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, June 07, 2010

The lifecycle of Transformers robots.

Tiarnan, four, is very much enamoured of the Transformers. He sees in them, an exciting world of super"human" heroes and is more than a little impressed, in his boyish way. Today, he said something which reminded me how important it is to just let children see the world, as a child naturally does: there is so much more charm in it, that way.

At the dinner table, Tiarnan explained to me about the Transformers robots.

"Bumblebee is this big.", he showed, spacing the fingers of his left hand, a few inches apart - the few inches he could manage with one hand.

"...and Devastator is THIS big." He reached up high with his left arm, though Tiarnan is fond of using both, when it pleases him.

Then he said to me as if he were revealing either a great secret, or something very important: "...and Devastator's baby, would be this big.", he said holding the fingers of his right hand, just an inch or so apart, next to his still left hand (representing Bumblebee).

The idea of a robot having a baby, was just so sweet, that a feeling of tenderness, for Tiarnan and his world view, swept over me.

"The Devastator baby can still suck things.", he confided.

For those who have not seen the adult Devastator at work, it sucks everything into itself like a black hole, destroying them. So, Tiarnan's baby Devastator is not quite the cute little suckling baby, one might imagine, but a rather dangerous little beastie.

A few minutes later, Tiarnan got down onto the floor to crawl around, in a rather mechanical way, his lips open to suck in the world.

Now, I know just what a "Devastator baby", should look like, and how it should behave!

I could, of course, have told Tiarnan how robots are made. I could have told him that, whilst modern robots are generally made in factories, I suppose it is possible that a robot could make a copy of itself - indeed, a Von Neumann machine is just that - a self-replicating robot. So, whilst not presently practical, it was possible that future robots could do as Tiarnan had imagined: reproduce themselves. I could have told him, as some parents might, that "That's impossible! Robots don't have babies!" - but, do you know what? That would have been cruel and counter-productive and would have punctured his wonderful imaginative world. It is much better to sit back, enjoy and admire whatever he imagines is the case. There is time enough for dull reality to seep into his brain - probably shortly after he goes to school. Right now, however, there is nothing better for him than a bit of imaginative play.

Besides, I probably enjoy it more than he does!

Thank you, Tiarnan, for making me smile, without even knowing how you are doing so.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:18 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Valentine,

your words warmed my heart. The world needs more fathers like you.

Kind regards,

5:09 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Maria. Your words warmed me too.

I just try to be what I think a father should be, to his children - so that their young lives can be as beautiful as they ought to be.

Kind regards


8:51 AM  

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