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slippery when wet

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Fri 14
Sep
2007

Obviously my child is some kind of frickin’ genius

Max Birthday FinIn the morning, with Fin nestled between us in the bed, Jen and I discussed plans for the day ahead. “You could go to the B-E-A-C-H,” I suggested. It’s like with dogs: you don’t want to get their hopes up.

“Beach?” Fin said.

Probably coincidence. And, I have to admit, the sequence of letters B-E-A-C-H does sound a bit like “beach.”

That night, Fin wanted to read “Farm.” This is a book with pictures of things you find on farms, labeled accordingly. It’s not much in the plot department, and forget about character development, but she likes it.

She pointed at the first letter of the title and said, “Green F.”

She’s just turned two. Sometimes I get frightened at her growing power. Today she can spell. Tomorrow she may shoot lasers from her eyes. The day after that, she may leave me.

Comments

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Phill Sacre (#1822)

Location: London, UK
Quote: "Computers are like air conditioners. Both stop working, if you open windows."
Posted: 4272 days ago

... and the day after that she might become a best-selling author! :-O

Pete Clamiston Nessi (#927)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "04dana14na"
Posted: 4272 days ago

I know what you mean. Sometimes I have to spell things out so that my grandparents don't get too riled up.

"Maybe it's time we considered the i-n-s-a-n-e a-s-y-l-u-m?"

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 4272 days ago

Kids' learning of speech freaks me out anyway - even in normal kids who are, of course, several parsecs below your daughter's intellectual superiority. If you check a ten-year-old's vocabulary (several thousand words, I can't recall the exact number) you can take a calculator and find out that they learned a new word every few hours of every day of their life. I don't know how they do it - and neither do linguists or developmental psychologists, if they're really honest with themselves. I think the aliens are helping them.

That said, that's a cute picture of Fin. She looks like she's considering bursting the balloon with her eye-lasers.

Jeffrey (#2286)

Location: Right here
Quote: "Mathematics is a powerful language. Just look at how mathematicians destroyed the housing market."
Posted: 4272 days ago

My sister's kid is almost two and the only thing I can say she's mastered is a bowel movement.

Peter Weisberg (#1820)

Location: Redmond, WA
Quote: "Women are like domain names. All the good ones are taken, but you can still get one from some crazy foreign country."
Posted: 4272 days ago

As the son of the greatest mother in the world (or at least in North America--I wouldn't want to compete with Jen), I can tell you that if you're doing it right, she won't want to leave any sooner than she has to.

Machine Man subscriber Danni (#357)

Location: England
Quote: "Eagerly awaiting the European Tour."
Posted: 4272 days ago

Awww, sweet. Next she'll be memorising dictionaries and correcting your spelling in your books.

(From someone else who could read at 2.)

Machine Man subscriber M.I.Minter (#347)

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Quote: "When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Posted: 4272 days ago

Peter Lives with his mom....

Machine Man subscriber Katrina (#847)

Location: SF, CA
Quote: "Good sex is like good Bridge: if you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." -- Mae West"
Posted: 4272 days ago

Heeee cutie pie. They grow up way too quickly. The next thing won't be her leaving you, it'll be her going out with scary punk guys and worrying you sick. :P

Robert Belton (#3176)

Location: The best city in australia.
Posted: 4272 days ago

You missed something, when she shoots lasers from her eyes, you'll never worry about her leaving you, she'll be gone or you'll be gone then anyway.

Erin Tams (#2127)

Location: Sacramento, CA
Quote: "Buy Max Barry Books Today!"
Posted: 4272 days ago

My son is 21 months old (second child) and he has been pointing to letters and correctly identifying them for a couple months. He will also randomly answer questions with scarily intelligent responses.

Just make you realize they understand more than you thought. . .Quite scary at times.

Richard (#2051)

Location: Boulder, CO
Quote: "...I may not like you, but because some town in Switzerland says so, you have rights!"
Posted: 4272 days ago

Funny you should mention dogs...my parents try to spell certain doggy-specific words in front of their dog so as not to get her hopes up, and for all the ones whose letter combination sounds vaguely like the word itself, she always knows what they're talking about anyway.

...and now I realize I've just compared your genius daughter to a dog. At least she's a smart dog, right?

Christie (#2970)

Quote: "I've listened to David Bowie songs that made more sense than this."
Posted: 4272 days ago

According to my parents, I was the same at that age, and I'm perfectly normal. You have nothing to fear.

I wish I COULD shoot lasers from my eyes, though. That would be cool.

That picture of Fin is ultra-cute, by the way.

Joe (#2270)

Location: Campbell, CA, USA
Quote: "I'm subverting the system from the inside. I think."
Posted: 4272 days ago

If you tell your spouse every day, time to take the dog for a W-A-L-K, and then she does, after a while the dog figures out what W-A-L-K means. It's just a sound, your dog hasn't learned to spell.

Petar (#3280)

Location: Oklahoma
Quote: "There's no use being pessimistic. It wouldn't work out anyway."
Posted: 4272 days ago

Yes, Joe, but does the dog turn to you and ask, "walk?"

Janet (#2030)

Location: California
Quote: "There are three kinds of people in this world: Those that can count and those that can't. Which one are you?"
Posted: 4272 days ago

:3 Aw, that's soooo cute<3

Children like that make me wanna grow up and have children xD Means I won't have to worry about them yellingscreamingcrying so much :o
I'm so lazy, huh?

Greg (#3266)

Location: Melbourne
Quote: ""when deprived of freedom the only choice is to say no", is that deep enough?"
Posted: 4272 days ago

As a father of three and two of somebody elses I can tell you that all kids can read by that age. All of them can read the big M outside Macdonalds etc. etc. :)

Eric Mugendi (#2567)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Quote: "“How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?” Alexander Solzhenitsyn"
Posted: 4271 days ago

How about spelling it as c-o-a-s-t?
And I don't think the laser eyes should be a problem. Just appease her enough to make her do stuff with it, like liging the fireplace, melting the scrap metal, you know, fun for the whole family...

Michael Ricksand (#2212)

Location: Terra
Quote: "You do not have a right to be stupid."
Posted: 4271 days ago

Use a pocket calculator with writing function to try to teach her how to spell. My dad did that to me, and by the age of 2.9 years I could read and write.

Arancaytar (#2358)

Location: Frankfurt
Quote: "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. -Sagan"
Posted: 4270 days ago

Hurry and get her tested! No, not for IQ - for signs of alien possession. :P

Jennifer M. Dambeck (#3061)

Location: NJ, USA
Quote: "Rock on"
Posted: 4270 days ago

That's SO AWESOME!!! And she's SUPER CUTE!

My little girl is about the same age and I've begun to say that if she doesn't stop acting so precocious-ly I'm going to have have to sign her up for one of those Ivy-Leauge pre-schools . . .

Lottie (#3093)

Location: Sheffield, UK
Posted: 4270 days ago

Time to buy those ruby quartz crystal lined specs.

I think I saw some on ebay, actually.

austin (#2462)

Location: rhode island
Quote: "hmmm...bleh..."
Posted: 4268 days ago

I can shoot...tears...out of...my...eyes...

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4266 days ago

I feel you, Austin. I feel you.

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