Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My 4-Year-Old Dictionary

Sometimes I think that my belief that Nutmeg is gifted is overblown. In many ways, she appears to be your average 4-year-old. She doesn't sit around doing equations for fun, nor does she excel at putting together puzzles.

Then she says and things like the following, and I'm convinced again that she is in an unusually high IQ range. We will get her tested in kindergarten or first grade, whenever it's needed for qualifying her for any special programming in the public schools. In the meantime, these are the things that give me a hunch:

Today, at lunch

Nutmeg: Blue cheese smells horrible. I don't want to try it in case its taste is REFLECTING its smell.
Me: Where did you hear that word?
Nutmeg: In my fairy book.

So, it's my feeling that not only using a very advanced word, but also using it after hearing it used only in a book, is a bit unusual for her age. No? I'd love to hear from any readers who have experience with this.

Yesterday, in my parents' yard

Nutmeg: (some advanced vocabulary use that I have already forgotten)
Epu: You do have good diction, Nutmeg.
Nutmeg: Yeah, I'm a good dictionary!

That's word play. She turned Epu's word into a similar word that she knows.

Also yesterday, at my parents' house

Nutmeg: The Cowboys are playing at Lambeau Field? Then the Packers are going to win.
Grammy: Why?
Nutmeg: Because the Cowboys will get confused and try to chase the field. Cause they'll think the field is a real LAMB!

Also this weekend, she displayed a thorough understanding of the pretense used in a radio commercial she hears a lot. The ad, on WGN, is for Lifeway Pro Bugs Keifer. The announcer says that kids will love it because they'll think they're grossing their parents out, and parents should humor them and not let them know it's healthy. Nutmeg joked about it hours after hearing it, saying that it was gross, not healthy. Then saying, but it really IS healthy! But I'm not supposed to know that!

Then there's the reading. I know it's not all that uncommon for 4-year-olds to read. Her father and I were both reading by the same age. Still and all, I can't help being impressed by the level of comprehension I see when she reads signs and labels all around her these days:

"Mommy, I didn't know they made crayons in China!"
"We just passed a street called Wisconsin! There's a Wisconsin street IN Illinois. Isn't that ridiculous?"
"Why does the garbage can say 'thank you'?"

Really, why does it? I have always thought that was weird myself.

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