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, May 20, 2007

Child safety: window grilles, a life-saver

When we first bought our apartment on the top floor of an apartment block, it had beautiful uninterrupted views over a leafy area of Singapore, laden with old trees. Wonderful, you might have thought - but we didn't, not after our initial delight had been ambushed by a second thought. What was that second thought? That it was an awfully long way to fall down.

You see, the flat had balconies with windows that opened freely. An ambitious, athletic child could easily climb out of the windows - and fly briefly through the air to the ground below. We had young children to consider, so we went to considerable expense to obstruct our pristine views of a beautiful vista with what might seem like an ugly, black, gridwork of metallic grilles.

For a long time, they seemed to serve no purpose but to prevent us from fully enjoying the vantage of our apartment view - until the other day. Guess what my wife found, when she walked into the children's bedroom? Tiarnan, fifteen months, clinging to the grille, half-way between ceiling and floor, as they covered the open windows. Somehow he had climbed up a sheer perspex balcony covering, with no holds, to over three feet above the ground where the window grilles began. Then he had managed to pull his weight up and climb up to the open windows, covered only by the grilles. Had there been no grille, Tiarnan would have discovered the uglier side of gravity, pretty quickly.

So, if you have young children and a great view in an apartment on the second floor or above - don't hesitate to get grilles fitted. Yes, I know they are expensive - and ugly - but there will come a time when your children are able to climb up to open windows - and if that day comes and you do not have grilles, it could be the last day of your child's life. So get grilles, ugly or not.

Have a safe day - and watch those climbing babies. There is now nothing that Tiarnan won't climb - and no height or vantage he can't seem to reach. So, watch yours, too.

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

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 4:50 PM 


Blogger Jason Jones said...

Yes, this is very alarming.

We have had similar experiences.

When our son started gymnastics at age 4 he climbed the long rope hooked to the gym ceiling - over two stories up. He touched the gym ceiling and then slowly let himself back down to the floor without breaking a sweat. Afterward, when we asked him why he did this. He innocently stated that the "big girls" did it so he wanted to as well. The "big girls" are middle school age gymnasts. Preschool children have an unbelievable amount of upper body strength compared to their weight.

He still routinely climbs metal light poles.

7:39 PM  

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