Katie told me recently that two signs a toddler might exhibit as indications they are gifted are sleeplessness and an advanced sense of humor. Well I don't know if Elliott is gifted, but it is nice to have a great excuse for two of his otherwise unexplainable character traits. Besides, the world is full of gifted individuals who failed to use their gift; it is equally full of people who had nothing but managed to create their own gifts.
The sleep training has been successful at getting Elliott to consistently take a two hour nap right around noon each day. That is the official nap time at the daycare he'll start attending two weeks from now, so he is officially prepared. As for wake-up - it continues to be at 5:00AM, give or take five minutes. The connection of gifted and restless toddlers would seem to imply that the toddler has so much going on in his head that he or she has a difficult time sleeping. Elliott wakes up talking; many times continuing the last conversation he had before going to bed the night before, so I buy it.
Last week, I was carrying him out of the bathroom after his bath when he reached up and pulled the light switch down triggering an immediate blackout. I turned the lights back on, looked at him and called him a "sneaky Pete". I don't know where the phrase came from, it just sounded right. Well he loved it. He continued to turn the lights out as quickly as I turned them on. Each time he laughed uncontrollably and then called me a "sneak peak". The next morning I went to get him out of his crib when I heard him begin to stir. I picked him up. He gave me a quick hug and then pulled his head back so he could look me in the eyes and smile when he called me a "sneak peak." Another day had begun with precious little of the previous day's momentum so much as disturbed.
One of his new fun activities is laughing at the term goofball. We were talking about papa a couple of weeks ago and I said "papa's a goofball." Elliott laughed with a giggle I had never heard before. His mouth was wide open, his head tilted back and he laughed as loud as I had ever heard him laugh. Of course I had to repeat it - "papa's a goofball", which brought the same response from him. He soon took over the name calling duties himself while also continuing to provide the laughter. He branched out a bit by calling mama a goofball and then daddy a goofball, each one progressively funnier. And when he calls his new teacher at daycare a goofball, I'm sure there will be discussions. I'm also sure she will understand once I explain it is merely a sign that our Elliott is gifted.
I don't know about the whole gifted thing - it seems like another diagnosis loosely tossed around to explain behaviors that probably have a thousand explanations. But I know this for sure, Elliott is a gift. I don't know how gifted he is starting out in life or how gifted he will end up, but he will always be a gift. We are so blessed to have him and equally blessed to have little Ian preparing to join us in less than three months. When Ian arrives and Elliott believes we have all forgotten just how gifted he is and he goes out of his way to give us his own special reminders - I will stand reminded just what a gift he is!