Gold Star

There have been very few times in my 2 years of parenting when I felt I earned a gold star. When my tiny baby finally got his tiny booty out of the 10th percentile. When he started walking on his own and beamed with pride. And last week at the doctor’s office.

About three months ago, I had my MacBook out on my lap as Riley sat next to me on the couch. He reached over me, pressed the K key and said “K!”
“Um….yeah, that’s a K,” I said, sure it was a coincidence. I quickly opened a Word document to see if my cynicism was accurate. It wasn’t.

One by one I typed just about every letter in the alphabet.

“What’s that?” I asked as I typed a single Y.

“Y!” he happily replied.



I stared at him in disbelief. Derek and I exchanged a glance and he grabbed the camcorder. Riley was 22 months old and he knew the alphabet? Huh?

Here’s the funny thing – we are far from crazy stage parents who excitedly tell everyone in the grocery store line that Junior is a genius.

Ok, ok, I’ve blogged about it before. Ahem.

Fast forward to Riley’s 2-year check up last week. The doctor was talking and asked if I had any questions or concerns about him.

“No, it’s not a question or concern, but ….watch,” I said as I put some vaccine paperwork in front of Riley.

“What letter is this?” I asked while I pointed out the letters at the top of the form.

“V – A – C – C – I – N – E ” he replied slowly, as I pointed to each letter.

The doctor stared at me blankly.

“How did you do that?” she asked.

“I don’t know!” I laughed.

“No, really, how did you do that? I ask 4-year olds to do that,” she said.

I truly think it’s a combination of Sesame Street that helped make me smarter as a kid and thank god it’s there for my little man still.

He also has a toy caterpillar that he loves and you press a lettered leg of the caterpillar and a friendly voice tells you what the letter is.

Plus I think the fact that both of Riley’s parents constantly have their laptops within arms reach doesn’t hurt.

“That’s really impressive,” the doctor said.

“I ate really well during pregnancy,” I replied. No one needs to know about my weekly morning donut. Hey – maybe those gas station donuts had the right combination of sugar and preservatives to create our little Einstein!


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