parenting smart kids

Crappy Papa and I often joke about how hard it is parenting smart kids. 

And we don't want to sound like those parents who say, "Oh goodness, my child is such a unique snowflake genius he will need to be in a special gifted program designed just for him." Because those parents are annoying.

But still, our kids? Smart.

Here is a conversation I overheard between Crappy Boy & Crappy Papa. 

Crappy Boy was getting dressed but his pants were inside out. He asked for help with the pants.

So Crappy Papa shows him how to turn the pants right-side out…






That moment when you realize you underestimated your kid and he is several steps ahead of you?

Yep. All the time.  


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116 Responses to parenting smart kids

  1. Elise says:

    Sounds like he is ready for a career in management consulting.

  2. Kayla says:

    LOL oh my goodness. So true. ๐Ÿ™‚ Outwitted again.

  3. Diane Sheets says:

    HAHA! I love this and it’s so true. I have to admit, I have been known to turn the pants inside out again and hand them back to the child, “good, now you try” ;0)

  4. K says:

    Aha, genius!

  5. elaine says:

    hahaha too funny!
    my daughter is just blunt up front. ‘i don’t want to…you do it” like ummm, you get the cup bossy 3 year old! it’s sitting right next to you! “can’t. you do it”

  6. kilburina says:

    He is a unique snowflake genius! I love him.

  7. Amanda says:

    That is too cute! I am already enjoying things like this from my 16 month old. Oh, what I have to look forward to.

  8. Karena says:

    So. Freaking. True.

  9. mamma mia says:

    hahahaha! brilliant! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Anita says:

    You are so funny ! I love your blog.

  11. Kim S. says:

    Haha, my 3 year old son says the same thing.

  12. Lisa Meehan says:

    Ohmygosh. Your boy reminds me of mine. LOL You crack me up!

  13. Laura says:

    BAH hahahah! Ohhh that’s clever!

  14. HAA HAA! SUCKER! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Nicole says:

    It’s even better when they convince the babysitter to sit on the floor of the bathroom, while they sit on her to throw up….

  16. Pamela says:

    Future world owner.

  17. Liz says:

    My 2-year-old gets mad if we do things for him LOL when does the “no, you do it” stage start?

  18. Meghan says:

    My husband’s grandmother always says the dumb ones are easier. I think she may be on to something.

  19. Brandy P says:

    Somewhere around 3 or 4 and on until they have their own kids and sometimes even past that depending on the kid ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. melinda says:

    Yes, my 3 yo son has NO trouble getting his socks off in the living room randomly, but when it’s time for bath, I’ll be darned if he is capable of getting them off, he puts his foot in the air back and forth between hubby and I saying ‘I can’t DOOOO it, you do it’! Funny how they conveniently forget they can do something when a parent is around! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. says:

    Oh come on. I love your stuff, but laziness does not make him smart….just smarter than you and your husband.

  22. My 3 yr old would cry and act like he couldn’t put on his shoes… until one day when we asked him if he wanted to go see his cousin. He had those shoes on so fast it was amazing! Smart kid out smarted! =D

  23. Mary McVeigh says:

    Excellent! That’s one smart kiddo. Born for management training – he already knows what to “delegate”.

  24. Pix says:

    Reminds me of a quote from The Big Bang Theory.

    Sheldon’s mom says “The Lord never gives us more than we can handle. Thankfully he blessed me with two other children who are dumb as soup.”

    Always makes me snort. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. KC says:

    Hilarious! I really love how just the simple change in size of crappy papa’s mouth in the last two pictures makes him go from happy to totally dumbfounded!

  26. Mattymom says:

    Which is exactly the point of the post!

  27. Sue says:

    To explain how awesome your blog is: I am using the last 5 minutes of my son’s nap to read it. There are certain priorities, you know! one is keeping myself sane.

  28. Letitia says:

    Smart boy!!

    And I couldn’t agree more, about the “smart snowflake” parents–annoying!!!!

  29. Nikita says:

    My kid does that. He’s 2. He points at an object he wants:

    Kid: “Soother/milk/car Mummy?”
    Mummy: “It is right there, you can reach it.”
    Kid (smiling): “Mummy do.”

