Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Genius Baby

I'm referring to this little girl from England. I'm ashamed to admit that when the news hit I was pierced with envy. I want a genius baby too, dammit. Isn't that disgusting? Yesterday I found myself drilling Flea on her colors just a little too strenuously, stacatto-clapping and barking, "Look alive!" Okay, it was a joke, but still: someone needs to grab me by the shoulders and shake me.

When I shared the news with my daughter's "teachers" (that's what they're called at her child development lab school, and I don't put it in quotes because they're underqualified but because, come on, teachers? for infants?), they scoffed at it, eyes rolling, and agreed, "Luca could do all that," which redoubled my insecurity. Why did they say Luca and not Flea? Of course, their observations are accurate; Luca is this insanely verbal kid who was pointing to me and saying "Fia mama" at the age of 12 months. And he's bilingual. But still, why not my kid? Don't you people know how special she is?

This whole obsession is, obviously, a product of raging insecurity about my own basic value as a human being. The only thing I've had on my side my entire life is intelligence. I'm strange-looking (not ugly, but far from beautiful, at least by my own aesthetic standards); I don't come from wealthy or educated stock; I'm socially anxious; and I'm about as cuddly as a lizard. In short, I am not inherently lovable, the way a kitten or a pug is, or the way Michael Jackson used to be.

So I've found that I can be of value to people, pragmatically if not emotionally, by offering them the fruits of my mind. Not that I'm a genius (I would never take an IQ test because my whole self-concept would be riding on the outcome, which is way too much to risk), but I'm smart enough to come across as smart, which I cling to like an octopus with separation anxiety, to quote my pal Amy.

So here I am hoping that my daughter will exceed my intelligence so that, if she doesn't have the beauty or poise or talent or social contacts or charm that magically open doors, she can figure out a way to jimmy them open with her superior engineering skills.

That's not too much pressure for a toddler, is it? Is it? Seriously, somebody shake me. Before I start enrolling her in pageants.


Blogger violetnoir said...

Woman, you have me laughing to myself. You sound like me when my kids were little. I'm not ashamed to say that I felt exactly like you, and it is all perfectly normal.

Besides, you are not only intelligent, dear friend, you are beautiful, kind, honest, funny and a sheer delight. You smell good, too.

So here's to our genius babies, and the moms who will push them to be the best they can be!

Hugs and love!

1:50 PM, June 27, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

R -- You too, huh? Sheesh, I imagine racism makes it that much harder. You're hoping your kids' abilities will somehow protect them from the assaults of a racist society. On the other hand, in a world that can be so judgmental and punitive, perhaps the best thing you can give your kids is unconditional love, so they always know *someone* thinks they're supremely valuable exactly as they are.

3:19 PM, June 27, 2007  
Blogger violetnoir said...

I have found that by setting high expectations and a good example for our children, they will rise to the occasion. It may not be in the exact same manner that you would do it, but they do find their way.

As for racism: I don't have any time for people with small minds. When faced with obstacles to one's goals, there usually is a "Plan B". That's why it's important to teach our children how to analyze and solve problems early on, so that when they are confronted with ugly situations, they can use their minds creatively to surmount them.


4:49 PM, June 27, 2007  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

i think violet is soooo right

i'm only realising now what a big deal the 'leading by example' thing is when it comes to instilling values in our children

because i never remember my parents telling to treat everyone equally, that material wealth matters very little and so on and so forth

it's just that that's the way they lived their lives and i guessed my sisters and i abosrbed those 'messages' by an osmosis of sorts

but hey? the parental neuroses thing? can totally relate!


2:58 PM, June 28, 2007  
Blogger Urban Chick said...



um, UC, of course

(this is spooky because my in-laws met at the 'YCs' or 'young conversatives' (political party with whom i share very few values!)

3:00 PM, June 28, 2007  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

I'm just wondering WTH -- is this toddler is supposed to be attending Mensa meetings?

Believe me... listen, not for nothing, but I was tested & scored super-high at a very young age, too. And what am I now? A 42-year old bartender. With a Master's Degree. And lots of test-taking skills. Numbers are BS. My best qualities are all the things my parents gave me -- humor, ethics, loyalty, and fashion sense. (And I thank god my folks had never even heard of Mensa, because that's the kind of freakitude that a kid NEVER shakes off.)

Flea is delicious. And I don't even like kids, usually.

PS... as a fellow blogspot blogger, I feel like I should get some sort of break on the verification codes. Dang, those things are getting hard to read!

11:23 AM, June 29, 2007  
Blogger katiedid said...

That pictures scares the beejeezus out of me, and I don't know why. Perhaps it's the moustache.

5:06 PM, July 01, 2007  

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