I was going to start this post by bragging about how smart my kid is, how he’s clearly a genius, blah blah blah…but I realized that even if that were true (it is), you probably won’t believe me.
Such a thing is both difficult to prove (how do you get a kid that can’t even sit still without being strapped down to take an IQ test?) and nearly impossible to demonstrate (the only thing my son does on command is dance, and by “does on command” I mean he will start dancing any minute now whether we say anything or not).
The fact is, despite how obsessively parents measure every development, at less than two years old a kid’s intelligence is essentially irrelevant: even the world’s smartest baby is dumber than the world’s dumbest man.
To wit: even Snooki has progressed past the “OMG BALLOONS!” phase of her life.
While my son may be on his way to curing cancer and/or inventing the world’s greatest app (probably something that combines Pinterest, Words With Friends, status updates and porn), the things he’s doing now don’t really point in that direction. But that’s not because he’s not a genius, it’s because judging a baby or toddler is impossible. By adult standards, these kids are astonishingly, mind-bogglingly dumb.
Obviously we can’t measure our babies’ and toddlers’ intelligence by the same yardsticks we use to measure that of adults, so all we can do is compare them to other dumb-bell babies. To do that, you need to do spend lots of time around strange kids to see what they’re up to, which is neither fun (other people’s kids, ugh) nor easy for me anymore, especially since the other parents at the playground noticed me staring. But I’ve seen enough to know other kids get their kicks the same way my son does: idiotically.
Here is a short list of things my son likes to do:
- press buttons – on the microwave, in the elevator, everywhere.
- flick light switches – he begs us to let him turn the lights on and off. BEGS US.
- flush the toilet – he’s like that cat!
- throw food – if he’s not dumb now, he will be when I smash his little face after he pelts me with his melon one more time.
Not exactly the habits of a genius – not an adult genius, anyway. But while by adult standards my son is TERRIBLE at pressing buttons and flushing the toilet, I am pretty sure he is DEFINITELY one of the best 20-month-old button-pressers and toilet-flushers out there.
So yes, at this point, compared to my wife and I, my kid is dumber than a bag of rocks. But we’re not worried, because compared to YOUR BABY, he’s fucking Stephen Hawking.