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Home » 9to5to9, Boots' story, The adventures of Big Guy and Boots

You can learn a lot from a dummy

Submitted by on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 No Comment
I wish I could track down everyone who, two years ago, was ready to label Boots a mental midget just because Big Guy was doing well in kindergarten.

"Gosh, I hope Boots isn't dumb," was the popular refrain. I heard it not once, but three times. I can remember the identity of only one person who said it, thus depriving me of the option of a massive "neener, neener, neener" even if I were so inclined.

On the other hand, I'm also missing out on the opportunity to  assure them that the cliche about the slower younger sibling is nothing more than a cliche in many cases.

Three-fourths of the way through kindergarten, Boots is doing just fine, thank you very much. Part of it's due to Big Guy - Boots has wanted homework since his brother started school, and he's recently peered over Big Guy's shoulder and tried to figure out the multiplication problem as Big Guy practices online. At least several times a day, he'll get it right, too.

I'm not saving for Harvard yet, because I'm well aware that a fast academic start doesn't always predict brilliance on down the road, just as the reverse is true. I know a woman who flunked second grade but is getting ready to work on a doctorate.

I'm not surprised, either, because a kid who could recognize numbers up to eight at age 3 obviously had something brewing between his ears.

I am shocked, though, at how much he is learning - truly learning, and not just memorizing by rote.

Recently, his class has been studying  transportation. He came home and told me about valprettos. "They're boats. I think they have them in Italian or West Virginia or somewhere," he said.

"Are you sure you don't mean gondola?" I asked.

"No, I mean valprettos. They have long bars on the windows so the people won't fall off. Get on that Google  and look it up," he challenged.

I did, and he was right. Sort of. Vaporettos are water buses in Italy.

"Hey, Big Guy!" he said after I showed him the picture to confirm. "I know about water buses. They're in Italian."

"You're making that up," his brother replied. "There's no such thing!"

"Is too! Mommy, show him!"

Chances are, vaporettos are going to be irrelevant in Boots' adult life, unless he does indeed grow up to be an Italian plumber.

But the fact that he remembered them and was excited enough to tell me about them when he came home tells me that's he's enthusiastic, engaged and actually listening to his teacher when he's not tattling on annoying classmates.

I'm way more impressed by that than I am by any grade on his report card.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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