Genius

At lunch the other day, we were discussing the issues with bringing up your child’s genius status to his teachers/caregivers. You don’t want to seem to arrogant, but at the same time you don’t want your kid to be stuck in the chicken coop with the chickens when he should be soaring with the eagles. So, do you wait for the teacher to notice on their own? And how long, before you politely point out that your kid is advanced?

I’m sure every parent wants their child to be a genius. My wife and I have read all the checklists about milestones–and they’re all frustratingly vague. How can we tell if Wolfe is advanced when the range for doing certain things is a span of months? Are we giving him all the intellectual stimulation he needs to achieve his full (genius) potential? Is it too early to start the enrollment process for Harvard, or should we wait until he’s 12?

Adding to the problem is the fact that with babies, everything is a milestone. First poop? That’s a milestone. Grunting–with feeling? Another milestone. Picking your nose? Well, that’s always a milestone.

So we keep our eye on the Facebook pages of every friend who’s had a child within six months (before or after) we did. We watch for posts about what their kids are up to and then compare Wolfe. “Well, he’s been doing that for over a month already. Yep, he’s advanced.” Or–“Wolfe may not be doing that yet, but it’s just because he doesn’t want to. Their kid is definitely not as advanced, she’s just an idiot savant.”

The truth is, we’re happy with everything Wolfe does. We’re also ok with the stuff he doesn’t do yet. There will be time enough for him to become a fully functioning human being, and we try hard not to wish this time–when he’s so sweet and open and amazed by everything–away. Every so often, though, we do look at something he’s doing, go back to the milestone charts, and reaffirm our belief that he’s a genius. And maybe someday, he will literally be The Genius.

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