  30. Liz says:

    So true. I hate when I try to explain something and my daughter says actually it;s this way. Well if you knew the answer why did you ask?

  31. Fantastic – we had something similar with my eldest daughter at around the same age. We asked her what she could use to help her turn the light on (hoping for an answer like a step or a chair) and she said “Mummy!”

    Small children are great ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Emily says:

    My 6 tries the you do it line with his home work.

  33. Kristine says:

    It is so nice to know that I am not alone, both in having a wickedly smart child and in being duped by her. I literally have to walk out of the room in order for her to dress herself. Thank god she is a terrible liar or else I would be in big trouble.

  34. willow says:

    When my 4yo had just turned 3 he convinced my sister inlaw to wipe his butt, then laughed at her after when we told her he could do it himself…

  35. willow says:

    Ah! My kid does this ALL THE TIME! Drives me nuts! Good thing he’s cute…

  36. Annie says:

    My son’s response is always, “No daddy, not you, I want mommy to do it.” So even though daddy is sitting right next to bear/cup/crayon, mommy has to walk across the room to get it. Because it’s better that way, I guess.

  37. Lynn says:

    Funny, I’ve always entertained the idea those who label their children as gifted are a bit insecure and somehow have to prove something through their children – a trophy child in a sense. It’s quite sad really because the children are quite typical really and the parents are usually spending all kinds of money for extracurricular activities for the “gifted” – when really, the people taking their money know the child is an average child. When you truly know your child has a gift, I feel it should be approached in a humble manner and encouraged only to the extent that the talent leadeth the child. It’s so much more beautiful to see a healthy well rounded child who embraces their gift than a child who is so overwhelmed with the pressures of being a super kid and ends up unbalanced in every other area of their life. So yes, those kind of parents – beyond ANNOYING.

  38. Rae says:

    Same here. My 3 year old refuses to let his dad do anything, including changing his diaper, putting him to sleep, getting him his sippy cup, etc. It drives us both crazy.

  39. Denise says:

    As soon as they master whatever “it” is! My daughter is nine and she went through a “do it for me for old time’s sake” phase. Not gonna happen! Lol!

  40. Pamela Susan says:

    ha ha!! love it. what a SMARTY PANTS!! hee hee

  41. Cynthia says:

    This is still my 10 year old. She waits until it is too late for any other choice and I have to help her or we will be late.

  42. Misti says:

    Are you sure you are not raising my kids?!? They sound exactly the same!

  43. shanny says:

    i agree, i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again: the last frame is so expressive! you are a true artiste! lol

  44. shanny says:

    ooh that’s harsh HAHHAAHAH

  45. Heather says:

    My 3 yo does the SAME thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Dana Lee says:

    Call me annoying but my kids are super gifted and talented and that thrills me! I believe every kid is gifted in one way or another despite mental handicaps or learning disabilities or giftedness (which is considered a learning disability).

  47. Stephanie says:

    What IS it about 3? These sound exactly like my 3-yr old. Wildly independent AND incredibly needy at any given moment. And I’m supposed to know which one she is at that moment.

  48. Stephanie says:

    This makes my husband feel so unloved.

  49. Anna says:

    And don’t we all love to be waited on hand and foot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Jennifer says:

    This reminds me of my husband more than my daughter, haha! Hilarious!

  51. Joanne says:

    LOL My 10yo is realizing that I’m no longer taking that approach when it comes to sandwich-making. It’s like her life is over.

  52. My son once offered me a $1 to just do his homework for him one night when he was in Kindergarten. LOL

  53. Ashley says:

    Reminds me of the story my mother just loves to tell about me. In kindergarten I was in trouble for hitting a boy with my lunch box. I, of course, claimed that I didn’t. When mom got upset about me lying I told her I wasn’t. The teacher cut in saying she saw me hit him with my lunch box. I responded “No! I didn’t hit him with MY lunch box, I hit him with HIS!” A small technicality… but darn it, that argument would have won in a court of law. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  54. Jeannette says:

    Today when I suggested that my 3yo help tidy up his room, his suggestion was that he play an awesome song on his kazoo to accompany my tidying up efforts. ๐Ÿ˜›

  55. DJ says:

    My kids outsmart me every day. Once we were at the Tractor Supply Store with our then 2-year-old. She was walking around the store asking “What’s that?” to everything. It was hard to explain some of the things because we didn’t even know what they were, tractor parts, etc. She walked up to something extrememly obscure and said, “I know what this is!” very proudly. My husband and I looked at each other like, “yeah, uh huh” and asked her what it was. She looked right at us with all the confidence in the world and said, “A box.”

