There are two realities I've come face-to-face with in the last couple of weeks. First, that teaching your child takes work and planning. Second, that enrolling your child in preschool takes work and planning.
I'm beginning to think that JD has been exposed to all of the wrong stimuli. That's my own assessment of his current learning ability. He is not learning at the rate my wife and I were hoping. He has no real words and calls neither my wife nor I Mommy or Daddy, respectively. At least, he does not call it to our faces. He says both, but he's never looked at me and said, "Dada!" Forget about any other words.
I am going to have to change the way I do everything. And it does not help that my personality swings toward the introverted side. Speaking directly to JD takes tremendous effort on my part.
There are plenty of things that he does well. Crawling, walking, kicking and throwing a ball, climbing stairs, and opening cupboards and cabinets are all things he is at the amateur or professional level for his age. Socializing? A regular butterfly.
I realize, though, that I have not deliberately worked on colors, numbers, shapes, or other basic academic skills. I kind of thought that such things came naturally. I do not know if they do for some kids, but these are not subjects JD has tackled.
I take that back. It is not necessarily that he cannot, but that he will not. He has no patience for learning. Everything is doing. Now. Right now. He wants freedom to explore. JD has a passion for playing. He is the easiest baby to care for as long as you can dedicate 100% of your attention to his play. He plays ball, piano (so to speak), and with most of his other toys. And did I mention his ability to destroy? Better than a wrecking ball.
I have decided to take a more active role in teaching him the basics. With index cards and markers, I will make alphabet flash cards. He will be taught numbers and colors. Shapes and animals will also be part of the curriculum. There will be some structure and some planning involved. All the parents reading this are saying to the computer screen, Good luck with that. Good luck, indeed.