I remember, before I had kids of my own, when parents would proudly tell me about something “exciting” their son or daughter had recently done, like taking his first step, going on the big girl swing, or completing her first tax return. Frankly, I was generally not that impressed.
After all, I’d been doing those same things for quite a while, and no one seemed to be making a big deal out of my accomplishments. Now that I have my own children, I realize what those parents were trying to tell me when reporting these individual feats. That is, that their child was a genius. Since I now parent two boys of unparalleled fantacisity, I totally understand. Here are seven times when you too will be convinced that your child is a genius.
1. His first word – this one is obvious, but I almost fell over when I sat down next to my ten-month old and heard a perky little “hi!” Not just brains, I thought, but social skills too! Clearly he would be the first Canadian president of the United States.
2. The first time she completes a small task, like getting a glass of water on her own, or conducting a serious bathroom venture with no assistance, allowing you a whole thirty seconds of down time.
3. The first time he asks you a university level philosophy question, such as how do we know that other people really exist; or is there truly anything that lasts forever. (Note: he will not be satisfied with the answer “Love.”)
4. The first time she does math in her head – though this certifiably might mean she’s a genius – have you tried to do long division lately without a piece of paper, a pen and half an hour or so?
5. The first time he makes a representational drawing – if you can discern a head and some legs on his superhero sketch, you will be convinced you have a baby Picasso.
6. When you hear him explaining to his younger brother where babies come from – “Babies come from China, Alex. Not the place. Mommy’s China.”
7. When he sits across from you, looks into your eyes and says “And how was yours day, Mama?” My husband still hasn’t learned to convey that degree of empathy.