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 +

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Excuses for staying up late.

About a week ago, it was time to put my sons to bed - or at least, the younger two.

"Bed, boys!", I said.

Fintan, 7, stirred a little from his seat, but then thought better of it.

Tiarnan moved not at all.

"Bed, boys!", I said, again, a little more loudly and insistently.

Fintan rose slowly to his feet, as if only then discovering that he had the strength to do so.

Tiarnan moved not at all.

"BED, BOYS!", I said, louder still, with that insistence that would not be denied.

Fintan decided it was time to move - and walked slowly off in the direction of his bedroom.

Tiarnan moved not at all.

"Come on Tiarnan, it is time to go to bed."

He stood up, then, before me and looked up at me, an enigmatic thought in his eyes.

"I haven't done my homework.", he said, as if very aware of the seriousness of this omission. There was not a hint of a smile on his face, as he looked up at me, but I rather felt one was appropriate, given the mischief in his words. He looked expectant.

"Well, you don't need to do it, haven't got an exam tomorrow."

This seemingly didn't meet with his expectation.

He looked at me more intently.

"I HAVEN'T DONE MY HOMEWORK!", said, my five year old son, more slowly and emphatically. He clearly thought I was missing the point.

On that particular evening, this one wasn't working on me, though I had to admire him for the cunning of his ruse.

"You don't need to do it tonight...go to bed."

I placed a hand upon his back to urge him in the right direction.

He walked reluctantly towards his bedroom, surprised, perhaps, at the failure of his design.

In his bedroom, he decided to be more direct in his expression, perhaps in case he had been misunderstood.

"I want to do my homework.", he said, carefully, looking at me throughout as if to gauge my understanding.

"Bed.", I said, unmoved.

"I WANT to do my HOMEWORK.", he stressed again.

"Bed, Tiarnan."

Finally, he gauged that it wasn't going to work and he hopped onto his bed.

I settled him down and turned out the lights, laying down beside him, until I was sure he was asleep.

I must say, it amuses me to think that Tiarnan so dislikes going to bed, at a reasonable hour, that he would even propose that he spent extra time awake doing homework! What a marvellous excuse.

Later, I reflected that perhaps I should have let him stay up doing homework. Then, he would have been happier - and would have done something productive to boot. However, I wasn't thinking that way, at the time - I was only thinking that it was too late for the boys to be up.

Next time, I will grant him his wish, if he ever asks for it again: homework it shall be!

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:43 PM 


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