’m afraid I have two items of less than happy news. First, it seems that I am unable to post on or as close to the fifteenth of the month as I would like (which is alright with everyone but me, I’m sure) so I’m going to have to simply keep with my original promise of posting at least once a month.

As for the second item of unfortunate news, I haven’t got much to report or post this month. We haven’t done anything interesting, we haven’t taken any photos, and there were no significant events to speak of.

Unless you consider winning a million dollars significant!

We didn’t, but somebody did. And we watched them. It wasn’t that exciting though.

There’s just one little update for a few of you who may have known, Rochelle is fine, they didn’t find anything terribly wrong with her. For those of you who didn’t know she was being checked out by medical professionals, it wasn’t a big deal and like I said: everything is fine.

How the Kids Are

Micah

Micah has been doing pretty well in the first grade. He’s got a pretty good teacher, and so far we haven’t had any major reports from her. In case you were wondering (because I know you’re dying to know), Micah is still obsessed with Pokémon.

I always feel a little bad about writing so much about Sophie and not telling much about Micah. For one, there’s rarely much to tell about Micah. He spends most of his time playing outside, playing in his room, or reading. When he’s not doing one of those things, he’s asking to play video games or getting himself into trouble. It’s not that he’s a bad kid, he just lacks a frontal cortex (or doesn’t know how to use it well, we’re waiting for our CAT scanner to arrive in the mail so we can perform some tests).

I do have one quick story to tell about him though, and it should give you an idea of how he’s doing.

The other day he was playing outside. It’s not uncommon for him to burst in through the front door fairly frequently when he’s playing outside because he’s always got something to tell us (if you’ve spoken with him recently you know he never stops talking, even while alone). One time he exploded into the house and yelled out that he had been playing with some bug he found and that he didn’t know what it was. Being the infinitely wise and all-knowing parents that we are, our brains exchanged a series of parental communications and Rochelle was chosen (by way of a telepathic drawing-of-straws that she lost) as the one who would voice the only reasonable thing to say in that situation, “please stay away from bugs, especially if you don’t know what they are.”

As he often does, he yelled out, “OK,” before she finished what she was saying and started to run back outside.

Micah, like so many other intelligent children, believes he can sight-read life. When he was very young and learning to read (several years before his peers) he began developing a terrible habit of sight-reading that extended to words he had never seen before. I believe this behavior is a normal part of the process of learning to read, and we corrected it by having him slow down and sound out each letter or syllable of the words he was assuming he knew.

He now reads very well, extremely fast for his age, and he does so with a sight-reading accuracy that puts many adults to shame. He really is quite intelligent. However, this strength is also his greatest crutch – he has applied the sight-reading approach to life. He perceives the world according to the first clues he has, and rarely listens to the instructions of adults. He believes he has heard it all, so when we say anything he doesn’t listen – instead he guesses what we probably said based on the situation.

So, when his mother told him something that could potentially mean the difference between life and death (taking into account possible allergies to stings and unlikely but potentially deadly encounters with rare poisonous or venomous creatures), he blurted out the required acknowledgement that we had said something without actually listening to what we said.

I realized this and called him back. “Micah, what did your mother just tell you?”

He stuttered a little and eventually answered that he didn’t know.

So, we sent him to his room. This listening issue has been ongoing for a very long time now, and he knows that he has to be prepared to tell us what we told him at all times (and even that doesn’t ensure he’ll remember it long enough to do it).

Later, I went up to his room to address the issue. I knew that I couldn’t simply repeat what Rochelle had said, because he would forget it. So, I gave him a detailed and simple lesson on the animal kingdom, focusing on predators, prey and defense mechanisms and how we fit into the mix.

It was super effective, he explained the whole thing to Rochelle later that day, and it seems to have truly impacted him. Now the idea of not touching strange bugs is in the front of his mind while playing outside. Mission accomplished (this time).

Sophie

Every day I come home from work it seems like she has to recite everything that happened while I was away. She sure is talking a lot, and we all wish we could understand what she is saying a little better.

Sometimes, we can understand her just fine. She has all kinds of cute little phrases and words she uses regularly and with ease. Occasionally she’ll surprise us with something we didn’t know she could say.

For example, the other day I was opening a Fruit Roll-Up for her and she got excited and started counting, “one, two, three, four.” This was strange in two ways. First, we never count to her in any specific context (like when she’s in trouble, or when we are waiting for something exciting). We only count with her on random occasions when there are things to count. Secondly, she said (very clearly), “one, two, three, four…” whereas she normally only says, “two, two, two, two.”

Yes, “two” is the only number (until then) that she had ever said. She uses it well – two shoes, two eyes, two crackers, etc. She also uses it to mean other more abstract versions of two – again, more, seconds (of food), etc. However, when she was hungry and became really excited about getting a Fruit Roll-Up, she decided to pass the time counting up to four using never-before-heard-spoken-aloud numbers. I was floored, and (of course) there were no witnesses, so Rochelle still wants to hear it for herself.

Then, today she randomly blurted out, “seven!” in the middle of one of her normal “two, two, two,” counting runs.

She is as cute as ever though, and loves to play. She frequently finds reasons to sing out, “weeeeeeeeeeee.” Sometimes it’s while doing things mom doesn’t approve of, but other times it’s completely random and it’s just plain cute.

She has a couple of favorite songs that I have burned onto a CD in the car. The first one is a drum-intensive beat that only lasts around a minute or two, but it causes her to keep the beat (fairly accurately) on her knees. The second one is the Weird Al version of Micheal Jackson’s “Beat It,” called “Eat It.” Sophie absolutely loves this song, and she sings along with parts of it. Specifically, the background singers often interject with, “woooo” or, “ooooh” after various statements in the lyrics, and Sophie echoes them frequently (sometimes before they even do it).

It always makes us smile to hear her sing along with that song.

Until Later

So, again, I apologize to all of you who faithfully checked back recently expecting an update. Thank you for your love and interest.

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