The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fintan makes fun of Daddy

If you are a parent, you will know that having an energetic child is a "mixed blessing". Yes, they are fun to be around...but sometimes that "around" is a little too big - and that child gets everywhere. Fintan, three, is one such child.

Today, Fintan wanted to run around, while we were out and about with him. Singapore is a small city with a population which, in my opinion, is proportionately quite large. Public places are often crowded places, therefore. Having a child who is ever running far and wide can easily lead to a lost child.

We took a bus on Orchard Road, to go to buy some electronic goods (more of that in another post). Fintan wanted to run around inside the bus...but that isn't acceptable, and wouldn't have been welcome, so, instead I sat him inside of me, locked away safely between me and the window of the bus.

To distract him, I pointed out of the window at things we were passing, thinking it might settle him down.

"Look Fintan at all those flags!" I pointed at a wall of flags on a shopping centre.

Then: "Look Fintan, at those neon lights!"

"Neon lights", he echoed, learning the name for them.

Then he said something with what I took to be sarcasm:

"Look Daddy, the sky is there!"

That silenced me. I hadn't heard him be sarcastic before, but now that I did, I knew my ruse had not fooled him, at all.

Perhaps, my attempt to distract him was just not sophisticated enough: I will have to recalibrate my view of what is appropriate for him.

The manner in which Fintan makes his social understanding plain, is always so clear, that sometimes I am humbled by him. He sees through everything - and always chooses an apt way to reply.

I think he is going to grow up to be a funny guy. He is a funny little guy already.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:49 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My tactic in these situations is to "wonder" about something. When Fintan pointed out the sky, you could have ignored the sarcasm and asked him why he thinks it is blue, or why he thinks the airplanes look so small up there, etc. My kids come up with some very interesting ideas and start having their own questions.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

The suggestion that I engage him in wondering about things is a good one...thanks. I will try it.

8:09 AM  

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