Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Super Babies

I read in Sports Illustrated today that nine year-old, Kayla Parsons, qualified for a World Amateur golf tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C. breaking the record for youngest to qualify by a staggering four years. Meanwhile, Argentinian soccer phenom Leonel Angel Coira makes Kayla look like an old lady, signing a contract with European powerhouse Real Madrid at the ripe age of seven. The article then went on to describe a new movement in the field of genetics where parents can send a sample of their child's double helix and find out which sport(s) they might have a propensity towards.

A few things came to mind as I read the tongue and cheek article describing the author's own hopes that his five year-old daughter would become a famous etymologist (words) or entomologist (insects) when she brilliantly described a butterfly as a flutter-by. First of all, I wondered if children like Kayla and Leonel developed an interest in their gifts naturally, or if they were driven/supported/encouraged/forced by the vision of a parent or guardian? Maybe a little bit of both. Maybe it doesn't matter if there's love and a big fat paycheck at the end of all the hard work.

It certainly made me fee better about drilling Amari with the numbers and alphabet, and making her run laps around the house and do push-ups when she mispronounces words. Hey, it's what you've got to do if you want an under-four's spelling be champ. In all honesty, I hope Amari finds something she loves to do and excels at, but with the exception of an uncanny ability to melt my heart and pretty solid fine motor skills, I don't see any professional sports teams knocking on our door anytime soon.

That being said, however, here's a recent video of Amari enjoying herself at Reya's soccer practice. Although the practice was a joke, with parents other than Noah and Nicole showing up no earlier than twenty minutes late, the kids were all pretty cute. Amari is also very good at turning things into hats if that ever becomes a valued spectator sport.


Today, in her heart melting workout routine, Amari added a new move. She loves repetition. In, out, up, down, open, close, anything and everything over and over again until she masters it. Today it was the swinging screen door at the front of our house, followed by the steps down into the yard. Open, close, down, up, open, close, turn and start again. I always take advantage and try to get stuff done while she's focused. When I finished up, I caught her at the  beginning of her cycle just outside and heading towards the stairs.
"Whatchya doin'?" I asked.
She turned around, looked up at me through the screen and said, "Bye bye, Dada. Miss you?"
I thought I was hearing things, because I'd never said that to her explicitly. "What?" I asked, and she repeated it perfectly and sweetly.

C'mon Reebok, Adidas, Nike - that's gotta be worth somthing.

Could this face sell shoes or what?

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