My son is only 10 months old, but he’s very advanced for his age. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that he’s very advanced for your age.
Go ahead and accuse me of being biased. But I don’t have blinders on. In fact, I have no problem admitting that he can be a real simpleton sometimes.
For example, he doesn’t know how to operate a standard transmission. He can’t distinguish between Baroque and Rococo. He doesn’t seem to grasp the symbolism of the red pickle dish in Ethan Frome, no matter how many times I spell it out for him.
Believe me — I could go on! But I’m not here to discuss my kid’s intellectual shortcomings. (What kind of asshole do you think I am?) We all have our cognitive challenges, after all. The important thing is that we celebrate and hone our strengths … even if “we” can’t seem to get a handle on basic French grammar, vous me suivez?
And the really important thing is that you know all of the reasons why my infant is — despite his occasional foibles and failings — most assuredly, and without a doubt, intellectually superior. On that note, prepare to feel inferior.
ONE: He’s got a big head.
No lie, this baby’s head was measuring full-term by the time I was about 32 weeks pregnant. I’m no size queen — but big braincase = big brains, RIGHT LADIES???
So even if we use only 10% of our brains, the fact remains that his 10% is probably about 33% bigger than the average 10%. This is basic math, or perhaps basic physics. I’m not sure which — ask my baby! He’s got the giant brains in the family!
TWO: He’s got a voracious appetite for the written word.
My son often gets frustrated at story time. This is not because he is bored, or tired, or displaying early symptoms of ADHD due to my selfish decision to get an epidural during labor. It’s because he becomes so completely engrossed in the plot that he would like to literally consume whatever book we are reading by placing it in his mouth and then attempting to chew and swallow — and since I’m a legally adequate parent, I usually don’t let him. All he wants to do is feel the intense rush as the complete works of Nancy Tillman enter his bloodstream, and he’s consistently thwarted.
But he’s no literary snob — he’s willing to read and eat pretty much anything. I’ve found more than one soggy bite of magazine lurking in the upper reaches of his soft palate, as though his gnawing intellectual hunger could only be sated by all the juicy details of Tori and Dean’s infidelity scandal. In fact, once I even spotted him partaking of a particularly text-rich piece of junk mail.
THREE: He sidesteps conventional language usage.
Since we’ve already established that he’s a natural-born wordsmith, it should come as no surprise that my baby loves to play with language. He’s recently started to wave bye-bye, but he rarely ever does so when he’s actually bidding someone farewell. Instead, he’ll wave bye-bye in the middle of a meal, as if to say adieu to the fallen bites of his pea-and-carrot puree. Or he’ll throw out an arm and wave bye-bye while we’re sitting in his pediatrician’s waiting room, as though giving a sweet send-off to the minutes as they pass us inexorably by.
FOUR: He doesn’t crawl or walk.
I wouldn’t either, if people were always carrying me everywhere. Even for a genius baby, this is a no-brainer.
FIVE: He refuses to sleep in his crib.
Despite some fits and starts with more independent sleeping arrangements, the baby is now in our bed full-time. At first I mistook this as poor behavior on his part, or shabby parenting on my part. I realize now that it’s actually a well-thought-out decision by a very reasonable and mature pre-toddler.
Consider the evidence, and then tell me whether you — as a logical, educated adult — would arrive at a different conclusion than my own precocious tot.
Fact. In the nursery, his crib is a cramped 28 inches by 52 inches.
Fact. In the master bedroom, the queen mattress is a luxurious 60 inches by 80 inches.
Fact. In the nursery, there is no one to hear him scream besides My Pal Scout (a moniker that has always seemed a bit on-the-nose, to be honest).
Fact. In the master bedroom, there are sympathetic ears all around.
Fact. In the nursery, refreshments are never served.
Fact. In the master bedroom, abundant nursing opportunities are always within arm’s reach.
SIX: He enjoys witty repartee.
Some babies laugh at silly noises or funny faces. Some babies laugh at the antics of house pets. Still more babies laugh at nothing in particular, their eyes fixed somewhere off in the middle distance, as though watching the ghost of your dead grandmother pantomime a comically exaggerated blow job just over your shoulder. Babies are sensitive to such occurrences.
My baby, however, laughs at my jokes. And he always waits for the punchline, so I know he’s really getting it. And we’re not talking some basic “knock-knock” bullshit, either — this is adult humor with sophisticated literary, historical, and cultural allusions. For example, “When William Howard Taft sat around the White House, he really sat around the White House!”
Anyway. I could go on, but I really don’t want to brag.