Taking J to an outdoor event this afternoon put some curious thoughts in my head... It was a "fete" held at the local horse race track - various horse races and free events for children: riding on little ponies, a bouncy castle, clown, face painting, etc. The queue for everything was very long, as you might imagine, and the longest was for the pony riding, involving maybe a 45 minute wait. As soon as he saw the ponies, J started clamouring to go on. I explained that one had to wait in the line. He then started having a tantrum - much to the puzzlement of the people around us, who shot us some curious looks. There were other kids crying and finding it really hard to wait - but they looked about 2 years old... So I took him off to a quiet place and said very firmly that that was how it was, one had to wait one's turn, and if he wanted to go on the ponies, that was what we had to do. I also said that if he continued the tantrum, we would go home and asked if he understood. He said he understood. So then we go back to the queue and start waiting. At first he is on my shoulders looking around - for the first 10 minutes, so far so good. Then he says his knees are hurting, and my shoulders are sagging, so he comes down. He doesn't wait like all the other kids, of course - his 'waiting' involves running away briefly and then coming back, playing at pretend-fighting with the little boy next to us (just fun, and very gentle), going to stand on the fence right next to us to look at the horse racing. We finally make it to the ponies and he has to stand with all the other children waiting their turn in a little enclosure for about 5 or 10 minutes. He does it - all the time jigging about on the spot, but accepting to stay there. And then we repeat the process again for the bouncy castle... And he stands right at the front of the castle with a few other kids waiting their turn for about 20 minutes. He is moving around, but staying there, waiting. And then the idea occurred to me... we usually think these children are lacking in skills, and of course in a way they are, in the sense that other children of his age can bear frustration and can wait patiently, standing more or less still. But the fact is that J managed to do these things too, in his own fashion, but they are MUCH HARDER for him. What it took for him to do that is presumably much more than it takes an ordinary child. So... in a sense they are more skilled. Or, rather, having to call on a skill to a much greater degree. Just an odd thought, maybe. But I had not looked at it like this before.