  56. Mel G says:

    L.M.A.O! You have such witty children ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Kristin says:

    My girls teacher pulled me aside the other day to tell me my daughter wasn’t listening. When they asked her to clean up, she ran away and then got the other kids to go clean up for her. I know it’s wrong, but in the back of my head I was thinking “So? She got the job done, didn’t she? She just delegates! She’s management material!”

  58. Elise Davis says:

    Dang kids are so clever. I laughed out loud.

  59. Misty says:

    LMAO!!! Sounds like something my little smart-ass would do!!

  60. corey says:

    or as an economist lol

  61. Shaillie says:

    Agree, the smarter the kids, the more challenging they are! I will take my challenging kids (and interesting and full of personality) over the non-challenging (dull) kids anyday!

  62. Kim says:

    So true! My 2yr old, soon to be 3, does a similar “you do it, I caaaaaaan’t” with his car seat. I have started getting out of the car, shut the door, and wait for him to buckle up. At least that way I don’t have to hear the whining! Turns out it takes him about 30 seconds.

  63. Mar says:

    We are visiting at a friends house when we put our 2 year old down in a pack and play for the night. After 20 minutes, we hear her jumping and playing. My husband goes into the room and returns after a minute looking defeated. I can hear my daughter still jumping and look at him puzzled. He answers, “I was just bested by a two year old. I told her it was time to sleep and she retorted, ‘It’s called a Pack and Play Daddy, not a Pack and Sleep!'”

  64. Serena says:

    My 3yo always says that too and it hurts his daddy’s feelings ๐Ÿ™

  65. Tessa says:

    LOL! Just you wait. I taught my friends daughter and my daughter to tie their shoes when they were 4. Both of them said, “I can’t do it!” To which I replied every time, “Yes you can.” I would show them how and make them sit there and try. They got it and was proud that they did it.
    When the time came to teach my son, who is 26 months younger than his sister it was a different story. I did the same thing with him. When he would say I can’t I would say yes you can and walk off thinking that he would be finishing up when I came back. HA the jokes on me! When I come back in I see his sister doing it for him. He was 6 before he would tie his own shoe. BIG loss for me. BIG win for him.

  66. Leslie says:

    Me to my daughter, age 5: “Don’t leave your socks on the floor. Who do you think will pick them up, the sock fairy?”

    Her: “Apparently, Mom, YOU’RE the sock fairy.”

  67. Xena Horvath says:

    Awesome! My daughter is not even 23 months, she does this with walking. LOL! Even though she knows how to walk up and down the stairs, sometimes she throws a fit till I pick her up and do it for her. ๐Ÿ˜€

  68. Rach says:


  69. Good stuff! I peek into DD’s classroom all the time. Funny what she can do at school but not at home. Too bad for her I work were she goes to school so I know what’s up!

  70. Lanie says:

    The most important “smart” is about being smart to remember about being thoughtful, cheerful and respectful. I’m afraid we were so proud of our very “smart/intelligent” children (now grown) that we gave them a “bye” on those traits. Kind of wish we had been “smarter” parents.

  71. Rosemary S says:

    Haha…me too! I have done this with a lot of socks though…somehow there is a life lesson in it. ? ;/

  72. Rosemary S says:

    I think MY mother knows your husband’s grandmother!

  73. Kara says:

    My husband and I often wonder if it would be easier to have children who were a bit…um..more dim. Smart children ARE harder!

  74. Robonanny says:

    I love smart kids, they keep you on your toes… Mind you, it’s not always convenient when they come up with the latest wisdom!

