Jun 01 2016

The awesome weirdness of gifted kids

The awesome weirdness of gifted kidsGifted kids be weird, yo.

If you have one, or have spent any time around one, or teach one, you know this. They are the quirkiest, funniest, weirdest creatures around. And if you can step away from the challenging behaviors and parental angst, they’re awesome.

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, to appreciate the weird in giftedness. Yes, I’ve always tried to laugh at it, or at the very least poke fun at it, but appreciate it? Not an easy thing to do, especially when you’re in the thick of one crisis after another trying to deal with it. How are you supposed to appreciate your kids’ quirks and humor, when you’re simultaneously trying to put out the fires those quirks are fanning? Not a job for the faint of heart, not one any of us applied for, and yet here we are. Might as well make some s’mores over those flames.

Here is just a small sample of the tidbits I’ve laughed at over the years. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.


Do black holes ever close?
Um. I have degrees in music and advanced degrees in parenting that I earned on the job. Inevitably you asked this before I had coffee or after I had wine. Either way, I have no answer for you because the question itself broke my brain. Let’s go with “maybe, but I reserve the right to change my mind when scientists come forth with further information. In the meantime please go research that yourself.”

Heck, MacGyver can make a stretcher wih a couple paper clips and duct tape!
Yes, yes he can. That still doesn’t mean I’m giving you the zip ties, ball bearings, 4 ft of metal conduit, and rubber chicken you requested. And hell to the no on the liquid nitrogen, stevia plant, and rare earth magnets. What are you doing in the basement?

Guy walks into a bar. It was a metal bar. He got hurt.
You’re still working on your jokes. Not bad for a first try, but keep honing your craft. Also, keep your day job.

The future will come. It always does.
When parenting goes meta on you. Thanks child, needed the reminder. Your future is also speeding up on you and 1) you’ll be starving at school tomorrow if you don’t get going on making a lunch or 2) be living in the basement if you don’t acknowledge that college is heading this direction.

The only thing I hate about getting older is the responsibilities.
I let said child live. I also laughed until I fell to the ground and could not breathe. Child was not amused. I cannot wait until I can share this tidbit with this child when he older and has real responsibilities. I saved the name, date, and time of when he popped out this comment, and I may just needle that sucker into a cross-stitch and keep it on hand for proper presentation. I’m thinking college graduation. Been almost three years and I still laugh and laugh and laugh.

Why can’t I take in air through the atmosphere? My head hurts!
Son in question had just had two teeth removed and was still woozy from the laughing gas. This particular child is a freaking laugh riot under anesthesia; we still laugh about the time he was coming to and damned near stuck a popsicle in his eye.

It always comes down to the last level of logic for me.
Aaaand….I have nothing for this. Of course it does, dear son. Because you are wired the way you are, of course it comes down to the last level of logic. You needed to wring every last drop of logic out of all the previous levels. However, I’ve discovered that you always seem to find one last level, so your levels of logic are a lot more like a bottomless pit…or a Highway to Hell for me. You’re exhausting.

Why does my saliva not bounce around in my mouth when I’m bouncing on this ball?
For the same reason a hippopotamus wears a G-string on National Donut Day, kiddo.

What’s wrong with me and my binaries?
What do your binaries have to do with anything? Did I miss a memo? Where are they? Are they inflamed? Do you need to see a doctor or an IT specialist? Are they contagious? I’d hate to be quarantined because of binaries. Do they need watered? My god, what happens if we feed them after midnight?

Flavor doesn’t have copy and paste, MOM!
Dammit I wish I could remember the context here. I want to say it had something to do with chewing gum, but I just don’t know. But you’re right, buddy, flavor doesn’t have copy and paste. If it did, I’d be throwing ⌘-c and ⌘-p around with wild abandon. Bananas that could taste like chocolate peanut butter ice cream instead of hot glue? Cauliflower with the flavor of ripe cherries instead of spicy funk? Zucchini that…never mind, nothing can improve zucchini. Devil’s veggie. A hot pox on that vegetable.

