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 +

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tiarnan and musical nostalgia

It is said that young babies have little memory, but I have many reasons to doubt that. I won't give them all, here, but will just let one story speak on its own.

Tiarnan is thirteen months old, now. Several months ago, he was given a musical penguin, to play with. Everytime a button was pressed it would play a tune. Tiarnan got the chance to play with that toy for perhaps a day, before his older brother, Ainan had an idea for it. Ainan, rather wittily, wanted to know whether the penguin would do well underwater. In particular, he wanted to know if you could hear it underwater. Thus, Ainan took it down to the swimming pool and threw it in the water. Let us just say, this was one penguin that couldn't swim.

That was the last time I saw the penguin in action.

Yesterday, Syahidah, Tiarnan's mother, partly hummed, partly sung a tune. She managed more to capture the rhythm of it than the notes.

At once, Tiarnan looked up and looked around, seeking something. "Toy!", he said.

Tiarnan remembered the penguin toy he had had for a day, before it drowned, some months ago. For the tune on Syahidah's lips was the one it used to play.

Tiarnan got all excited to hear the tune and looked at his mother and said: "Again!"

So, she hummed/sang it again.

It seems that Tiarnan remembers a tune long after it was heard - even though it was heard only briefly. He remembers too where and from which object the tune came. He also possesses a sense of excitement to be so reminded - though it is difficult to identify the source of that. Is it the recognition that excites him? Is it the music? Or did he like the toy and hope that it would be seen "alive" again?

Perhaps I should go quietly to the shop from which it was bought, and buy a dry replacement.

It might be a popular move.

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

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:14 AM 


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