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Old 6th January 2010, 07:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! Julian’s turning into a nerd

Help! Julian’s turning into a nerd



by Clara Chow


MY SON is becoming a nerd.

Two months shy of his fourth birthday, Julian’s taken to shadowing me around the house with pencil and notebook in hand, begging: “Mummy, puh-leeeze teach me something. I want to learn. Why, oh why, won’t you teach me something?”

Once upon a time, I would have been ecstatic that my firstborn wanted to soak up knowledge like a sponge. Now, with Baby Lucien fussing for hours at times, I just feel terribly inadequate and unable to rise to the classroom occasion.

Last week, after the Small Scholar stalked me around the house with his back-to-school stationery set, I decided to explain the concept of stamps to him.

After all, stamp-collecting is enjoying a resurgence of sorts among young people around the world, thanks to the recession and comely stamp-mad celebrities like tennis star Maria Sharapova and dance-ditty diva Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

It’s an inexpensive hobby, and the history behind some of these little squares of paper can be extremely fascinating in a geeky way (in my spare time, I read stamp magazines with cover lines like “The troubled history of the Dutch ‘Fur Collar’ definitives of 1898”).

So Julian and I hunted for stamps on envelopes around the house. We soaked a row of US Christmas issues from a small parcel in his beach pail in order to dissolve the glue and loosen them from their backings – the way my mother taught me when I was a little girl.

Except, things have changed since my time as a pig-tailed stamp collector: The self-adhesive US stamps had the word “Forever” printed on them.

And that was exactly how long it took to soak them off the envelope.

Julian kept running to the pail to see if the stamps were floating free, only to be disappointed.

We’re still waiting, actually.

So much for the joys of stamp collecting and the wonders of the postal service. And, as usual, Mummy doesn’t know best.

Meanwhile, the Supportive Spouse is also grappling with the challenges of Julian’s suddenly insatiable curiosity.

“Why do they call it football, not feetball?” asked the Small Scholar, genuinely perplexed, as father and son watched an English Premier League soccer match on television together.

“Because each player uses only one foot to kick,” replied the Supportive Spouse. I could have pointed out that some players can use either their left or right foot in the game, but I decided to stay out of it.

“Why did that player use his hands?” the Small Scholar piped up again, when he saw a throw-in.

“Why is there a big circle painted on the field? Are the players going home already? Why does that player look like Rich from Playhouse Disney’s Imagination Movers?” he added, in rapid-fire succession.

And so it went. Until the Supportive Spouse asked the Small Scholar to watch the game quietly.

These days, the Papa and I are finding it a relief talking to Lucien, who stares at us with wide, believing eyes while we babble nonsense at him.

Like his big brother, Lucien is learning, too. But thank goodness, apart from “Where’s my milk?”, he ain’t asking us any hard questions yet.

Source: http://www.divaasia.com/article/6734

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