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What do you remember of your childhood? Were you able to play taguan at 2 and half years of age, with playmates of the ages around 6 or 7 years old? Erika did, because she was already able to count 1-10 then, and comprehend the mechanics of the game.

Have you ever wondered where Jesus’ office was when you were not even 3 years old yet? Erika asked that. What age did you proclaim your foreseen career? Barely a couple of months after her second birthday, and without batting an eyelash, this girl told us, her parents, the she would be a doctor, someday.

For Erika, being techno-savvy at 2, meant booting and re-booting the PC on her own, and dragging icons onscreen using the computer mouse, with both hands. Tsk, tsk, bear in mind how small the hand of a toddler is!!!

Erika was born 7.5 lbs in weight and 46 cm long on the 1st day of the month of May 2002. Thought to be a boy, her father was prepared to name her as his junior, thus she has such name. She is the third of three girls, and was born as the 4th grandchild on her paternal side but already 9th grandchild on the maternal side.

Erika or Eka is one precocious child. She was already toilet trained, before the age of 2 years. She was singing her own birthday song on her 2nd birthday; and able to perform 3-4 different nursery songs a couple of months after turning 2. This was almost the same time she learned to play 3 varied computer games and has already abstract concepts of time (could say exact hours such as 10:30 or 4:00 but not necessarily synchronized with the actual time), distance and space (as in near or far and here or there) and an amazing sense of humor. It is amazing, because at two and a half she can play from being serious and near-tears emotional drama, she would suddenly blurt out: Joke lang!!!

Out of the blue, but with a little help from the laundry detergent TV commercial she called her parents: Tatay and Nanay. A diversified tag from the way her older sisters call their parents: which are Daddy and Mommy. At the age of two, she therefore, innovated on her own; did not conform and made a decision to be different.

Although very outspoken of her thoughts, she seldom asks questions but she questions the questions! She questions: “Why do computer icons appear at one strike of a finger?” “Where do the computer screen icons come from?” “Where do the icons go when not in use?” She asks frequently: “Why, can Barney the dinosaur character, sing when (or why) in fact he doesn’t have ears!

The most amazing part of this girl’s growth at barely three years old is she teaches herself the skills necessary to life’s survival!

First, she suddenly read a book’s cover by naming the letters of the book’s title. Thus, it was concluded that she taught herself the letters of the alphabet. Yes. She did it just by playing an interactive computer game over and over.

Second, she washes herself before bedtime, dries herself with a towel and chooses her own set of sleeping wear. Indeed, self-help skills are caught and not directly taught!

(Written for Erika May 2005)