Living with a smart kid is weird. She isn’t smart in a Mensa sort of way or even in any way you could measure on a test. She’s just a live wire. When I picture RR’s brain, I see popping synapses, small showers of sparks, racing neon connections and little tiny black-outs when circuits get overloaded. My own brain, by contrast, is sort of like the Lazy River at the amusement park.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to learn as many things as a toddler does each day. I’m always surprised by the things that get swept into broad categories. That bus is a “truck” and the noise it makes is “woooo woooo” like a train. In fact, all large vehicles are the same. I take some of the blame for this and have been known to refer to a uniform as an outfit or a helmet as a hat. On the other hand, she is detailed and deliberate about tiny things I didn’t even think she noticed. For example, the sort of cup D usually drinks coffee in and the differences between one glass (water, mama) and a teensy bit smaller but otherwise identical in appearance other glass (juice, mama).
But then she’ll sit on my lap as I put on her shoes, look over at the birthday card I’ve just written for her friend and read his name. Or she’ll jab her finger at a discarded shoelace and say snake…sssssssssss and cackle. Her eyes light up when we say RR, look, and then do something she hasn’t seen before (like signing and spelling mama) which she then repeats slyly when we least expect it. Perfectly. Last night she spelled hat. What will it be tomorrow? Cat?
I feel like I’m living in a constant state of surprise. We don’t plan to do anything to encourage this (see: Lazy River). But I sock it away to rub over like a smooth stone while I endure no less than two full minutes of shrieking for suggesting that peas are not the devil. She’s never stingy when serving up humility. I assure you that she turns white as a sheet when approaching the potty and spends a significant amount of car time trying to figure out how to re-velcro her shoes.
Some days she’s almost more than I can take, other days I wouldn’t want anything else. This is one of those days.