Saturday, May 23, 2009

America's Most Talented Kid

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Make it through the day without going berserck from excitement about my parents coming into town.
Grievance: My breasts are almost completely dried up all on their own (celebration?)
Celebration: Seeing my parents is always a celebration.

Boy Love loves to turn our household furniture into his own private play gym. When he gets excited, he will scramble atop our dining room table and begin to bounce on it like a trampoline. I don't know if this grates on my nerves because the table is not, in fact, a trampoline (using an item improperly = not polite) or because our dining room "chandelier" hangs low enough for him to impale his skull on one of the wee decorative metal points under each electric bulb (safety issue). I'm sure it is a combination of the two. When he knows I am coming to hold him down for something, like putting on shoes/changing diaper/retrieving him for dinner, he does one of two things. He could sprint wildly toward the swiveling office chair that sits behind our desk, takes a flying leap over it, ending in a rolling land in the small desk alcove in which the chair wheels park. He could also do-si-do with me around the coffee table a couple times then shoot up into the air like a rocket onto the upper edge of the sofa, scuttling precariously across the apex from one cushion to the next, then doing a face dive onto the end table to escape my approaching grasp. He also loves finding things, anything, that will afford him enough height to reach the bar countertop that seperates our living room from our kitchen. I can't tell you how many times I have seen him climb from a dictionary on the floor, to his child-sized rocking chair, to his high chair seat back, and up onto the bar just to reach something he perceives to be shiny from the countertop.

These acrobatics, while dangerous in many ways, are actually quite impressive. Boy has such a vivid imagination, and he uses his resources in such a clever way that it is difficult to scold him. I am in awe at how smart he can be sometimes, and how he comes up with things that I would never even imagine. Mothers make it their right to brag about how smart they think their children are, and I am no exception to that rule. My children are the most intelligent and clever children in all of time and space. My grandmother sent me a "congratulations on the new baby" card in the mail that perfectly expresses my feelings. The front of the card had a photo of a little baby balancing the concave part of the spoon on their nose, and the inside sentiments said something along the lines of Only a mother can recognize a child's true talents.

I am all about letting my children express and explore to discover their talents, but what constitues a talent as opposed to just something impolite and dangerous? I like to think that Boy Love will be a gymnast/mountain climber/secret spy when he grows up and I am merely harboring an enviroment to hone his skill. But at what point do I see what he is doing and decide it is just unsafe? At what point does balancing a spoon on your nose become a social taboo, and not something to show off to dinner guests? How do I decipher the skill from the stupidity?

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