October 23rd, 2004


Right From Left

This morning, after a wonderful breakfast of homemade waffles from John, we were all sitting in the livingroom. Isabel and George had arrived yesterday, and George was on the floor playing with Jet and Isabel and I were watching happily.

John came in and said, "Jet, you have to show Mommy and Granny something."

Jet looked at him.

"Which is your left foot?"

Jet didn't even think about it, he just raised his left foot!

"Now, which is your right hand?"

Jet immediately, unhesitantly, raised his right hand.

I burst out, "Wow, Jet! You're WAAAY better than me!"

He grinned at us, and all day, we've been asking him which is which and he answers right, every time, without having to even think about it.

I still can't do that.

I have to think about what "right" and "left" mean and then translate it to the direction and then say it and, if I'm under pressure, I get it wrong half the time (i.e. I pick the word randomly). And here's my three-year-old son, whom I didn't even really know if he knew what right and left meant, suddenly just does it. It's funny, because I can find my way anywhere and I have a great sense of direction with regards to where I'm going to; but if you ask me right from left, north from south, or east from west, I have real trouble coming up with which is which. John, when asked, will, without thinking, just point and have it right most of the time.

The amazing thing, though, is that John mentioned that the zipper on the pajamas went to Jet's left foot when they took it off. Then a few minutes later, John asked him which was his left foot, and Jet stuck it out. Then, to see if it was just luck, John asked Jet for his right hand, and Jet stuck that out, flooring John. We don't think we've emphasized right from left for a very long time, so either his pre-school has been teaching that or he's so fast a learner he's scary even for us...

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