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, July 27, 2008

Not every "change" is a success.

Fintan has a habit of noticing things that other five year olds might overlook. Worse still, where company is concerned, he also has a habit of speaking out about them.

Yesterday, we were watching TV as a family. An advert came on that featured quite a few people engaged in complex conversation. Fintan cocked an ear to this. At the end, a very glamorous model-like woman addressed the male protagonist of the commercial. Suddenly, Fintan turned sharply from the TV and spoke to his mother: "Mummy, that woman talks like a boy!"

Fintan - all of five years old - had spotted a trans-sexual on television. Syahidah and I laughed when we realized he had seen through all of "her"cosmetic surgery. We didn't, however, explain to him just why that "woman" spoke like a just seemed too delicate a matter to discuss with a five year old.

However, it shows that even a five year old is able to see through such a disguise. It makes one wonder how often such "changes" are actually successful, if a child can notice them - at least this child, anyway.

For those who are reading from afar, I should point out that trans-sexuals are much more common in Asia than they were in London, when I left at the end of the nineties. I don't know the situation there now, however. It is a cultural thing, in this part of the world. Many more young men seem to be choosing to alter their appearance in this way - so they are encountered, in every day life, much more frequently than would be the case in London or, from my observations, America.

This, of course, leads to situations where one may have to explain to one's children why a particular woman is so tall...or has such a low voice. To date, however, I have avoided explaining the issue to my own children: I have just let their observations pass. One day, however, no doubt I will have to explain what is going on. That day, however, is not today.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, 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, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 2:06 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any in Singapore yet, but the local Asda in the UK had a "Lucy" as a check-out clerk. Lucy wore the "Lucy" name tag, had long brown blond hair, stuffed shirt front, masculine body and emerging moustache/beard :).

9:29 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Regarding the "Lucys" of this world. There are many in Singapore...many. You may not have noticed them because physically the basic form of the Asian man is not as different from the Asian female as it is in Western male/females. Here, a "Lucy" can be very convincing...and not so noticeable as you might have come to expect from Western versions. It is likely, therefore, that you have seen many, but overlooked them. Orchard Road has many in the evening. They tend to stick together. Thai men in particular go in for this kind of thing - and can be very confusing to Western eyes, because you may be looking for the wrong cues.

It is more than likely you have seen many of them, without realizing it. It is very common in South-East Asia.

Best wishes,

11:14 AM  

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