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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I know what it looks like

If you never met my child, or weren't paying much attention to her while she silently finished reading a book behind you, you would think I was a crazy Tiger Mom.

Harp lessons?


Extra science AND math lessons?

But let me tell you what life with Chebbles is like: It is being that guy who is charge of heaping coal from the tender into the engine of, let's say, Gordon. And you never have enough coal.

When Chebbles was an infant, my mother told me that the baby reminded her of "Johnny" the robot from the movie with Ally Sheedy, who kept saying "MORE DATA. MORE DATA. MORE DATA."

So what happened first? Chebbles' fierce intellect or my desperate search for additional data for her?

How do I explain that Chebbles is not happy unless she's learning? And it has to be something new?

Last night while I drove her all the way down to the university for her special math program, she transformed from a different girl -- effervescent rather than pissy -- as she sloughed off the effects of being told to "focus" on the busywork she received at her desk in the public school classroom. She read her animal encyclopedia and hollered out facts for my enjoyment during the drive.

Once we arrived, she skipped, and balanced on the walls, and held my hand and asked if she could learn Russian -- then decided that instead she'd like to make her own language, and began teaching it to me.

It looks like I'm driving my kid toward early graduation, to premature exposure to a wide range of academic subjects.

But I beg you, please notice who's behind the wheel.
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