Eli’s steady diet of educational TV shows and our questions (“What color is this, Eli? What shape is this?”) has had unintended consequences. He now identifies and classifies non-stop, repeating things he learned from Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues.

We wanted him to be smart, where by “smart” we mean “able to perform cute tricks on command,” but my goodness, it never ends. He is a sponge, a self-squeezing sponge that absorbs knowledge and then dribbles it out everywhere later, and that is a metaphor that I’m going to pretend I didn’t make. I was dressing this morning when Eli pointed off to my right. “An X! Look, an X!” I looked where he was pointing, but didn’t see anything. “Over there! An X!” he said, now pointing to the left. I couldn’t see it. “Where’s the X?” I asked Eli. “THERE! Right there!” he said, now pointing at me. That’s when I realized that I was wearing an old Mac OS X t-shirt with a big furry X on the back, and he’d been seeing it when I turned around.

This also identifies me as a big geek, but you’ve probably gathered that by now.

It’s been like that all day. When he woke up from his nap all hoarse and sweaty like he’d just come back from yelling at a basketball game, he stumbled over to my laptop. “Look! An L. And an X. There’s a rectangle and a rectangle. Two rectangles! And a vent and anoner one and anoner one and anoner one and four vents! There’s a circle! I go to the other side of dad’s computer. There’s a circle! And here’s another one on this backpack!” When Misty called a while later, Eli said, “Dad is talking on the telefono. Telefono is Spanish for telephone.”

What will he be like when he’s an adult with a job? “Here is the TPS report, and another, and another. Three TPS reports! This is a summons to see human resources! This is the office for the head of HR! The door is a rectangle. This slip of paper is a pink! And a rectangle!” There’s only one thing to do. This afternoon we are starting him on a regimen of NASCAR and American Idol reruns. I hope he doesn’t root for Kellie Pickler.

8 thoughts on “Overeducated

  1. He will be just like his Dad because he is doing exactly what you did when you were his age. Enjoy!

  2. Like the time you got into the lamp-black and I was cooking lunch and was expecting your Dad home just any minute.

  3. NASCAR may not help …

    “Look, a car … it has triangles, and circles, and a logo, and a website. That’s the website for Tide … Tide.com … it runs on Microsoft IIS, which needs to be patched with a service pack …”

    Face it, your baby is RainMan 🙂

  4. Brian:

    Maybe I can steer him towards Linux administration.


    “Eli is programming in Inform 7!”

    That’s what I told inky shortly after I posted this. He’s graduated from a two-word parser to the I7 compiler.

  5. My sister and parents are having great fun watching me chase after my boy, who is turning out just like me. I have a new-found respect for them in the fact that they didn’t tie me up in a closet all the time.

  6. If your baby walks around & tells you when you leave out essential periods & semi-colons, then he’s a compiler … and I’ll need to hire him or keep him away from my employees.

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