“She could tell Mozart from Chopin at 12 months.” “He was potty trained by two – we’re pretty sure he’s a gifted athlete.” “We’re meeting with her teacher to come up with a plan. She’s never taught anyone this academically advanced.” Of course all parents are personally amazed that their once wet, sticky lump of a baby is now walking, talking and taking on the world. It is wonderful and amazing and we are all so proud.
However, listening to someone brag about the brillance of her child is about as interesting and pleasant as dental work. Yet, instead of telling these rude people to zip it, we smile and nod and say things like “Isn’t that wonderful” or “How fascinating” when what even the most well mannered among us should really do is come together and form a unified front against such bombastic arrogance. Perhaps something along the lines of “Wow that’s great, it must be all that Baby Einstein he watched” or for those who can keep a straight face “That’s just super. Maybe she’ll be an investment banker and earn huge bonuses. Or someone who structures synthetic debt obligations based on sub-prime mortgages destined to default and leave millions unemployed and homeless. Maybe he’ll run a hedge fund with his sons. Or be a pro golfer with fabulous endorsements. Anyway, that’s great. Thanks for sharing.”