All parents think their kids are special. I do, too. Obviously. I mean, why else would I make people look at pictures of my toddler doing absolutely nothing? But I also enjoy being able to quantify my observations in order to make them meaningful.
Boo has a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday for his eighteen month well child visit. (Yeah, I’m a month late. The State of Arkansas is a pain in the ass to deal with when it comes to renewing insurance.) I’m more worked up about this damned thing than he is. I’m cramming for it likes it’s the fucking GRE –compiling lists of his achievements, teaching him new body parts, convincing him that he knows the whole alphabet (no), and mentally tallying how many words he knows and uses every day. It’s another Big Fricking Deal. But I have to prove that my preshus snowflake is developmentally normal. If there was something wrong, it would some how be MY fault, and oh my Jesus, I couldn’t handle that.
I was trying to describe how brilliant Boo is to my my future father-in-law yesterday. He informed that Boo is absolutely average, and the doctor would tell me that. I had a moment in which my head spun around 360 degrees on my shoulders, and I was all “Oh, no you di-int!” My vision went red in the periphery and I had to leave the room.
My baby is not average, you asshat. He’s brilliant and amazing and grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL AND SELL YOUR LEFT OVER BODY PARTS TO BACK ALLEY ORGAN THIEVES.
While I was sitting in our bedroom pouting and shaking and resisting the urge to throw heavy things against the wall, I was also trying to come up with a way to prove I’m right. I sat through two episodes of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant (oh, COME ON–if you’re too stupid to notice an eight pound human being jabbing you in the ribs and punching you repeatedly in the cervix, you’re too dumb to reproduce.) And nada. The only experiment I’ve ever designed disproved my hypothesis in the first five minutes of testing. God did not give me the kind of brains or creativity it takes to be a research scientist.
But He did give us Google.
All the IQ tests I could find for toddlers are designed for children three years and older. But then I read this entry at amalah.com. A girl’s gotta work with what she’s got, I thought. I even interrupted Red’s busy gaming schedule to tell him about it, because dammit, Boo’s future as a Nobel Prize winning physicist-astronaut-President of the United States was hanging in the balance.
So tonight the stage was set. It was toddler testing time, and Mommy wasn’t about to take any shit about it.
I used a modified version of a test I found on Google after searching ‘doggy IQ test’. It consisted of six individual exercises, which I administered in no particular order. If you want to play along at home on guinea pig family members, you’ll need the following:
- One (1) moderately sleepy, freshly bathed toddler
- The ability to speak
- One (1) large-ish heavy-ish blanket
- One (1) plastic cup
- Six (6) heavy, thin books
- Baby bait (I chose Teddy Grahams)
Test the first: Language Comprehension
This exercise involved shouting various words at Boo to see if he would respond to them in the same manner he responds to his own name. I knew I needed to keep him corralled for this one, because he is a little man in the making, and has already mastered the mysterious art of Selective Hearing. I waited until he had gotten all pruney and relaxed and then I started yelling at him. REFRIGERATOR! MOOOOOVIES! pause HOUSE! CUDDY! THIRTEEN! pause BOO!
He finally turned around when he heard his name, a big grin on his face because Mommy is an idiot and we must humor her in the name of amusing the faceless masses who don’t read her blog.
Test the second: Social Learning
Since Boo was already looking at me (and looking rather confused as to why I was calling him other names) I decided to do the social learning exercise, aka the smile test. I stared intently into his eyes for three seconds and then broke out in a smile that would make Heath Ledger’s Joker jealous. He immediately grinned back. Ding Ding! We have a winner. Sign this baby up for Mensa, he knows how to smile.
Test the third: Problem Solving
Now it was time to break out the baby bait. I retrieved the Teddy Grahams from their super-secret-hide-them-from-Daddy spot, grabbed a plastic cup, and led Boo into his room. As soon as he saw the package, he went nuts. Sugar! Before bedtime! Joy and ecstasy, this day is mine! I fished a few crackers from the package and hid them under the cup on the floor. It took exactly two microseconds for Boo to knock the cup over and shove two helpless bears into his mouth. Oh, yeah. This kid is smart. He’ll be ready for Harvard at age six.
Test the fourth: Creative Problem Solving and Manipulation
Before Boo could attack me for more crackers, I hastily mocked up a snack barrier. The dog test suggests using a table that your pet’s head doesn’t easily fit under, but since Boo has the ribcage of a plague carrying rat and can smush himself into impossibly tight spaces, I improvised. It looked like this:
I showed Boo his prey and hid the crackers under the books. Apparently, if you have a smart dog, it will use it’s paw to retrieve the snack carefully from beneath the barrier. Boo had a different idea.
He literally hurled the top two books across the room and stuffed the cookies into his mouth. That works, too, I guess. Score: Boo: 6, Teddy Grahams: -27
Test the fifth: Ninja Escape Skills
I have to be honest. I knew Boo was going to ace this one going in. In the Three Ring Mom house, our idea of a fun game is to toss the heavy blanket from our couch on top of Boo and watch him wriggle free. He loves it. When Red yells, “Baby net!” he comes running and does his happy-footed shuffle thing until we cover him up. Yeah, I know.That’s odd. But so are we, so it works.
Predictably, he escaped the clutches of the baby net in no time flat. Next.
Test the sixth: Retrieval of the Preshus
Idea: Hide the baby bait under the blanket and unleash the Kraken. Boo was watching from his crib (scientific baby cage and confinement system) while I hid the crackers, so as soon as I freed him, he dove into the blanket with the enthusiasm of Kobeyashi confronted with a giant pile of hotdogs on the fourth of July. GAME ON, SUCKAS!
Although the blanket was bulky and heavy, Boo tore through it like fat man at an all you can eat buffet. Now it was time to score his exercises.
For the sake of scientific integrity, I did not look at the scoring system before I administered the tests. I didn’t want my kid’s obvious superiority to overshadow a quantitative measure of his awesomeness. Each exercise had a possible five points. Let’s recap:
- Language Comprehension: Boo responded only to his own name, but not the names of the cast of House.
- Social Learning: Boo smiled back at me like I had IDIOT stenciled across my forehead in lipstick.
- Problem Solving: Boo retrieved the Teddy Grahams. And then he stole the cup and hid it.
- Creative Problem Solving and Manipulation: Boo Hulk-smashed the impenetrable Bob barrier and retrieved the Teddy Grahams.
- Ninja Escape Skills: Boo escaped the clutches of the evil blanket overlord, created a shiv out of paper clips and spit, and then shimmied out the bedroom window, MacGyver style.
- Retrieval of the Preshus: Fuck you, Frodo Baggins. Stupid Hobbitses and their silly Elven concealment cloaks. They can’t hide the Preshus from me.
Obviously, he gets five points for each exercise. 30/30, A+. In doggy-speak, that means my son IS A GENIUS. I could have told you that.
After we completed the tests, Boo sat in my lap (vibrating like a hummingbird hopped up on prison quality meth) while we read “Goodnight, Sweet Butterflies.” At this point, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had grabbed the book out of my hands and started reading to me. He’s that goddamn smart.
So take that, ye doubters. MY BABY IS SMARTER THAN YOU. I have scientific proof. I’ll keep it in my wallet and show it to unsuspecting passersby.