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, November 17, 2007

Ainan's baby name suggestion

I wonder if Ainan knows something I don't. Yesterday, he started to write down long words on a piece of paper.

I asked him what he was doing.

He looked up from his task, and said: "I am thinking of names for the next baby. The one after Tiarnan."

I was somewhat surprised, since I didn't know that Tiarnan had a smaller sibling on the way. Certainly, he didn't the last time I checked.

"What's the name then?"

He then spoke in the most curious voice, like a Thai person, lilting through the word in a high pitched sing-song.



The funny thing is, when he said it, it actually sounded quite pretty...a sort of wistful word in a language I didn't know.

"Is it a boy's name or a girl's name?"

He shrugged. "It could be a name for anything."

This interchange made me smile, inside, for many reasons. Firstly, it told me that Ainan really rather likes having siblings. Not only that but he would like more of them. He is looking forward to the next two-legged surprise in the house. He is even making plans to name the baby, in his own idiosyncratic way.

The other thing I noted, of course, was that his liking for Chemistry, with its abundance of long words, had given him both an interest in and tolerance for long words - such that he would even make up a long nonsense word - which sounded rather pleasant on his tongue - to name a baby with. He would even remember these words later: they would become, for him, genuine words, with a new meaning or application. In this case, a baby name.

There is a hint here of something else. Perhaps Ainan, who has not shown much interest in languages, is developing an interest in the structure of words, their origin and development - perhaps he will become interested in languages themselves, in due course. There are other hints of this which I will write of another time.

It is, in all, both a comical and a hopeful development.

As for his baby name. If there ever is another little Cawley, I might settle for a somewhat shorter name. We have already established a family tradition, such that I know, in advance, what a boy's name is going to look like. So do you, too. As for a girl's name: well, that would need us to start a whole new tradition. You might be relieved to know that I won't be following Ainan's format.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and eleven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and four months, and Tiarnan, twenty-one months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, 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 @ 12:11 AM 


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