A few weeks ago, while I was at the Toronto Zoo (my favourite new kid-friendly place in Toronto), I met a stay-at-home dad and his 27 month-old son, Jacob. We started chatting as the father overheard me speaking Hebrew with Kyle. He told me that he’s teaching his son four languages: English, French, Hebrew and Mandarin. Half an hour into our conversation, I realized that I might have just met the smarted toddler on earth.
The father, very casually, started explaining to me that his son can say words that he spells out to him. To “prove” it to me he said “Jacob… what does b-a-l-l-o-o-n spell?” and Jacob, on cue, says “balloon”. Father: “And Jacob, what does s-h-a-r-k spell?” and Jacob replies back “shark”. And so on, and so on. I’m not sure if the dad noticed or not, but my mouth was wide open, speechless, the whole time this was going on. When this back and forth stopped, I finally said “well… Kyle is a model!”
I know the father wasn’t trying to be malicious or even show-off. In fact, he was telling me that he believes that his son is able to do all of this due to the TV show Word World. While maybe some of his amazing ability might be due to this show that his father insisted he watch, I was sure there was more to it. As the conversation progressed, the father told me that his own father spoke 11 different languages, and he spoke about 5 different languages. And so, I figured that it must be genetics. When I tried to point this out to the dad, he still insisted that he only had the TV show to thank. Modest? Maybe… But haven’t scientists being saying all along that kids shouldn’t watch TV before the age of two because it’ll make them dumber or something like that? If that’s the case, this guy just proved this theory wrong!
Later that day while our kids were playing innocently enough in the big sand box in the zoo, I pointed out the cute backdrop which was a small part of a dinosaur skeletal. I couldn’t finish my sentence fast enough, when the dad asked his son what type of dinosaur it was. So not only does Jacob know spelling at the young age of 2 years and 3 months, but apparently, he knew the names of over 200 dinosaurs and would recognize them just by their skeletals. AND….he was in the process of learning which ones are herbivores and which ones are carnivores. All I could think of was the fact that I could only pronounce the names of five dinosaur’s and that’s only because I recently learned them because of Kyle.
Wow! I kept thinking over and over while the dad spoke. While Kyle’s vocabulary mostly consists of the word “Ga”, I didn’t even try to compare the two kids. I just realized that each one is unique in their own way. But I couldn’t help stop thinking that I might have just met the smartest toddler on earth.
Have you ever met or know, or have a kid that you think is kid-genius?
P.S. If you haven’t voted for me for top 30 mom bloggers in Toronto, you can do so at this link: http://www.torontomomnow.com/2012/vote-for-your-favourite-toronto-mom-blogs-of-2012/ It’ll take 2 seconds; Maya Fitzpatrick mayahoodblog. Thanks 🙂
16 thoughts on “The smartest toddler on earth – and despite what his grandparents think, it’s not my son.”
I’ve met some kids who seem pretty smart, one of the six year olds I coach has amazing math skills, but I’m not sure how over achieving pans out long-term with that. My older brother taught me all sorts of “tricks” when I was young, (multiplication on command, reading) I haven’t one the Nobel Prize (yet…)
Great point. It would be interesting to see what long term effects being SUPER SMART at an early age has on individuals. Let me know if you ever win. I can then say that you commented on my blog 😉
That’s incredible! (And I love the Zoo! We spend so much time there; especially at Splash Island in the summer!)
I know – I sooooooo wish they would have opened it up earlier this year since it’s been sooooooo hot outside. I haven’t been to the splash island yet but I can’t wait to go. everyone just raves about it. Maybe we’ll see you there 🙂
Wow! Very impressive!
My son LOVES Word World. I do credit the show to his love of letters. Eli turned 2 in March and recognizes all of his letters and knows all of his letter sounds. I definitely credit a lot of that to the show. He also is growing in the school house (Both my husband and I are teachers.). Every one that he comes in contact with is a teacher and focuses on learning-play with him. It certainly makes a difference!
This kid, however, is exceptional! The dad was certainly being modest, but how lovely is it to meet smart and modest people! 🙂
Our local zoo is perhaps our favorite place in the world! Such a great opportunity for play..and learning 🙂
mmmm… maybe I should get on the word world band wagon!! I guess it does work. But you’re right, it also has to do with external impacts like parents and others who play with him.
I can’t believe it’s taken me since grade 10 to go back to the zoo. I (and my son) can’t get enough of it.
I don’t think my son is some sort of prodigy but I do notice that he’s pretty bright in a lot of areas that most kids his age aren’t (I swear I’m trying not to brag!). That said, I also notice that other kids are more advanced than he is in other areas. So I suppose every kid has their “thing” that they’re good at. That’s pretty crazy though that he was able to ID those dinosaurs! “Ga” still sounds cuter though 😉
haha! thanks for your kind words. But you’re right, every kid has his / her talent and I guess eventually we find our calling, no matter how we started off. Ga is cute, right? 😉
Oh my goodness…this is incredible, and a wee bit odd at the same time!!! You’ll have to google his name in 20 years and see where he ended up! Btw, we have a zoo membership as well….I think a zoo date is in order!
oh perfect!! I try to go once a week… in the afternoon though. Does that work with your nap schedule? yey 🙂
Holy cow! I need to get me some “word world’ for Emma 🙂
I just looked into it. If you have rogers for cable, it’s on channel 2 at 7am, 9am and 11:30am Monday – Friday. I”m going to PVR a few episodes and MAKE Kyle watch it. 😉
I think a lot of it is down to genetics, the show might help, but clearly the family has an ear for language and are quite bright. That said, just because they are bright, doesn’t mean they will be peoples people 🙂
Yes – def. an ear for language. and you’re right, book smart doesn’t always equal emotional intelligence (which I think is more important anyway).
Wow, that’s pretty amazing! There are definitely some television shows out there that can serve as educational tools, but that little boy has an insane IQ!
I know, right? Now I don’t feel bad that my son is so “behind” this kid