Signs of a Gifted Child
(San Diego, CA, USA)
Actually...I Do Know Everything
My son is a stickler for specifics. Whenever someone misstates something or refers to a vehicle or pirate by the incorrect name, he is the first to correct them. He is currently almost four but has an ongoing obsession with pirates. Just before his third birthday, we were at Disneyland. We purchased him a Captain Jack Sparrow costume that he was allowed to wear in the park. The primary purpose of the purchase was to use as a Halloween Costume but he was adamant that he wear it immediately.
The next day, he wore the costume to the amusement park. Quickly, someone commented, “Oh, what a cute pirate.” He corrected them instantly, “ACTUALLY, I’m Captain Jack Sparrow.” Since then, he has clung to the use of “ACTUALLY” as a way of correcting errors adults around him make. It turns out that we make a lot of errors!
My sister and I joke that his “ACTUALLY” means something akin to “Actually, you’re an idiot” or “Actually, I’m smarter than you and I’m only three.” He says it with such attitude and confidence that people are normally not sure whether to be offended or to laugh. My sister normally takes the offense route. As a teacher used to corrected students, I find the whole situation amusing.
His most recent correct occurred during Gymnastics class. His coach instructed the students to “Jump through the donut.” He ran up to the “donut,” stopped, turned around, and shouted “ACTUALLY, this is an octagon.” I could see all of the parents and the coach counting the sides to confirm. It was, indeed, an octagon. The parents started to snicker and the coach seemed unsure what to do. She eventually said, “Great, bud, jump through the OCTAGON.” My little boy responded with, “No, octagons are scary,” and walked away.
When he isn’t busy correcting me, some of our favorite activities include reading books, racing each other around the neighborhood, and going on walks. On our walks, we talk about the plants and bugs that we encounter. He always has questions about something but rarely accepts the answer, “Mommy does not know everything.” Whenever possible, we try to walk or run to locations that are within a few miles. This includes the grocery store, Target, his gymnastics classes, the park, the library, and our infinitely interesting neighbors.
In addition to our daily walks, we go to the beach twice a week. Although I spend the bulk of the time swimming in the ocean, my son spends his time playing on the beach. Obviously, he is too young to play alone so dad or Grandma come along to help. While at the beach, his favorite activities include looking for crabs, collecting shells, and digging giant holes.