Of Letters and Placemats
I blame all of RR’s smart skills on placemats. That’s right, placemats.
She learns a lot at school that we don’t know about until she does something, and we walk into school the next day and say, “RR can sing ‘This Old Man!!'” and her teachers look at us like, “That’s so last week.”
So it’s not unusual for us to pick up on something that she’s doing or saying and be pleasantly
surprised amazed by her awesomeness. Yesterday morning, however, we stumbled upon a part of her brain that’s been working part-time after school. At the dinner table. With the sign language placemat.
I don’t even remember where we got the two placemats that we have. One has Elmo on it, with a bunch of numbers. I think my mom gave it to her at Christmas (along with everything else the store sold with Elmo on it), and we used it once she moved from her high chair to her strapped-to-the-dining-room-chair booster chair. More because it’s easier to wipe off a placemat than the whole damn table every morning and night. Elmo taught her numbers in March, and then promptly fell apart one evening after he got wet in the sink and started to deteriorate. Poor Elmo.
Anyway, so we unearthed the OTHER placemat in the sideboard, which was given to us by… sister-in-law? Santa? Who knows. It’s sturdier than Elmo, so it got called into duty. It’s a sign language alphabet placemat (just like this one), and I’m not sure how they imbedded lessons in a piece of paper, but RR’s caught on quick.
Sometime last week, she kept making the “R” with her fingers, and, of course, we thought she was just being a cutie pie learning how to cross her fingers, as if she’s practicing telling little white lies. But it turns out she’s been studying the fingers, the letters, everything on the placemat.
This is all to say, holy shit, folks. You can spell her name in sign language, and not only does she recognize the letters, she tells you that it spells her name. She’s been pretty reliable in recognizing letters for a while now, so it’s just a matter of putting all of the skills together, and then kablam! She is one crazy kid – I can only hope that we can keep up.