Sasha is now just over 2 years old, and she’s talking—a lot. “Okay, let’s go outside!” she’ll say, and once we’re out on the disgusting streets of New York, she’ll point at patches of ice and say, “Slippery! Be careful.” She just goes and goes, and what she doesn’t know how to say in real words, she’ll fill in with babble. No idea what her point is, but it’s amazing to watch her talk on and on to me, to her friends in preschool, to her teachers, to her friends’ parents.
Jean recently told me that when she was dropping Sasha off at preschool, a couple of other parents were astounded at Sasha’s verbal ability, and asked us how we got her to talk so much, so easily.
Okay, yes, this is a blog post in which I talk about how brilliant my daughter is. Please forgive me; it’s inevitable on a parenting blog. But the dilemma is this: What’s the most humble way to respond? I see three basic options:
1. Take credit: We talk to her a lot, in English and Chinese, and surround her with words, so that’s why she talks so much. But, um, I’m not sure we did any such thing, and it sounds boastful. We’re not exceptional parents.
2. Take no credit: Sasha talks a lot because she wants to. Still, this seems like bragging: Oh, how special our daughter is! She’s just a unique genius!
3. Shrug, start mumbling, and pretty soon Sasha will start crying or drawing on something she shouldn’t be drawing on, or she’ll poop in her diaper, and I’ll be distracted and won’t have to answer at all.
Anyway, I asked Jean if there was another option, and she came up with the best one of all: “It’s her horoscope.”
Jesus, that’s why I married this woman! Now, Jean, what’s Sasha’s sign? I’m a man, so I don’t know these things.
Jean: “I don’t know what it’s called. That new one.”
Oh, right, the new one—the one they had to invent in the rejiggering of the zodiac that turned us all into people we didn’t know we were. (I, for instance, used to be a Leo—shy and proud all at once—but now I’m something else, so apparently no longer shy and proud.) Anyway, I don’t know what the new sign is called, and I’m not going to bother to look it up. All I know is that my daughter is so fucking special that the astrologers of the world had to invent a new horoscope sign to explain how awesome she is. Take that, fellow parents!