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Yellow Farmhouse; White Rocking Chair

By Kayleigh Rahn
I’m still trying to decide if I’m proud, amazed, or terrified. 

Maybe a mixture of the three. 

However, our Nora got us. And she got us good.

This summer we’ve been working on numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. 

With a great deal of work by our loving daycare provider, Nora can count to 20, say her alphabet, and names most common shapes. However, we had a hold up with colors. 

She could match them and point them out when asked; however, should could not name them, or so we thought. 

If asked, “Find me something red,” she ran to the toy room and came charging back with a red block. 

If tasked with completing a puzzle, she could match up any color.

However, ask this toddler “What color is this?” she froze. 

She could identify pink and purple every time, but the other colors were lacking. Reds, blues, greens, and yellows were tough.

When asked about one of these shades over these summer months, Nora would crack a smile, say a random, incorrect color, and run away giggling. 

I believed she was running away because she was self-conscience for not knowing the right answer. I wanted her to be confident in naming her colors, so I made it my mission to help her. And so we got to work. 

I purchased coloring books and puzzles of every variety, and she rocked them all. She knew the colors and could identify when they matched each other. The hang up was simply the vocabulary. 

However, as the summer progressed, I realized she knew the terms. She never stuttered shouting out the incorrect colors. She knew each word by heart, now why couldn’t we make the connection?

So I began spying on her. I made it a habit of watching as she played in her toy room matching her pink baby outfits and sorting her blocks into piles by color. 

Last week, William was on second shift, so we had a series of girls’ nights at home. One evening, I finished dishes and quietly walked to the doorway of the toy room. She had her back to the door when I heard her whispering. Without her knowing I could hear her, she was quietly announcing the correct colors as she placed the pieces of the puzzle together. 

Within that moment, my emotions raised to such pride as she finally correctly identified the color of each piece until I noticed this was nothing new to her. She was moving through the puzzle pieces as if it’s been a practiced skill.

She knows her colors! Then my pride changed to complete horror. She’s known her colors!

I calmly walked in the room and asked her to identify a blue puzzle piece. 

“Ummm, green!” She said, smiled, and laughed.

“No, I know you know the color,” I told her. “No games, what color is this?” I responded. 

“Blue,” she said flatly. 

With my newfound suspicion confirmed I dropped the color talk for a night, and the next morning I asked our daycare provider about it after Nora scampered off to play with her friends. 

“Oh yeah, she’s known her colors for months,” was the response I received. “She’s one smart cookie.”

What?! My child has known her colors this entire time? Why hasn’t she shown us that at home?

I was confused until that afternoon after pick up. I asked why she says the wrong colors for Mommy and Daddy at home. 

“Because it’s funny,” she said with a grin. 

So, my toddler daughter has been successfully pranking me for months. I’m proud of her commitment, amazed at her consistency, and terrified of what’s to come if she managed this at just 2 years old. 

So, now we know Miss Nora knows her colors. The panic is over, or maybe just beginning.

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