I have a friend who frequently tells me that while she's sure she'll probably appreciate her daughter's intelligence someday, right now and when she's not even 2, it's just darn annoying. She's not alone, mind you, because I usually find myself feeling the same way. Sometimes it seems like your kid is just smarter than you — or certainly smarter than they should be for such a tiny human — and I have a feeling smart toddlers are only the beginning. In other words, I'm not looking forward to the day my daughter starts bringing home homework. I dread just about anything past fractions and, as a result, crossing my fingers the "smarter than me" kid stays on the same trajectory she's currently on.
While the homework phase is still a long way off for our daughter, she's already proved she's much smarter than my husband and I (and certainly smarter than we think she is) in a whole host of ways. From baby proofing to knowing exactly where the good snacks are (and how to get up to the shelf where they're kept), she's already made chumps of her parents.
I remember the first time my daughter noticed blueberries outside of the context of what was sitting on her high chair. We were walking down the cereal aisle at the grocery store at a pretty decent speed and she shouted, "Blue!" I didn't see blueberries anywhere, at least not in any form that she had seen them before. Still, she kept shouting, "Blue!" over and over until I realized she had spotted three tiny blueberries in a bowl of Chex on a cereal box on the top shelf.
I remember thinking, "You've got to be kidding me." There's just no way she could have spotted those from so far away. Alas, she did, and that was only the beginning. From that moment on, trips to the grocery store are no longer safe or peaceful, but instead filled with blueberry spotting and subsequent blueberry demanding. Such is life when your kid is just smarter than you, my friends.
When They Figure Something Out On The First Try
I'm always baffled when I gear up to show my daughter something that I think is a little tricky and she masters it in one go. Sometimes the disconnect between what I think is going to be difficult and what she can actually compute in her little, barely 2-year-old head is just so vast.
It's even more frustrating when they master something instantly that you didn't even know they were watching you do.
When They Triumph Over Your Baby Proofing
We recently returned from my parents' house, which is an old rambling farmhouse with a big bannister that doesn't lend itself well to baby proofing. My husband found an old antique wooden screen and set it up at the bottom of the stairs to keep our daughter from climbing up. She took one look at it, 10 seconds to shimmy it just far enough so she could scoot by, and was halfway up the stairs before we even knew what was happening.
When They Pick Up A Sign The First Time You Show It
And then, of course, they use it over and over to request more blueberries and more M&Ms. It took my daughter a little while to master the baby sign language for '"all done," so I thought I'd wait to introduce any other signs.
When I finally sat down to teach her the sign for more, she mastered it immediately, then instantly started using it to her advantage (which meant signing incessantly for more blueberries and/or sweet treats).
When They Can Understand Technology At An Obscenely Early Age
We've managed to mostly keep our daughter off screens (except for FaceTiming grandparents and sometimes looking at photos of her family), but it barely takes a few minutes with an iPhone before she starts to use her finger to move the photos across the screen. Now that she's 18 months old, we sometimes look at Instagram and point out the babies or the dogs (of which there are many in my feed) and she already knows how to make those photos zoom across the screen.
When They Have Memories Like Elephants
My daughter's brain is like a vault when it comes to exactly where she saw or heard any kind of puppy or kitty in about a three mile radius. Whenever we're out walking and hit a corner where she ever saw a dog, she lets out the woof-woofs.
When They Know Exactly Where The Treats Are Kept
They remember exactly where you keep the animal crackers and the fun cereal, and they recognize a shiny candy wrapper after only seeing it once three years ago from across the room.
What is potentially worse? Your go-to hiding spots are mostly futile, because they only need to see you open that top shelf once before they realize exactly what's up there.
When They Recognize The Route To The Park
This is particularly annoying when you're headed somewhere near the park but aren't planning on a park visit today. Kids can recognize routes by the shape of one tree and immediately start shrieking to be let out of the stroller or car seat. Sometimes I think it would be worth always taking a different way to the park just to throw them off the trail!
When Their Homework Baffles You
We haven't hit homework stage yet, but I'm already dreading the day when my daughter comes home with algebra homework that brings back nightmares from high school.
I think it will be well before that when she brings home assignments that are above my pay grade.