Your Baby is Smarter than You

An op-ed in today’s New York Times got my attention, as its headline intended too: “Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think.”

It immediately pissed me off. Now, as a general rule of thumb, I am typically walking around in public, sizing up adults or eavesdropping on conversations, and presuming (or knowing)  I am way smarter than that asshole right there. Be sure that when I see clips of the idiots screaming like their hair is on fire at these health care town hall meetings, I am pretty confident they aren’t smarter than I think.

But babies and preschoolers, come on. Who the f doesn’t think their kid is smart?

So in classic KT form, I continued to read it because I was fired up.

The beginning of the second paragraph had me questioning not just the author’s intelligence but the intelligence of the editors of the op-ed page of the NYT. We are told that new studies are showing that babies and toddlers observe and explore more than we previously thought.

How groundbreaking.

OK. Have these people ever spent any time with kids not in a lab rat experimental sense? Isn’t the intelligence, creativity, razor sharp memory and persistent exploration of babies and toddlers, what makes them so enriching, exasperating and fabulous to have around? Aren’t these qualities some of the very reasons many of us suckers go on to add to our brood?

So to any parent out there who actually needed to read this article to learn something –  like your baby is smart and can understand  cause and effect (which by the way those Baby Center weekly updates already tell you), or your toddler plays in creative ways while the way you learn is through following the rules – then I hope your kid turns out to be brighter than you.

Reading this entire piece was such an insult to any parent who actually pays attention to and plays with their child, rather than spending all their time shopping for Baby Einstein DVDs, that I still can’t believe it made its way into the Sunday NYT.  The lesson that babies and children are intelligent sponges who learn by playing is like – the most basic foundation of parenthood – right? Come on NYT op-ed page.

Honestly, for me, one of the biggest adjustments to parenthood came when DD1 had only a  few words but could understand what we were saying, what we were asking her to do, and the basic world around her. She continuously caught me by surprise and threw me when she would respond in such a way that she knew what I asked, showed me that she remembered something that happened months ago that my alcohol socked, sleep deprived, pathetic excuse of a memory had long forgotten, or showed me a more exciting use for a regular old household item.

Isn’t that parenthood? Not just a testament to my child’s superior intelligence, of course.

Anyhow, read the piece if you want too. I’d love to know if you thought it was as much of a waste of time as I did.

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