Small talk with other parents is one of the great minefields of raising gifted children. Over time, gifted children may learn various social norms of blending in (we can argue whether that's a good thing or not, though they often do). But when they are little, there's no such self-consciousness. Which can make the parent feel self-conscious in her place.
I have no idea about Jasper's IQ. We are leaving NYC so we won't be finding out as part of the pre-K testing for admission to the city's gifted programs. But either way, he's a bright and curious little boy who just turned four, and has the usual interest in dinosaurs, animals and, in his particular case, writing and spelling various words.
This creates some interesting situations. The other night on the playground, Jasper worked up the courage to ask another little boy and his mom to borrow their sidewalk chalk. This was the part of the whole sequence of events I was most proud of; we've been stressing that he doesn't need my help to join another group of kids playing, or ask to share a toy or join a game. Anyway, he was drawing various things, and the mom casually asked him what he'd drawn. "A mouse!" he said. Another mother glanced over. "How nice! Oh! HE WROTE MOUSE."
And he had. I guess it could have been worse. He could have drawn and labeled a parasaurolophus. I wasn't paying much attention since I was trying to keep my 20-month-old from killing himself on the playground climbing equipment. But I was summoned over to answer how old my son was, was he in preschool, how we were getting him to sit still and write and to make matters even worse, one of the mothers started comparing Jasper to her own 4-year-old. I tried to just tried to bat it all off, primarily because Jasper can not only write, he can hear. And I don't want him to think there's anything weird about writing words with sidewalk chalk, and I don't want him comparing himself with other children.
I am curious how readers of this blog handle such situations. How do you be polite and friendly on the playground, and let your child be himself?