Disclaimer: This is a brag blog. Be warned.
My kid is smart. I haven’t really done any sort of internet research about it to see where she’s tracking, but I think she’s crazy smart. (She could very well just be normal.) However, she turns two at the end of March, and she’s already counting to 10 (13, actually), knows all of her letters/numbers/colors, and has the emotional capability to deep breathe when she gets mad.
Don’t get me wrong, she will still hit the wall angrily and then say “hit” and “hurt,” but she will also take deep breaths when I reminder her to.
How did this happen? First, genetics. My husband, Kevin, is incredibly smart, and he comes from an entire family of intelligent people. But, more importantly, Kevin and I are lucky. Maybe even the luckiest people I know. I work from home running my own business with a stay-at-home partner. We are incredibly fortunate. He spends all day with Coraline expanding her music repertoire, painting and coloring, developing her imaginative play, exploring nature, and reading from our expansive library. Oh my gosh, the reading. A legitimate average for daily reading would be over two hours. It’s a lot.
Other big reasons I think she’s a genius baby (maybe):
Her screen time is very limited. She actually didn’t watch anything until she was about a year and a half old. Now? Usually it’s under 30 minutes a day, but screen time can be up to 45 minutes. We generally watch nature videos on YouTube or Elinor Wonders Why on WITF. (Super cute show, FYI.)
We count to 100 and practice the alphabet every day. Bath time. Diaper changes. Out for a drive. During meals. Anytime there is a lull in conversation, you can guarantee I’m singing letters or counting numbers.
She doesn’t eat white sugar. Okay, honestly, I have no idea if this has any effect on her intelligence. However, research has shown that sugar is like cocaine. I don’t know about you, but I had that DARE program drilled into my head when I was little. Drugs are bad. In my non-health-professional-opinion, sugar is an unnecessary part of the food wheel. She absolutely eats fruit and natural sugars, but ice cream or juice or candy? Sorry, kid. You got the bummer parents.
She goes outside daily. Hot? Apply sunscreen and wear a hat. Raining? Shove on rainboots and grab an umbrella. Freezing? Layer up and bundle that baby. I read in one of her kid books about mindfulness that no matter the weather, going outside can make you feel better. I also believe it helps grow her mind, though the book didn’t say that.
Reading. I know we covered this already, but the reading. Upon the suggestion of a friend, Kevin started reading to Coraline when she was still just a clump of multiplying cells – before I could even feel her moving around inside me. We have a collection of over 200 books, mostly thanks to our amazing family and friends, and Kevin brings home a different stack of library books every week. We often will find her sitting on the floor in front of her bookshelf reading to herself. (Not reading aloud, mind you. She’s not that smart.)
But the number one reason I am convinced – rightly or wrongly – that we have a genius baby is because we are lucky. We are fortunate. I started my business at exactly the right time six years ago so by the time I found out I was pregnant, my business was able to sustain us and my husband could be a stay-at-home dad. Kevin and I have a wonderful relationship. We are always working on being better people and better parents, and we are truly partners in life. Our family is surrounded by so many caring and amazing people that love our child deeply and care about her success.
Not every family is lucky like us. I think that most are not. Occasionally, this realization brings me some very heavy guilt. The world is not fair, and that’s so unfortunate. To compensate, we give away our money to organizations who help families and children who are not so lucky.
While yes, this article is a biased mom account of my incredibly amazing child (hello, bias!), it is also a call to action to support your local community if you are blessed like we are.
Here are a few of the organizations we regularly support, but I encourage you to discover your own non-profits whose missions line up with your beliefs.
Not local, but we love the missions: