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 +

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The little Singaporean and the Maid

Domestic workers are everywhere in Singapore. Any well-to-do home has at least one and I know homes that have two or more. Without maids, nothing domestic would get done in many a Singaporean home.

It is not just the well-off who have maids. Virtually every middle class person has one too. This is a strong contrast to Western society where only the richest have maids or any other domestic staff.

Many a Singaporean has, in fact, been brought up, by their maids, the mother being absent at work, in many households. Singapore is a nation of working couples, after all.

Many odd things are a consequence of this presence of domestic workers, here. One of the oddest was something I saw today.

I know the identities of the people concerned, but shall conceal them, for the purposes of this article. It is better that way.

I saw a little boy, with a maid. It is clear that she was a maid, and not his mother - for once you know what maids look like, they are easy to pick out.

The boy was a pre-schooler, a kindergartener and the maid was leaning down to listen to him. He was saying something to her which I could not catch, but I heard her reply.

Can you guess what an adult woman of about 30 - the maid - had said to a little boy, who was not much beyond a toddler?

In all seriousness, and with no hint of irony in her voice, she had said: "Yes, Boss."

That got me thinking about her position in the world, that really did.

(If you would like to read about Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and three months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, three and Tiarnan, thirteen months, please to go: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, baby genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults, and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 1:01 AM 


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