Parental Advisory

Spirited Toddler Quiz, Pt. 4

You know, it only seems appropriate to post these after you spend a night staring at the ceiling for two hours in the middle of the night wondering why your child won’t let you sleep. Dealing with the midnight moans right now with Ellison. Girl was going last night. We went to a later sleep time in hopes to achieve one long continuous night sleep by keeping her up later. Worked a bit at first, but now she’s contracted the wakeups and then I spend two hours thinking about deadlines, the book of Daniel, retirement, Sun Ra’s impact on Funkadelic, fair trade coffee and how truly fair it is or isn’t, haboobs, Herman Cain, skiing, Theo Epstein (just a for a few seconds) and when I’m due for an oil change among other things. Not me but the Subaru.

Wake up three hours later with a crick in my neck and a nice dark cup of coffee and an Osibisa record. Gonna need it today.

Today’s topic is “perceptiveness.” Writes our author:

Perceptive kids notice the four-leaf clover in the grass; the color, make and model of the car that just passed; the Christmas tree hung on the construction crane; and the ant crawling on the window glass. It seems as though perceptive individuals have antennas out, picking up all of the extraneous information and stimulation around them. As a result it can be very challenging for them to sort out the most important information or to remain focused on their original goal.

Again, we’re going to attempt to objectively assess Ellison’s perceptiveness even though, as a 13-month old, she’s still developing many of these traits literally as we sleep. But in our pursuit for the truth of Ellison’s spirited nature, let’s proceed as best we can. Let’s go to the workbook.

Let’s start at the top: “stays on task and isn’t watching the birds outside of the window” or “notices things most people miss” as being the most perceptive. I’m going to score her a 2 outta 5 on this one. She generally gets locked into something and sticks with it. Now, where I struggle answering this is that it’s sometimes difficult to direct her to do something like, say, stay still for photos because she keeps walking off, but in that case, I see myself as the distraction to her intention which is to stand up, notice where she wants to go and then proceed to walk there. Might not be the task that I want her to stick to, but when she’s destined to go there, she’ll throw up a stiff arm like Heisman to get there. Birds? What birds? The bird would have to knock her over for her to notice it.

How about noticing rainbows in oil spills? I’d say no, although, we haven’t seen many oil spills around town. I will say this, though, last night we went to the park and around the park there were small plastic bottle caps on the ground. Some would be partially buried and others would be hidden amongst some grass. She’d lock in on one from about five or ten feet away and would dig it up using her small little fingers. She’d pick them up, hand them to us and then keep moving. I know it’s not the same as watching rainbows in oil spills, but she sometimes notices stuff that I’d just walk right by. Most of the time, it ends up in her mouth, but that’s just life with a toddler, right? I’m giving her 3 outta 5 here.

Lastly, Ellison’s abilities to follow multiple directions. This one’s tricky. One day, I spent five hours trying to teach her how to change out the bag on a vacuum to no success. Two days ago, I tried to teach her how to simply change the batteries out on her crib aquarium so that she could do it herself. Her look of both amazement and confusion made me realize that she’s not too good at following directions. Only “NO” at this point. She has competency to follow directions of a baby chimp or caveman. “Oven hot!” That’s because she’s only 13 months old. We’re gonna go ahead and defer on this one. Too early to tell here.

So, scoring 5 outta 10 or, to scale, 2.5 out of a possible 5 on perceptiveness. That brings our total score now to 2.91 outta 5 on the SPIRITED SCALE, slightly down from last time where she was at 3.05.

You’ll notice my posts have become even more sporadic and random. That’s life with a toddler. You can’t just lock her in a closet anymore (that’s a joke…a bad one, mind you). I’m working on the top ten realities of life with a toddler maybe for this weekend. One thing’s true though, once she hit her feet, the entire world changed.

And, if Ellison’s not the best dressed girl on the block thanks to Mommy who has an incredible fashion sense.

And like I need a mirror to better accentuate my forehead wrinkles, how about this photo from a couple of weeks ago.Coming soon: Life with a Toddler: The New Norm, Highway to Elle: Traveling with our Baby, and Who Needs Sleep?



2 thoughts on “Spirited Toddler Quiz, Pt. 4

  1. lovely wife says:

    I would agree that there needs to be some deferring on this this one. too soon to tell. and I CAN”T wait to read Highway to Elle. Remember that your lovely wife is always reading and appreciates being prortrayed as the amazing mom that can handle any toddler situation with love, patience, beauty and grace!!! 🙂 love you!!

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