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, March 06, 2011

Fashion sense in a child.

A couple of weeks ago, Tiarnan, five, was in his parents’ bathroom ,with his mummy, Syahidah. He was being awfully quiet and contemplative.

Standing by the sink, he studied something with his thoughtful, slightly perturbed gaze.

He reached out his little hand and picked up a razor.

Looking up at his mother, he observed, worriedly: “Daddy cuts his face with THIS.” He shook the razor, as he spoke, for emphasis. There was a sense of some horror in his expression.

Syadidah heard his worried tone, and was touched – such concern for Daddy, she thought.

“Don’t worry, Tiarnan. Daddy has been doing it for years – and when you are older, you will do it, too.”

Her soft hands held his face and her soft eyes held his gaze.

“No!”, he countered, forcefully and unexpectedly. “It’s not THAT.”, he paused, for a fraction of a second, to gather his disgust: “It’s PINK!”

Without the smile she no doubt felt, Syahidah agreed: “Yes, that is kind of scary”.

“WHY?”, he asked, with an almost infinite puzzlement. In his young world, such things just should not be.

Syahidah had no words in answer to him. She reached out, took the razor off him, and replaced it by the side of the sink.

I think, Daddy had become a little bit more mysterious and little bit less respectable, in Tiarnan’s young eyes. To him, there must be a reason for why Daddy had a pink razor. It never occurred to him, that I might be using one of Syahidah’s because I had run out of my own. Perhaps, on reflection, I should tell him.

It is funny to see how much significance Tiarnan is attaching to colour choice. No doubt this is part of his fashion sense – but it is also something more. Though but five years old, he has lived long enough to have learnt and come to believe in, the conventions of colour choice that should be made, by true boys and true girls. I was, in his view, breaking the rules of fashion and proper behaviour, in a most unappealing way. It is funny, though, that he should feel so strongly about it. He has very much made this gender based sense of fashion, part of what he thinks the world should be – and, like most things with Tiarnan, he is quite passionate about it.

Syahidah had a solution. She took the pink razor, some time later and threw it away: problem solved.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:15 PM 


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