Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Is my son a genius?

Genius in action
At some point or other every parent asks themselves the question "Is my child a genius?". Other popular queries are: “Is he going to be the next messiah?”, “Will he make a billion and look after his parent’s in their dotage?” and “How the hell did that come out of him?”, .
From the very moment of Marty’s birth I’ve been keeping an eye out for something ‘special’; a sudden and miraculous parting of the River Witham perhaps, or possibly the wondrous ability to turn his dad’s home-made wine into something vaguely drinkable?
Sadly, nothing so far - unless you include the entire house shaking when he farts. In fact violent seismic activity is a worrying theme of Marty’s arrival, with first Christchurch and then Japan suffering in rapid succession. Fortunately the Great Quake of Grantham has failed to materialise so I think it’s safe to say that Marty is in no way involved.
So Marty seems to be keeping his supernatural skills under wraps at the moment, but what about his brain? Is he going to be a genius? Is he going to solve the world’s energy problems with a single sheet of mathematical squiggles? Will he invent a cure for cancer? Will he be able explain the time paradox which results in the local pub’s clock being ten minutes ahead of everyone else’s?
Well apparently the way to ensure all of this is to play classical music to your child. The toy companies have got wind of this with the result that almost every baby mobile now plays something vaguely classical; ours plays a selection of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and, for some inexplicable reason, Bony-M and a reggae version of ‘Baa, baa black sheep’.
The thing is, I am sure that the benefit of classic music is derived from the fact that you’re listening to an entire orchestra; a vast array of different instruments, weaving in and around each other, rising and falling, to create a single syncopated whole. This is rather lost by these baby toys which have condensed the entire works of Mozart to a series of “Dink, dink, dink, dink...” noises... although it has to be said that this does improve the works of Bony-M.
So, following the appliance of Mozart and his mates, have we noticed any great leap forward in the brain department? Well Marty can focus his eyes, he can smile delightfully, he can wave his arms around in a fairly random fashion and he’s learnt to shout out the word “Ooo” when he’s feeling particularly pleased with himself.
This is possibly not the fastest of starts - he’s certainly still lagging behind the dog - but it’s progress... although I’m not planning on putting him in for his A levels anytime soon.


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