Twenty years ago being a first time Mom, my understanding of the pains and joys of motherhood was all based from first hand experience. In preparation for the coming of the much awaited blessing from above, I equipped myself with all the pregnancy books I can get hold from the local library. Every now and then, when I passed by a bookshop at a local shopping centre, I would browse thru the latest release books on motherhood and the "what to expect each month as the baby grows to full term". In all of those times, never did I venture on learning about another aspect of nurturing and bringing-up a child - a gifted child.
I relate to these two words - gifted child as a child we were all once to be and those that are about to come into existence. That in the eyes of the Heavenly Father, each of those women who were fortunate enough to bear a child has been given a gifted child. My understanding of what constitutes giftedness has become more profound based on personal experience. From a status of zilch in handling and looking after a gifted child, I quickly learned the challenging ropes of the "dos and donts" that a mother must observe and follow at all times to have harmony and peace at home. It helped me enormously that I documented the journal of my son's life as this helped me understood who he was as a baby and now that he is a young adult.
As I still can't understand how a child becomes gifted, I reflected on my 38 months of gestation. I remembered that being an excited Mom, at the first instance of feeling some "butterfly flutters" in my tummy which would have been between my 12-16 weeks of pregnancy, I have never stopped talking to my little one inside as if he was right in front of me. While resting, I also remembered that I constantly played the nursery rhymes close to my stomach. Upon birth, barely 24 hours in this world, my husband and me have noticed that he was very alert. He constantly was looking at his surroundings as if he can already see. Unlike the sad experiences of other parents where they are at the beck and call of their new born, mine developed a very good routine of sleeping through the night. Since I was nursing him, he slept with us so the feeding on demand took place with minimal disruption .
Like any 3 month old baby, my first born started to enjoy social inter-action. By 6 months, I heard him say the first word of "Ma" but I discounted it as pure coincidence. Afterall, that is not part of the milestones I read with 6 month old babies. He started to walk when he was about 10 months old but he never crawled. On his first birthday, he was almost a runner and I still thought that that was normal.
Considering that I have a niece who was born a year before my son and we were living in the same house at that time, my quick reference guide of what to expect from my child is through my niece. Unfortunately, they were different in the sense that I did not have to watch with angst and be on the look-out when a child climbs up a chair or even the table!
Toilet training has been a cruise as he was completely toilet trained when he was 18 months old - a lot of savings on the hip pocket for disposable nappies. His vocabulary and speech was also quite in advance for his age but still I thought this was part of a normal milestones in children.
My motherhood world of normalcy was challenged from two years onward when people on the street, in the bank or the supermarket would come up and make a comment or two - that my son was quite advanced for his age.
Join me as I continue to reflect on Undestanding Gifted Kids - Part 2.