A few weeks ago, while I was at the Toronto Zoo (my favourite new kid-friendly place in Toronto), I met a stay-at-home dad and his 27 month-old son, Jacob. We started chatting as the father overheard me speaking Hebrew with Kyle. He told me that he’s teaching his son four languages: English, French, Hebrew and Mandarin. Half an hour into our conversation, I realized that I might have just met the smarted toddler on earth.
The father, very casually, started explaining to me that his son can say words that he spells out to him. To “prove” it to me he said “Jacob… what does b-a-l-l-o-o-n spell?” and Jacob, on cue, says “balloon”. Father: “And Jacob, what does s-h-a-r-k spell?” and Jacob replies back “shark”. And so on, and so on. I’m not sure if the dad noticed or not, but my mouth was wide open, speechless, the whole time this was going on. When this back and forth stopped, I finally said “well… Kyle is a model!”
I know the father wasn’t trying to be malicious or even show-off. In fact, he was telling me that he believes that his son is able to do all of this due to the TV show Word World. While maybe some of his amazing ability might be due to this show that his father insisted he watch, I was sure there was more to it. As the conversation progressed, the father told me that his own father spoke 11 different languages, and he spoke about 5 different languages. And so, I figured that it must be genetics. When I tried to point this out to the dad, he still insisted that he only had the TV show to thank. Modest? Maybe… But haven’t scientists being saying all along that kids shouldn’t watch TV before the age of two because it’ll make them dumber or something like that? If that’s the case, this guy just proved this theory wrong!
Later that day while our kids were playing innocently enough in the big sand box in the zoo, I pointed out the cute backdrop which was a small part of a dinosaur skeletal. I couldn’t finish my sentence fast enough, when the dad asked his son what type of dinosaur it was. So not only does Jacob know spelling at the young age of 2 years and 3 months, but apparently, he knew the names of over 200 dinosaurs and would recognize them just by their skeletals. AND….he was in the process of learning which ones are herbivores and which ones are carnivores. All I could think of was the fact that I could only pronounce the names of five dinosaur’s and that’s only because I recently learned them because of Kyle.
Wow! I kept thinking over and over while the dad spoke. While Kyle’s vocabulary mostly consists of the word “Ga”, I didn’t even try to compare the two kids. I just realized that each one is unique in their own way. But I couldn’t help stop thinking that I might have just met the smartest toddler on earth.
Have you ever met or know, or have a kid that you think is kid-genius?
P.S. If you haven’t voted for me for top 30 mom bloggers in Toronto, you can do so at this link: http://www.torontomomnow.com/2012/vote-for-your-favourite-toronto-mom-blogs-of-2012/ It’ll take 2 seconds; Maya Fitzpatrick mayahoodblog. Thanks