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Baby Einstein?

November 14, 2008

It’s still sleepless at our house (seven months and counting), which means I probably shouldn’t be dressing myself, using the stove or driving.

Because I know I’ll soon arrive officially in Desperation, I opened up my copy of What to Expect in the First Year the other day to look up the “Help! My baby still isn’t sleeping!” parts. For those unfamiliar to this self-help volume / baby-raising reference, the book is largely organized around parents’ FAQs. Flipping through the book, I happened upon this one: Is my baby gifted?

I think I resisted the urge to gag before reading on about the categorically vague ways that you can try to  measure your infant’s intellectual gifts. The last item on the list took the cake:

Does he have trouble sleeping? In a gifted baby, this could mean he has a hard time dialing down on the stimulation so he can get some z’s.”

The Gifted Babies page from About.com elaborates:

A common misunderstanding about gifted children is that their giftedness does not become apparent until after they start school. Gifted traits, however, can be recognized in toddlers. If you know what to look for you can also recognize gifted characteristics in infants!

Characteristics of Giftedness in Infants

  • Extremely alert — always looking around
  • Needs less sleep than most other babies
  • Needs almost constant stimulation when awake
  • May begin to mimic sounds earlier than other babies
  • Tend to be exceptionally sensitive to sounds, smells, textures, tastes and may cry vigorously in response to unpleasant or strong ones.

Well, what great news! That was easy. In my/Jack’s case, the answer is All of the above. Why didn’t I hear about this sooner? Here I was, getting lectured about how I’m spoiling him, considering the Cry It Out method, trying to refrain from infant Ibuprofen, wondering if it was something I ate, fearing that his impatient and demanding nature were early indicators of his personality.

To think that I puzzled over what might be Wrong, when all along, Jack was just being Gifted!

I wonder what other would-be flaws can be coddled away explained by symptoms of acute intelligence? I can’t wait to see how Jack’s extraordinary giftedness manifests itself later on. This ought to make the terrible twos, tweens and teens so much fun! If the infant criteria are any indication, I guess we have a terrific lineup of fierce tantrums, articulate backtalk, and spirited mischief to look forward to.

(Is it too soon to teach him to say “euphemism?”)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:20 pm

    Perfect! Sign him up for Duke TIP now! 🙂 Just kidding…clearly GTS is the better alternative. Ha ha! I can’t wait for Jack to turn 21 and discover the cure for some disease. Then and only then should you tell him that you knew he was “gifted” from the moment he was born.

  2. November 16, 2008 11:00 pm

    Does that mean I could be gifted too? Or is that just for babies?

  3. November 17, 2008 11:38 pm

    My mom says our pediatrician would say the same thing to her about me when I was a baby–that I cried so much & slept so little because I was really smart. She pretty much told him she would like to trade me in for a dumb one.

  4. sister permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:06 pm

    L, I think you’re not giving that about.com page enough credit. Everything sounds spot-on to me.

    And I think Mom’s been clued in as well — the other day she said Jack was like me.

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