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 +

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Granddaddy vs Grandson

Today, we went to the zoo with my father, and his grandchildren.

As part of the tour, we took a tram around the zoo. Tiarnan, 24 months, sat through the first stop on the journey. At the second, however, he stood up on his seat - which, quite clearly, was a precarious position, in a vehicle that could move off at any moment.

My father intervened: "Sit down Tiarnan!", he ordered, firmly.

Tiarnan didn't take kindly to being ordered about. He rounded on my father swiftly, his index finger on his left hand rising to chide him. "Naughty boy!", he replied, scolding my Dad.

It was hilarious to see his little figure standing up to my father (who by most standards is a large, very well built man - a giant by local measures, in mass, if not in height). It was a David vs Goliath confrontation - but more so, for the disparity was much greater. Tiarnan is petite, but my father is most robust.

The tableaux imprinted itself on my mind: the smallest of children, versus the largest of men. What made it even funnier was the sureness with which Tiarnan confronted his grandfather. Little though he is, he was absolutely certain of himself, of his position, of his view, of his ability to stand up to such a large man, as my Dad. Never for a moment did he consider it out of place for someone so small to berate someone so large. Another matter of note was the passion with which he scolded my father: clearly, he really felt his words, in the moment of their utterance. Here is a boy true to his feelings.

He repeated his action, again, later in the day, but this time with a self-aware humour: he raised his finger, and uttered his words again: "Naughty boy!" he told my father, with a big smile, at himself and at what he had said. This time, however, they were not said with directed force, but with a reminiscent humour.

What a funny little passionate boy he is. I think there are many more interesting moments to come, from him. He is too sure of himself, for it to be otherwise. I will watch with interest.

Tiarnan is the first of my father's grandchildren to call him a "naughty boy". He was enchanted.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and one month, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and seven months, and Tiarnan, two years exactly, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, 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 @ 1:02 AM 


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