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 +

Monday, September 29, 2008

The aesthetic views of a toddler.

Tiarnan is two. His is a two year old world. It is a world uncluttered by adult categorizations and stereotypes, it is a world that is still fresh and new and open. However, to my eyes, at times, being, as I am, acculturated into the adult world, his world is a strange one.

A couple of days ago, in the darkness of a late evening, in a park area, Tiarnan came running up to me with something in his hand. "Nice.", he said, emphatically.

In the darkness, I saw what I thought to be a fruit of some kind. I was concerned that he might eat it.

"You cannot eat it.", I noted quickly. He said nothing, but held it up for me.

I reached out in the darkness and let my fingers close on what I thought was the fruit body, below the stalk.

Yuck. It was a large snail.

I snatched my hand away.

My wife intervened at that moment. "That's nice.", she agreed, not wishing not to and continued: "Put it down over there.", she said, quietly, pointing to the grass verge beside the road.

Tiarnan did so, not asking why.

Happily he walked home with us.

The whole incident made me understand how different his world is to ours. He can still see beauty in things that we have learnt to see as a little creepy. In a way, I suppose, his world view is more true to things as they actually are, than ours is. He sees the world as it is, when you have no preconceptions. It is amazing, however, at times, how different that world is, from the one I see.

Incidentally, he likes beetles, too and has been known to play with them, picking them up in his fingers and using them as if they were toy cars.

He is not a squeamish boy, that is for sure. I suppose he sees beauty in beetles, too. I hope his future girlfriends are not equally unusual in their aesthetics!

(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 @ 7:16 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is normal if a child plays with those animals.i think most of children don't see what we see.

cheer up :)

8:24 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am not without cheer...I thought it was interesting, actually, that he thought the snail (a rather large one) was "nice". It showed that he sees the world differently to most adults.

Kind regards

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It showed that he sees the world differently to most adults."

of course mr cawley,he's a toddler not an adult.

he don't know the meaning of dirty.normally adult will not pick up the snail even it is 'nice',because they have to wash their hand after do that.the toddler/kid/child/baby don't think of it,till we ask them to wash their hand.

my niece too ever ate a bug when she was 6 months,,and i think she saw it's 'nice',since she ate it.and of course,for an adult,it's 'yulk'!


4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sweet.

3:48 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, it was. Thank you.

8:27 AM  

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