One of my favorite scenes in the movie, “Elf,” is when Buddy is upset because he can’t make as many Etch-a-Sketches as the other elves. One of the elves says, “It’s OK, Buddy. We all have different talents, that’s all.” Buddy says, “But everyone seems to have the same talent, except me! I’m just a cotton-headed ninny-muggins!” The elf replies, “Oh Buddy, you’re not a cotton-headed ninny-muggins! You’re just….special.”
It seems that among the giant-brained members of my family, I am the special one.
Yesterday, Bee’s teacher sent home a note informing us that Bee was tested, and she won’t be required to complete the 2nd grade spelling workbook. Instead, they’ll copy spelling work out of a 5th grade workbook for her. This is nothing new. She didn’t have to complete the 1st grade workbook either.
Bee has inherited her super-intelligence from my husband, who has a genius-level IQ of 160. I know this because when he and I were in the early stages of courtship, we took an IQ test, just for fun. (Fun. HA!) I don’t recommend this unless you’re POSITIVE that you’re at least as smart as your partner…or smarter. I’m not, you see. My score was respectable, but my husband only missed one question. One. One question! I might’ve been a teensy bit upset by this. First, I half-jokingly accused him of cheating. Then, I apologized for said accusation. Then, I sulked and pouted, and felt like a moron.
I tell you this because I’m starting to feel like a bit of a ding-a-ling in comparison to everyone else in my house. Cakes talks like a 30-year-old in a three-year-old body (though she still mixes up M and N in a very endearing way, which I’m thankful for). Even DJ, at 6 months, already crawls and pulls up, drinks from a sippee cup, and tries to feed himself with a spoon. I swear, last week he said, “Hi” to me when I walked through the living room. I envision that in a few years, my husband and children will sit around the dinner table, making light and delightful chit-chat about such subjects as mathematics, political science, microbiology…while I play “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in my head, because I’m not bright (or interested) enough to contribute to the discussion, or even follow along.
Bee, as a form of small talk, often enlightens me with such facts as:
1) Toucans are arboreal, and do not migrate (I don’t know what arboreal means).
2) Microbes are microorganisms that cause food poisoning (“Microbe is another word for germ, Mom”).
3) If you multiply a positive number and a negative number, the result is negative (she lost me when she said, “multiply”).
No, no…I’m totally fine with the fact that my seven-year-old is smarter than me. Really. It’s fine. It’ll be fine.
The other night, when I went to tuck her in, Bee asked, “Mommy, do you want to see a picture of the first human beings? They’re believed to have shared a common ancestor with the monkey.” I braced myself for a discussion about evolutionary theory as opposed to Biblical creationism, which makes my brain hurt at the best of times, and nearly incapacitates me at 8:30 P.M., after a full day of butt-wiping and domestic tedium.
Bee hands me her book, “1001 Questions and Answers,” open to a page with illustrations of hairy, ape-like creatures, including a man building a fire with full genitalia on display, and explains, “Look, this one is breastfeeding her newborn baby.”
At this point, Cakes pipes up from the bottom bunk, “Yeah, and they have pee-pees!”
As I choked back laughter, I realized that I’ll most likely have an ally in Cakes, who always seems to focus on the lighter side of life, and seldom takes anything very seriously. Perhaps there’s hope for me yet.[print-me/]