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, October 05, 2007

A child's book shelf

There is a bookshelf, in our house, in fact, more than one. The child's book shelf I wish to speak of, is by the wall in the living room. It is of an unusual appearance, being a furniture book shelf, that is round in design, not rectangular.

Now, this bookshelf doesn't have a ladder leaning against it. Indeed, there is no ladder accessible in our house (from the days we found Tiarnan at the top of it, of his own accord, while a matter of several months old).

About two months ago, I heard a little squeal coming from the living room. When I looked in the room, I found that Tiarnan, who had been quietly playing, had found an altogether unorthodox use for a bookshelf. There was a strange new addition to the top shelf of my book shelf. There, balancing carefully on top of the books, was my son, Tiarnan (eighteen months at the time). Somehow, he had climbed to the top of the bookshelf - and had done so without, as I could see, knocking off any books.

Once he had got to the top, he found that going down didn't look so inviting - hence the squeal. I reached up and took him down.

This is just another adventure in our daily life with a little spiderman/spiderbaby/spidertoddler. With him, nothing is safe from being climbed. So far, he has yet to fall off anything - but I really don't want there ever to be a first time. He attempts to climb everything that looks even vaguely possible - and always succeeds, as far as I can see. Perhaps he was born to be a mountaineer (or comes from mountain-living stock!) - for he just can't stop climbing.

Although he enjoys climbing, I would rather he took up a safer pursuit - like reading the books, instead of climbing on the bookshelves (he does like books, actually, too).

If you have a climbing baby, no doubt you, too, have had the experience of finding your child in strange places. With Tiarnan, this is a fairly regular occurrence. Oh well...

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and ten months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and three months, and Tiarnan, twenty months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:32 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post made me laugh! My brother was a climbing baby, too. He once climbed out of his crib and onto the windowsill (scared my mother)

He actually did grow up to be a mountaineer! He loves rock climbing, mountain climbing, even ice climbing. So you may be right about Tiarnan :)

7:12 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I may be right, indeed - thanks for sharing your brother's babyhood. I believe that one can see much about the life to come in the child that is...and so Tiarnan might have a future in high places.

We will see.

It is funny, yes, what he gets up to - but the humour drains out of me when I take a look at where he is and how far he has to fall. Ouch.

Best wishes to you.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

...and your brother. Happy climbing to him...

8:25 AM  

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