It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The Boy is Brilliant

Upon entering the house from the brilliantly sunny outdoors, George exclaims on the dimness of the living room. I explain this is because it is so bright outside; our eyes are used to the sunshine, and so the inside seems very dark. In fact it’s not, and in a minute or two our eyes will get used to the light in the house, and we’ll be able to see just fine.

“Just like the swimming pool,” he observes.
I’m not quite sure what he means, though I know he swims at a local indoor pool each week. “Is it dark at the pool?” I’ve missed the direction of his thought, which becomes apparent when he clarifies.
“No, cold.”

Do you catch what’s just been expressed? Read it over again, remembering this lad is only three, and be thoroughly impressed. I certainly was!

George is making a parallel comparison: Just as the livingroom seems dim until your eyes adjust, so the pool seems cold until your body adjusts. This is very sophisticated thinking for a three year old. As if that weren’t enough, there’s more! He is taking two quite discrete physical experiences and is distilling an abstract concept from them. Abstract thinking in a three year old. Amazing. An abstract concept which he can then apply to either of those, or perhaps to still another experience at some other time.

Wow. I have a toddler genius on my hands! Way to go, George!

May 25, 2005 - Posted by | Developmental stuff, George, individuality, the things they say!


  1. Thanks for sharing — it is impressive once you’ve explained just what it is George did to those of us not entirely familiar with a child’s thought processes.

    Comment by aaron | May 28, 2005 | Reply

  2. It was only when I wrote it down that I realized I’d have to explain it a bit. Suddenly it looked like a non sequiter, even to me, who has tons of experience with childrens’ thought processes.

    Comment by Mary P. | May 28, 2005 | Reply

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