What makes your Kid Extraordinary?

Every parent thinks their kid is the best at something.  Whatever their talent, aptitude, or quirk, we celebrate them with abandon and unabashedly.  When I was tasked by Stanford Children’s Health with writing about what makes my kid extraordinary, I thought it would be a piece of cake writing assignment.  And then I tried to think of something truly unique.  Something that would make you smile and think, “WOW!  That kid is extraordinary!”

But, every kid does all the things I could think of.  And then my 20 month old walked up to me and said her absolute favorite word.

The thing is, she doesn’t have very many words, yet.  She is starting to babble a little more, putting together phrases that almost sound like real words.  Still, she refuses, outright refuses to say, “Mama.”  But she already has a favorite word.

And her absolute favorite word is unique because she has the ability to attach shades of meaning to it.  She can say it with humor, with sweetness, or with overt rudeness.  It is very comedic.  It makes me think she has a very well-honed sense of humor that is about to spring forth…as soon as she can get all those funny things out of her head.

Let me introduce you to the way she says it with humor.  Imagine with me “Do you Want to Build a Snowman?” playing in the background (her older sister is watching Frozen songs for the millionth time).  And the title phrase is sung.  What say you W, would you like to build a snowman?


A moment later, the phrase is sung again.  The answer comes back:


Every single time this young one is offered the exciting prospect of building a snowman, she refuses!


She also is able to use the phrase with sweetness.  She bats those gorgeous eyelashes, looks down and quickly back up, and coyly says, “No,” in response to rhetorical questions.  And she can wield it like a weapon when she is forced into baby water torture (otherwise known as getting cleaned up with a wet wipe after meals).  The NOs peal out with force and the certainty that can only come from one who feels a grave injustice is being committed.

The shades of meaning she can apply to this one word make me wonder at what will come of her when she is older.  Will she be a lawyer, working out the semantics of every word?  Will she be a writer or comedienne, using the variations of vocabulary to great success? Who knows?! But I know that where ever she goes, whatever she says, I will always find her extraordinary!


And, for the record, I think her sister is pretty extraordinary, too!

Don’t you feel that way about your little ones, too?  Stanford Children’s Health is running a campaign to help us celebrate our extraordinary kids.  And they have the best way of helping you express it!  They have a way to make and share a video to celebrate the unique and wonderful things that make your kid extraordinary.

I made one for Miss W and I loved it so much that I had to make one for Miss G.  Your kid is extraordinary. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own!  And when you make your video, come back here and share it with me!  I would love to see it!


I think the reason Stanford Children’s Health is helping parents celebrate their kids is because that’s what they do every day.  Here is a little bit more information about this amazing group:

  • Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been the top-ranked children’s hospital in Northern California for over a decade.
  • Stanford Children’s Health is the largest Bay Area healthcare provider with an exclusive focus on children and expectant women.
  • Whether your visit is routine or rare, Stanford Children’s Health is committed to providing extraordinary care for healthier happy lives.


Kids are extraordinary


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thea

    I really enjoyed reading your article. actually I thought it was brilliant! I can just imagine your 20 month old saying that simple two letter word with so many different meanings. That is pretty intelligent!

    1. ussleah

      Thanks, Thea! I guess if you don’t have many words, you have to figure out a way to make the most of the ones you do! She is a smart little one and someday she will let us know in more than one word!

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