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Last year, all spring it seemed, Simon increased his rate of daytime sleeping, had more night-time sleep disturbances (usually involving waking up between 11:30 and midnight and hollering “Ow!”), and ate non-stop. At the end of this period, he had grown about four inches in six months, hit a plateau, and started eating less, sleeping less, and yelling “Ow!” less.

That period of tranquility appears to be drawing to a close. For the last week, Simon has resumed non-stop eating, mid-afternoon napping, and nighttime partial awakenings. He’s also grown another inch since we last measured him in late July.

So is he gearing up for another giant spurt? I’m sure he is, but I’m not sure what kind of spurt is coming our way. It could be height again, but Simon seems to be on the cusp of a huge cognitive shift as well. Here are some signs we’re seeing:


More imaginative play, and imaginative play that lasts longer. It is largely because of this that Simon has been seeking out the company of slightly older boys of late.  He’s also started drawing more pictures and telling us stories about what he’s drawn. Drawing still isn’t a big draw for him (see what I did there?), but he’s doing it way more than he used to.

Math Readiness:

The leaps in math understanding have been huge and are largely owing to playing Cars Monopoly. All that obsessive money counting has resulted in Simon’s ability to do simple addition and subtraction in his head up into the teens. He can’t do it all the time, and the longer he thinks about something, the more likely he is to make a mistake. But more than half the time, if I ask how much money he will have after he buys a property, collects rent on a property, or has to pay rent, he gets it right.

He’s also begun writing all his numbers correctly and likes to play a game where I say a three-digit number and he writes it down. This comes after months and months of Simon obsessively quantifying things: How old is X? How much older is X than Y?  How old will X be when Y is Z?  How tall is the tallest man? How tall is Daddy? How much taller is the tallest man than Daddy? And on, and on, and on.

Then there’s the endless grilling about what we do every hour of the day I’ve been subjected to for a few weeks now. I was just about to stop answering him when one day last week he read the clock in the car and announced that at that time the next day he’d be in swimming class. Now I understand that he was measuring, sorting, and categorizing time the same way he measures, sorts, and categorizes everything else.

Reading Readiness:

And the biggie… Six months ago or so, Simon was trying hard to read. He knew all his letters and their corresponding sounds, but he couldn’t blend them. I couldn’t help him, nor was I inclined to. I’m not a teacher, and I suspected he wasn’t truly ready yet. Then he abruptly turned his attention away from books and reading to more physical pursuits: We spent the next several months hitting balls in the back-yard, biking, taking swim lessons, learning to climb, and kicking a soccer ball.

And now we’re back. Today, as we got ready to leave school, Simon looked at the sign beside our car and said, “No, paar…” The sign read “No Parking”, and Simon was able to get two of the syllables. Later, when we stopped for a treat while holiday shopping, he noticed the sign on the coffee shop door. “Mommy, what’s that? No  smoh…” That would be the “No Smoking” sign.

Now, I’m not saying he’s going to start reading next week, next month, or next spring. I have no idea, honestly. What I do think is that the wheels inside Simon’s head are spinning at an accelerated rate these days, and that a few months from now I’m going to have a kid who linguistically, socially, or mathematically is far ahead of where he is now.

Also? He might be doing all of this while wearing size 6 pants. Cross your fingers for good post-holiday sales, eh?

One Response to “Growing Every Which-A-Way”

  1. blg says:

    Love to read your observations about your wonderful child.

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