For the purposes of this blog and my facebook page I call my son BoyGenius. He would probably get mad at me if I called him this at home. HardWorker occasionally (very lovingly) calls him Smarty Pants since he’s smarter than us sometimes and he absolutely hates it. He just turned 8 the other day and I’m still having a hard time believing a) that he’s already been here for eight years and 2) that he’s only been here for eight years.
BoyGenius is NT, which stands for neuro-typical. If you’ve never heard of this designation it’s probably because your kids are NT, or what people refer to in layman’s terms as “normal.” Do I think BoyGenius is “normal?” No. No, I don’t. I don’t say this lightly. I’m not bragging. I’m not looking for any type of “diagnosis” for my child. I just have to question what people think of when they say normal.
Truthfully, I would love to think that BoyGenius is “normal.” I would love if the way he thinks and acts (most of the time for behaviour) could be used as a “normal” example. I think the world would be a better place if that were the case. Since the time he was a baby he has been considerate. He was sensitive. He was funny and he understood funny. He was an individual. He was smart and clever. BoyGenius still is all of these things. You’re thinking, “of course that’s normal” and, “she is so bragging.” Let me give you the breakdown on some of these:
- considerate – as a baby, BoyGenius slept when he was tired. You’re thinking “so what? so do all babies.” No, they don’t. He slept. In the car. In the stroller. In shopping carts. He didn’t care where he was and if I had to move him from the car to the stroller or a shopping cart he would open his eyes, smile at me and go right back to sleep. I was never shackled to the house by nap times. When he was just over two, his best friend got a baby sister. He admonished his best friend for being too noisy when the baby was sleeping. He would make sure the baby had toys and would return them to the baby when her big sister/his best friend took them away from her.
- sensitive – BoyGenius has always gotten upset over things being ‘unfair.’ Now lots of kids will say “that’s not fair” when it means they don’t get what they think they should be getting. BoyGenius thinks in terms of other kids getting what he gets. He gives his favourite toys (Lego minifigures, Rescue Heroes and their vehicles) to his friends of his own volition. Don’t get me wrong, he will hold onto his favourites to the death if we try to purge toys but if others don’t have, he will give. He will stand up for his friends before standing up for himself.
- individual – in junior Kindergarten BoyGenius started mismatching his shoes, on purpose. Airwalk on the left, Converse on the right. Three days later, he’d switch to the matching, opposite pair. When he was three he decided he should start wearing one glove. And believe me when I tell you he had not yet ever seen Michael Jackson. In senior Kindergarten he decided that he could also mismatch his socks .. but they would still match: both be striped; be from the same set but be different colours; be totally different socks but be the same brand. Also in SK he decided to grow his hair long; he was five and had the long flowing locks of a rock star. He decided to cut it one summer and he has decided to grow it long again. He wears leotards (he calls them long socks) because he likes them.
So you’re reading this and you’re still thinking that I’m just bragging on my kid. Or that I’m not a very good parent. Or that he sounds perfectly normal. Or all of those things.
Well let me tell you, I spend a lot of time in BoyGenius’ school and around many other children. He’s not “normal.” Apparently “normal” is a brush cut or a faux-hawk, fighting with friends and hitting, looking out for ‘number 1,’ never sharing what you have, grey socks and of course matching shoes. I have been told that he’s too sensitive and needs to be toughened up. I have been told that I should take my “perfect baby and go” somewhere else. I have been asked why we don’t make him wear a real pair of shoes. I have been told by at least 12 different dads that they’ll cut his hair for him, oh and of course no son of theirs would ever have hair like that. Those things get my back up. I shouldn’t let them, but I can’t help it. I
might seem to get a little defensive. Remarkably, I have also been told (by a dad) that BoyGenius was always “the coolest kid in Kindergarten.”
Perfect? Yes, he is.