Sunday, September 9, 2012


Wesley has a shockingly good memory. This has always been the case, but as he develops new interests, his memory displays its strength in new form. Is this what is meant when they say children under five are amazing at absorbing their environment? It is shocking and fun to watch.

Right now, he's really into cars. He loves Hotwheels, and he loves cars in real life. If you tell him the model of a Hotwheel, it is instantly committed to memory. As in, "how did you remember that the car you just received is called a Motoblade?..." I had already forgotten.

He has also committed the symbols of the major car manufacturers to memory. As he glides up the street on his balance bike, he pauses in front of various cars...

"That one's a Honda. It has an H"
"That's an Audi. It has the circles that are connected"
"That one's a Hyundai"
"That's a BMW"
"That's a Mustang. It has a wild horse on it"
"That one's a convertible. It has no roof"
"That is a Jaguar"
"That is a Volvo"
"That one is a Dodge. A Dodge Minivan"
"We drive a Ford. A white Ford Taurus"

Smile for the camera
I marvel at his abilities. And the joy with which he pursues them.

I also sometimes wonder if I should be helping him learn things other than car brands and truck types. I ponder the relationship between "follow the child's interest" and "create an engaging environment full of a multitude of knowledge".

He is drawn to cars and trucks so we help him pursue his interest, offer knowledge about it, etc. But it is also convenient and accessible. It is easy to convey that knowledge. It takes little work on behalf of me, the parent.

On the other hand, his interest in wanting to know the names of all the flowers or various little birds (looks like a finch of some kind?) we pass is challenging. I often don't know them and have a hard time looking them up in reference materials.

I try not to suffer the "I could be doing better" parent trap too much, but I do struggle with pangs of guilt. For now, I will support the expansion of his knowledge of cars, and continue to develop my knowledge of his other interest areas. Perhaps we'll make that pressed flower reference book someday...

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