For the past few weeks, the theme at school has been Ocean Life, and Alex has been in his absolute element! Ever since his first visit to Ushaka Marine World when he was just over two years old, he has been obsessed with sea creatures. When he was tiny, one of his favourite DVD’s was “Baby Genius: Under water adventures“, which he used to call Ocean Motion, and to this day, he loves all things marine.
After his first trip to the aquarium, we bought him this book on Ocean Life. And at all of two and a half, he had memorised every single sea creature within its pages. (Friends were amazed when we asked Alex to read them his Ocean Motion book, and he would happily name each creature (over forty of them!) as we paged through it. It used to be one of our favourite party tricks. We used to laugh out loud at the fact that this tiny boy was reciting marine animal names as if they were part of his day-to-day vocab!)
We were dumb-struck at how brilliant his memory was, and how he even got the pronunciations right. Even the obscure ones like Coelocanth, Mantis Shrimp and Sea Anemone!
The Ocean Life book is now well-worn, as it was paged through (and recited) each night before bed. Over time, the obsession faded a little, and some of the creatures were forgotten, but thanks to the aquatic theme at school, it has been revived, and he is back to naming each creature in his fishy book, without a single error.
During his parent / teacher review at school last week, his teacher, Christine, told us how amazed she had been, when putting up a picture of a shark or a whale, he pointed out that it was in fact a great-white shark, and a humpback whale etc. (So we had to confess that this was one of his party tricks!) And on the subject of his progress at school, we have been assured that he is a kind, bright, happy, polite child, who never forgets his P’s and Q’s. (I did also ask if she was sure she was talking about MY child, given the daily tantrums and non compliance I have to deal with!)
On the way to school the other day, Alex says to me: “Mom, when school is on holiday in August, I am taking the train to Ballito to go to the aquarium!” I just love my budding little marine biologist to bits! (And luckily for him, we will be going down to Ballito for a week soon, and he can visit his beloved sea creatures.)