I have a hurt-bump.
I do too, my loves. My head, it is pounding with the effort of understanding half of what you guys say and know. You are far smarter than I, and I’m starting to think you know it. But unlike most physical hurt-bumps, this one will not go away with application of ice and a few ibuprofen. It’s a permanent parenting gifted kids hurt-bump. Thankfully it doesn’t hurt anymore, just gets tender from time to time. It’s a hurt-bump I didn’t expect to be given, but I wear it like a badge of honor.


Today’s post was part of the June Hoagies Gifted Blog Hop, on the mysteries and weird stuff of giftedness. Lots of writers with lots of perspectives, I recommend you take a few minutes and check them out!

June 2016 Hoagies Blog Hop The Weird Stuff


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  1. Debra Scott

    I don’t like broccoli. That’s history. And you can’t change history.

    1. Jen

      AGH! I’ve had broccoli buried in the bottom of the crisper for over a week! Guess what’s for dinner! 😉

  2. Emily

    I love your post! My favorite part is “Might as well make some s’mores over those flames.” I could use that reminder from time to time (maybe all the time!). Thank you for a great read 🙂

    1. Jen

      You can never go wrong with chocolate and marshmallows toasted over your life. 😉 A nice port is a delightful accompaniment as well. LOL!

  3. Pamela Price

    “The only thing I hate about getting older is the responsibilities.” <–You and me, kid. You and me.

    1. Jen

      I’m not kidding about saving the date AND time. I was so floored he said that it had to be saved in all possible detail; I even remember where he said it. LOL! And yes, I think I really will make him some sort of decorative item to commemorate the occasion, perhaps a nice throw pillow. LOL!

  4. Lynn

    That will happen one day, when I can sit and enjoy all the weird… thanks for the light at the end of the tunnel, reassuring…

    1. Jen

      The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always an oncoming train. Sometimes it’s a kid with a flashlight making choo-choo noises. 😉 Laugh to keep from screaming, my friend.

      1. Lynn

        Laughing then crying then laughing… all good 🙂

  5. qh

    Oh, nicely played. 🙂
    qh recently posted…The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.My Profile

  6. Wenda Sheard

    Laughing, laughing, laughing. As usual, that’s my reaction to your humor. Have you tried stand-up comedy? Thanks for the levity.

    1. Jen

      I have not! But I have considered improv classes. Just comes down to the evil twins: Time and Money. Someday I’ll have those two in a permanent headlock and will take those improv classes. 😀

  7. JMM

    This piece had me laughing out loud. So much written about gifted children is so serious and makes parents feel like they aren’t doing enough, schools aren’t doing enough to enrich them. I needed this laugh. And you’re right, my gifted child IS weird. She is cut from a way different cloth and it’s a daily exercise to try to understand her. She’s such an odd little duck.

    1. Jen

      Gifted kids are just the best. I love their minds and quirky views on life. I can just never teach them. LOL!

  8. Gail Post, Ph.D.

    It seems like the smarter they are, the weirder they are! Gifted kids are not “normal.” One of the challenges all of us parents have to face is to accept, appreciate and eventually enjoy their weirdness. Great article.


    1. Jen

      It’s so hard not being normal. Most of the time I have a pretty good handle on our not-so-normal lives, and then I go on a WHY CAN’T WE BE NORMAL FOR JUST A LITTLE WHILE bender. 🙁 But then we wouldn’t be weird and awesome and probably not as fun.

  9. catchphrase

    Splendid illustration mate

  10. Beth

    Great article! I recently heard something akin to “The only thing I hate about getting older is the responsibilities” from my 16 yr old son.
    Giftedness is one of the gifts that keep on giving. I’ve discovered there’s a unique kind of fun that gifted kids and adults share – it’s enlightening & entertaining. It definitely makes for fun & crazy times.

    1. Jen

      I laughed so hard when he said that. I laughed even harder when he was complaining about herding kids when he was a camp counselor and that his counselors in training were hyper and not paying attention. About peed myself with that one.

  11. Charades

    Great post, I like reading yours.

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