Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Genius Dictator...not so much

I’m always very careful to not walk around telling people The Dictator is a genius.

I once did one of those IQ tests for babies and The Dictator was….a genius! Actually, no, she wasn’t. She was just “slightly below average” when it came to IQ for her age, at that time, just over a year.

But everyone knows you can’t really trust IQ tests, especially ones on the Internet, and that they’re just a way to kill time, unless you get a wickedly high score, in which case you can say you’re a genius.

The Dictator was "slightly below average" and that's definitely not something you want to walk around saying about your offspring. Anyway.

I’m really very careful to not walk around saying The Dictator is a genius, because I hate people who are constantly telling other people how super bright their child is because they can sing songs at age two. I mean, most kids can sing songs at age two. Hello? You don’t really have a genius.

I’m also very nice when I see parents of other kids who seem to be kind of advanced. At the kiddy pool today at The Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Arizona, there was a two year old, who could literally hold his breath under water and swim like a fish.

The Dictator, who is about six months older than this child, can sort of blow bubbles and can walk around in the kiddy pool, but she certianly can’t swim!

“That’s amazing!” I said to the father of the 2 year-old fish. “That’s amazing!” I know I made this father proud. Every parent feels proud when another parent comments on how advance their kid seems.

Last year, when we were vacationing at the Four Seasons in Maui, we headed to the bar to listen to some live music. The Dictator got up on the dance floor and started to shake her bum like Shakira. The Dictator always does this when she hears music, but so do most kids her age. (Dancing does not make your baby a genius. All babies like to boogie!)

An elderly woman came up to me and told me my daughter was “clearly a natural” when it came to dancing, and she couldn’t believe that I wasn’t a dancer myself, because where else would The Dictator have learned to dance so well?

(It was most certainly not from me. I’m Jewish, which means I have no rhythm when it comes to dancing, not that that stops me from dancing. It just stops me from dancing well.)

I told this nice woman The Dictator learned to dance the mumbo from her Dora The Explorer DVD. Of course, this elderly woman had no clue what I was talking about. Why would she? But her compliment made me feel proud. Maybe I did have a "cleary natural dancing baby!')

Yesterday, in the car, The Dictator, out of nowhere said, “R is for Rowan.”

“Yes! You’re right!” I said, stunned. How did she know that?

Then The Dictator said, ‘R is for Ruby my dog.” (We have nine-pound dog named Ruby.)

“You’re right again!” I said, thinking, “Oh my god. Maybe I do really have a genius. She knows ‘R’ is for her name and R is for Ruby’s name. She’s totally a genius!”

Then The Dictator said, “R is for Daddy!” Doh!

She should have quit while she was ahead. Genius? Not so much. But good dance? Cleary. In fact, I kind of think it's just fine by me if she turns out to have a low IQ but is a great dancer. Yup, I'm completely fine with that.


Blogger Cindy said...

I love watching little kids boogie down, cause they have absolutely no restraint at all. My neice does that too anytime music comes on, but what's even cuter is when her big brother starts to headbang to rock music.

Also I read somewhere a good sense of rythym has something to do with great math skills or something like that...

11:48 PM

Blogger Jezer said...

Hey, knowing that R is for Rowan and Ruby IS an advanced skill for a 2-year old. So she tried out "R is for Daddy" and found out that it didn't fit. That's just part of learning.

I've had people tell me that Alex will probably be one of those "gifted" kids because he's hit a couple of milestones early. I tell them that I hope not. Truly gifted kids often have other difficulties. I just want him to be normal and happy. I suppose gifted and happy would be fine, too, though.

Oh, and by the way? TAG!

4:35 AM

Blogger Bahar said...

Don't worry! Kids sometimes say funny things and sometimes very clever things. It doesn't really mean anything!

I never went to preschool, so first grade was a "first" for me. Day "1" they sent me home with a note that said I needed special assistance (as in special needs). That's because I refused to write on paper and I told them I didn't see a point to do so!(I hated writing)

After the first month, they realized I could do double digit math all in my head!

Plus, you realize that being a genius doesn't mean happiness. I went to a gifted school and most of my friends turned out weird! They are all Doctors and PhDs and work for places like NASA, but seriously weird!

Anyways, thanks for the message on my blog. I got dumped by my beloved boyfriend over the phone on the weekend. Totally unexpected! I haven't figured out this dating thing yet! This is the 3rd time I am told I am dumped because my parents came from elesewhere and speak with an accent! (!?!?! what the hell?)

6:54 AM

Blogger Kristen said...

So you've got a dancer, too? LOL. My daughter does this "hump" like thing on the floor every time a 50 cent, TI or any other hip hop song she likes the beat to comes on. LOL. Don'tcha love it? It cracks me up to watch. I have to say, she has to have gotten it from me, LOL. It sure as hell can't be her daddy.

7:54 AM

Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

Heh, that's one of my all-time fave baby things.

My oldest daughter (aged 3) loves to dance and it always makes me laugh but, bless her, she's the clumsiest kid alive and so there's always an element of terror when she decides to stand on the stool and 'shake her money maker'.


10:01 AM

Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen said...

I suddenly have this vision of you dancing with your daughter a la Elaine Bennis. Dancing makes people happy, so it's an excellent skill to have.

11:15 AM

Blogger kittenpie said...

ha. pumpkinpie has a puzzle with pictures under the letters. So we've been "playing ABCDs" with her, as she calls it. And she knows where they go, and we sing the alphabet song, and so on. But then she was playing with some foam letters at a friends and instead of learning the names of the letters, she has learned to call them things like, "for hats." [H] "for grapes." [G] etc. you can only gnash your teeth, hey? They are so funny.

2:49 PM

Blogger Heather said...

You did a baby IQ test? I sort of want to try one.

6:34 PM

Blogger Jenn said...

My 2 yr old doesn't talk yet. He does dance though.
Plus he can manage to make me run around in circles trying to figure out exactly what he wants by saying "uh uh uh" - If I could make people jump like that, trying to satisfy my every whim simply by opening my mouth and then make them clap and grin with glee everytime I said "rainbow" I'd be a genius! Ergo, my son is a genius! I just don't brag about it. I'd hate to make those parents of 2 yr olds that must use grammatically complete sentences to get their point across feel bad.

4:53 PM


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