Friday Recommends, friends, parenthood

Friday Recommends: Smart Babies


No grandmother has ever shopped at the bookstore where Ben works seeking gifts for an “average” grandchild. In place of average are words like “bright,” “intelligent,” “advanced,” “gifted” and, every so often, “genius.” Ben was once asked to recommend something for a “very precocious two-year-old.” Every recommendation is met with a raised eyebrow and skeptical gaze that says, “This book might be acceptable to a child of inferior breeding, but my child will not be stunted by a board book/picture book/card game/puzzle/etc. of negligible intelligence.” The best strategy, when faced with this customer, is to present two options. First show him or her a book and say something to the effect of, “This one is a pretty popular choice,” or anything else that conveys it has been given the stamp of approval by the masses (a k a, plebeians). Then reveal the second book and say, “This one, however, is a great little book that would be pretty challenging but…” If you look closely enough, you can see a tiny flare of indignation in the customer’s eyes, a kindling of outrage suggesting, “You don’t think my child/grandchild can rise to the occasion? You doubt his capacity for rigorous intellectual activity? I will prove you wrong by BUYING THIS BOOK and then CALLING YOU in thirty years when MY CHILD/GRANDCHILD has been awarded the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. Here is my credit card.”

Will we be like these parents (and, one day, grandparents)? Almost certainly. We apologize in advance.

Baby Voreblog already has a head start thanks to Nick and Liz Miesen, who sent us a product called “Nerdy Baby ABCs.” These ABCs are 26 flash cards “for young scientists” and include cards like D d – diurnal, K k – Kepler’s 3rd law and M m – Mandelbrot Fractal Set. “This complete set of 26 alphabet cards will impress and horrify your friends whose babies only know lame stuff like shapes and colors,” the packaging says. adds, “Geek up the nursery with the Nerdy Baby ABCs and ensure a socially awkward, financially rewarding future for your offspring.” Creator Tiffany Ard adds that the cards are “perfect for teaching your toddler big fancy words to say in front of your snootypants sister in law.”

So enjoy your fetal slacking while you still can, Baby Voreblog! Your homework assignments start July 22.

And thanks, Nick & Liz!



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