Buttercup is a whole lot of things sweet and spicy and each enchant and surprise us, but one that is becoming remarkable is her observation powers. For a 4.5 year old girl she’s a smart little cookie in that department.
There are just so many different kinds of intelligence and as evident from my 2 fast growing children there is no best type of intelligence. Each has a place for it to be showcased.
From very early on Peanut showed interest in dinosaurs, sea creatures, insects and animals. He has the ability to memorize what he reads and share that information quite vociferously. He’s like a true sponge, taking in all the trivia and general knowledge – a little Mr. know it all. Buttercup, in spite of her brother spewing information all the time, showed no such interest. She knows stuff because she hears it so often from her brother but there is just no interest there.
Buttercup’s intelligence has another channel.
Her observation and memory are a stark contrast to her older brother Peanut who cannot find something that would be right under his nose. Our little princess will often be seen guiding her brother to find something he has ‘evidently’ lost with her now characteristic “come, let me show you”. Then she is sprinting to the exact place that lost item is at. When she started helping her father with the whereabouts of his stuff, we knew that she was highly tuned into her environment.
As a 2-3 year old, she would often be found staring at people. Now she’s adept at giving a glance and capturing their presence in her big mind. Her curiosity ensures she doesnt miss a thing and heightens all her senses, her sense of smell will lead her straight to that packet of chips we were hiding from her. She will be the only one to notice if something new has been cooked. She will walk into the kitchen with her nose up in the air and say “ummm, what are you cooking mama?” Buttercup’s sense of sight will notice a new soap dispenser while her brother would have washed his hands and moved along, till he’s excitedly called back by her and then they are busy observing this new item. When she refers to people she met she will often talk about a characteristic of theirs – either a physical one or a personality trait. She’s clued into feelings and somehow this 4.5 year old knows just what to say to get a smile on your face. Sometimes its her bear hug when Iam upset, sometimes its I love you papa when papa is tired and other times its “you have such a nice blue whale, can I play with it too?” when she wants to play with her brother.
And being her parents we obviously think she has superpowers in this department. But our superhero wasn’t just showing ‘us’ her superpowers, instead like a true superhero she was using it to help anyone who needed it. Yesterday I reached the children’s school a little early to pick up the kids. Buttercup came out beaming away and after a cursory chit chat started playing with her friends while we waited for Peanut to come out. At this point, a didi in her class came out with a water bottle and proceeded to give it to Buttercup, stating she had forgotten it in the class. Buttercup doesn’t forget! J She smartly showed the bottle in her bag, while the didi moved on to find whose bottle it was. After a few minutes, Buttercup came to me and matter of factly pointed at a girl saying that the bottle belonged to her. She then went to the now hapless didi and led her to the girl. The didi was amazed at how Buttercup had known this, especially considering that Buttercup had only recently joined this school.
It was evident that not only does ‘she see all, but she also doesn’t miss a thing’.
Buttercup’s type of intelligence proved helpful yet again. And just like her, every child has a distinct way of grasping and processing information. In this scenario, we as parents along with the school and society at large have to be cognizant of the varying types and degrees of intelligence and just as one shoe doesn’t fit all, we have to ideally be able to tap the various intelligence that make children just so uniquely fascinating.
Unfortunately a lot of schools would have us believe that rote is the best way to test intelligence. It is an indicator but not the only indicator of intelligence. A child like Peanut would probably flourish in that kind of system, but Buttercup, I assume, would struggle. Most schools have a set way of teaching irrespective of the differences in the children. Here I suppose, even Peanut would struggle as would some other children. And then there is ‘childhood’. Most schools curtail that beautiful expression, apparently in the garb of schooling and education. Here I believe most children would struggle.
This begs the question- are our schools honing our children’s abilities or cloning them?
As we grappled with the ramifications of that question and the repercussions on our two beautiful souls, my husband and I embarked on a round of schools, in the hope of selecting one for our very diverse children.
Our tryst with schools requires a whole new post, Click here to read – Our Tryst With Schools – Admission Circles And A Whole Lot Of Crosses