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, February 09, 2008

Tiarnan and the telephone

Yesterday, Tiarnan's mum was out. Tiarnan, twenty-four months, was at home with his brothers and myself.

In fact, mummy was out some time, so Tiarnan began to miss her. However, he had a solution.

Early in the evening, I came into the living room and found Tiarnan on the phone.

He looked up at me, as I gazed down on him and said: "I phoned mummy!"

He seemed most comfortable there on the phone, with it snuggled against his ear. Clearly, it made him feel much better.

"Mummy!" he said, handing me the phone.

I took it from him and set it to my ear. There was nothing but a dial tone.

How sweet. Tiarnan had found comfort from the absence of his mother, by imagining that he had managed to call her on the phone. I knew that this was not possible, however, since Syahidah had just lost her mobile phone: no-one, not even the most resourceful child, could have called her.

I replaced the receiver and sat down beside him, lending my own comforting presence to him - even if I couldn't quite match up to mummy.

It is funny how powerful is the imagination of a young child. Even the image of her, in his mind, and "heard" in his ears, is enough to settle his heart.

Wouldn't it be good if such a thing could work for an adult, too? Sadly, I think, most adults are too stuck in the real world, to take an imagined substitute in its stead. Somewhere along the way, imagination loses much of its power - even in the most imaginative of adults.

The two of us waited for Syahidah to come home. Tiarnan, though, was quite satisfied - after all, he had "spoken" to her, hadn't he?

(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 @ 4:40 PM 


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