When Mrs. Happy and I lived in Texas, we had an opportunity one day to visit
a traveling art exhibit at the Amon
Carter Museum
in Fort Worth.
The exhibit explored the personal and artistic ties
between Picasso and Matisse. At one point during our tour, I was examining
one of Matisse’s masterpieces when a young man holding a baby approached and
a foot away from the painting. I thought it strange that he wanted to examine
the painting that closely, but I thought it even more strange that he seemed
more interested in the baby than in Matisse. I heard a female voice behind
me say, obviously through clenched teeth, "What…are…you…doing?!"

The young man looked up from the baby, slightly startled. He looked confused,
but said, "I’m getting him close so he can see the colors." The woman quickly
stepped forward and grabbed him firmly by the sleeve. "No!" she said, yanking
her husband several feet and screaming quietly at him while trying unsuccessfully
to not draw any attention. "At three months he can see the colors fine from
six feet away."

I couldn’t believe
Here were two young parents hoping to stimulate their baby’s brain and pave
his neural pathway to artistic genius simply by exposing him to two twentieth-century
masters. As if that would do anything. What a couple of freaks, I thought.
I gave the woman credit for at least having the presence of mind to be embarrassed
whole thing,
but still—what a freak.

Since then, I’ve seen parents pushing their kids into insane activities. I’ve
heard of parents doing even more insane things before their babies are even
born just so that the kids will grow up brilliant and talented. I have always
rolled my eyes (inwardly, at least) at such shenanigans. Let children be children,
I think. There’ll be plenty of time for accomplishments later.

So I’m sorry to say that I’m slowly becoming one of "those" parents. Oh, my
child will redefine brilliance and talent. He will be the neural surgeon/architect/novelist/triathlon
champion/concert pianist that the world has been anticipating ever since Thomas
Jefferson and Leonardo Da Vinci failed to live up to their true potential.
He will be the superhero who calls himself Renaissance Man. And I’m
not just trusting in genetics for this. I have strategies for building mind,
body, and
so ridiculous
and irrational that I will not speak them aloud for fear of derision and
laughter from friends and
passers-by, on top of the inevitable objections from my own wife. I’m afraid I will have to execute my plan in secret. I, at least,
have the presence of mind to be embarrassed about the whole thing.

8 thoughts on “Superbaby!(?)

  1. I love the one I hear Celebs do for their kids. They get their very young kids, even babies, massages for hundreds of dollars. How hard is it to tickle your kids? You can farm out every aspect of parenting. I think people take this moral highground as a masquarade for laziness, and even fear. Parenting is hard. It requires your last energy, discipline, all of your time, saying ‘no’ and taking appropriate actions, saying ‘I love you’ and meaning it with actions. We can try to farm out parenting, but when it comes down to it, it is our responsibilty. Not the therapist, teacher, nanny, or whatever can substitute. I’m scheduling boys (1 year old and 3 year old) spa treatment right know. I’m think it will increase their brilliance through obedience…

  2. Play Mozart through headphones on Mrs. Happy’s belly,
    as well as audio books of the classics of literature, and math, science, and history text books,
    foreign language tapes, the Bible in audio, sermons and Bible lessons, etc.
    And make sure Mrs. Happy eats of lots of irradiated chili!

    I don’t know… I actually thought about doing the audio thing with my first child…
    I didn’t. And she turned out fine.

  3. Baby Happy will be brilliant, well adjusted and loving because children learn through example. Without knowing it, you have spent years creeating the environment for a shild to thrive…relax and enjoy!

  4. After having raised 3 daughters, this is my observation: Unless a baby is born with a developmental problem, it’s born with the ability/curiosity to learn hard-wired into it’s little brain. The parents’ job? Pass on a great LOVE of learning! The rest will take care of itself! I wish I had known this when my girls were little. But all in all, they turned out pretty good!