Not long ago, I decided to add to the dink's sad collection of Baby Einstein DVDs, and I bought him his second one: One the Go. I thought it would be perfect for that little doo's love already of things with wheels. His current favorite: 2-inch inflated plastic/rubbery cars with wheels that really move. He's perfected the skill of sticking out his tied tongue as far as it will go between his lips and blowing "bbbrrrrrr" in that car noise that apparently boys are born with the ability to mimic. I suppose J taught him this at some point. But from my vantage, he picked up the car one day, rolled it back and forth on the floor, bbbrrr-ing along with its movement. Genius, surely.
So I played On the Go for the first time 3-4 weeks ago. The dink was only mildly interested, I think, wondering why the familiar Disney intro music of the DVD had let to different sounds and characters. Until the Wheels on the Bus song came on. The tv screen shower a cartoon-esque school bus with those ubiquitous Baby Einstein puppets climbing aboard, looking out the window, etc. And the dink went nuts. He charged the tv screen, pulled up on the tv stand, and reached his hand out to puppet, all the while panting and emitting high-pitched squeals. It was as if he recognized this song, which I hadn't even thought since his birth.
Then a few days later, he did it again. After some over-contemplation about what in the song or its visuals the dink found so exciting, I thought to ask Ms. S. at the daycare. Do you ever sing Wheels on the Bus to the dink? Oh yeah, she chuckled, he loves that song. And If You're Happy and You Know It, she said...He loves to clap his hands. Well, at least that was something I knew about my own child--his fondness for clapping his hands at the slightest encouragement. So it all made sense. A few days later, I tested the dink and started singing the other song. "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands," I paused. Then: clap, clap. Unbelievable.
Of course we all want to think our child is genius. But the truth is that it's all about the time you put in. I tell J all the time that stay-at-home-mom babies appear to be smarter than others at an early age because their moms have time to do the repetition, the same sayings, songs, events, every day, and for so many hours of the day. Kids like the dink just have to latch on to their few tricks and make the most of them.
A couple days ago, my neighbor stopped by with her grandson, who is ten days younger than the dink. When they were leaving, the dink waved bye-bye to him. My neighbor seemed upset that her grandson still didn't know bye-bye when the dink has been doing it for at least a month. She said she keeps telling her daughter to teach it to him! I told her not to feel bad that he hasn't learned yet--it just means that her daughter doesn't leave him every morning.