Someone (anonymous) just took me to task for constantly posting about how homely Abie is. You're right, anonymous one, I do talk far too much about the boy's looks. In thinking about it, I realize that I always pick one flaw about my children to talk about with other people. We used to call Rosie, "The pretty one." I.e., maybe not so bright. And Sophie's got, well, attitude in spades. Zeke wouldn't recognize the truth if it beat him about the head and shoulders. What a horrible mother...
Actually, I think this is about the evil eye. I want to make sure that the Angel of Death knows that these kids are just not worth snatching. They're homely, stupid, crabby and dishonest. You don't want them. Leave them here with me.
It's also probably a reaction to hearing people talk about their kids as if they were the second coming of the Messiah. Or the first, if you're one of us. Or the second, if you're a Lubavitche.
Here's another essay about this very topic. From Child Magazine.
At every parents' night I've ever attended -- and with four children I've been to more than my share -- I have waited for the inevitable question.
"Excuse me," someone asks. "What accommodation do you make for the exceptionally gifted child?" We all look around to see who the lucky speaker is; who is the parent of this future Bobby Fischer, this Stephen Hawking of the second grade?
For the vast majority of us, the question serves only to make us feel bad. We all wish we were the parents of the gifted child. I should know. My husband and I still swear to this day that our oldest daughter said the word duck when she was only 6 months old.
It was this same daughter, Sophie, who taught me the folly of these expectations. When she was in preschool, I began buying her First Readers, convinced that it was only a matter of months before she'd be whipping through The Chronicles of Narnia. So when Sophie was still painstakingly sounding out words at age 7, I ended up calling my mother, completely distraught.
"She's only reading at a first-grade level!" I wailed.
There was silence on the other end of the line for a few moments. Finally my mother said, "Honey, she's in first grade."
More hysteria. "But Michael was reading by age 4! And I was such an early reader!"
"What are you talking about?" she said. "You took forever to learn to read. You were the last in your class."