    I look at it as a chance to up my game. I went on a school trip with 5+6 year olds on Wednesday: one of the kids started telling the entire class of 30 that Santa isn’t real and that presents come from parents, ditto the Tooth Fairy. Cue much dismay. The parent helpers and teacher all looked at one another as if to say “Uh-oh, how do we deal with this one?”

    I told him Santa still brings me stuff and it _can’t_ be my parents as they live literally on the other side of the world (I’m in the UK, they’re in New Zealand) and they wouldn’t fly all the way over here to drop off presents then fly back to NZ without stopping off to say hello.

    I added that Santa comes to people who believe in him, and that people’s beliefs are important and must be respected – that he can believe what he likes, but the other kids in the class can believe something else and it will make them sad if he persists in insisting Santa’s not real.

  75. Nikki says:

    That’s about right… lol. My 3 yr old the other day was whining and throwing a fit and in the whiniest voice possible asked for some pudding. So I, remembering some child psychology article i had read tried to use reason and logic with him. I said in my whiniest voice possible, “no pudding before dinner, meeeehhhhhhh.” He looked at me questioningly and giggled a little. I knelt down to his level, put my hand on his shoulder, lovingly looked him in the eyes and said, “see, do you like it when I whine and throw a fit while i speak to you??” He put his hand on my shoulder, looked me square in the eyes and said, “actually, i like it when i have some pudding….” <-- also smart. LOL

  76. paco says:

    hes just repeating what some kid said in school

  77. Lisacng says:

    hehe. smart indeed!

  78. Julia says:

    Oh! No email. You don’t get it! I hope your kids are smarter than you.

  79. Robyn says:

    We’ve were teaching my son (3) how to wipe his butt. He really didn’t want to and would ask others to do it. Here at home, he gets told “You do it!” and we leave him in the bathroom until he does. We were over at my mom’s house for a family get-together. When he finished in the bathroom, he kept asking me to wipe his butt and I refused. So, he asked his COUSIN, who is only a month older than him, to do it. His cousin goes, “Sure, Wogan!” and wiped his butt for him!

  80. Robyn says:

    I was “gifted” with a 163 IQ. I kept being put in special classes to “challenge” me (which caused me to fall behind in regular classes, but that’s a whole other gripe). Having a 12+ grade reading level in 6th grade. I could communicate with adults better than my peers, so I didn’t have friends.

    I look at my son, and I see so many of my own qualities in him. He comes out with words that you wouldn’t expect to hear from a 3 year old to begin with. You can tell that he’s not just repeating these words, either, because he uses them in proper context. He went through a phase at 2 years old where his favorite thing in the world was puzzles. We would go to and make our own puzzles for him because he would get bored with the ones we had in the house. He would point to the pieces and tell me where they go and I’d move the pieces into place and we would put together 50+ piece puzzles.

    Do I want my son to be smart? Yes. Do I love that EVERYONE who comes into contact with him tells me how incredibly smart he is? Yes. I can only hope that he is able to manage his gift better than I was and that it brings him more happiness than I found growing up.

  81. SMART says:

    Smart little guy!! How old is he??!

  82. need coffee now says:

    Thank you for keeping the magic alive.

    Thank you.

    God Bless you.

  83. need coffee now says:

    yes…..and what I notice is that they are not high in all areas(with my own children)—-if they are high academically –they may be emotionally younger, for example. Everything balances out. But, smart children are harder to parent-thats for sure.

  84. need coffee now says:


    I COMPLETELY love this! I would journal this to tell her when shes older…!!

  85. need coffee now says:

    Have him *some*(not too many) extracurricular activities,,and make sure to find the right school for him…..and if hes in one(later on) and its not the right one–pull him out and put him in the right one…..and if there is not a right one that fits him, find other alternatives……homeschool,charter school, partially tutored with LOTS of interaction with peers……..

    Put him in parent participation classes with you now……have him do playdates(MOST IMPT)….and you find those playdates through tumbling classes, parent participation classes, etc…….good luck! You can do it!
    Since hes so academically advanced, you need to make sure the social needs are met and exceeded. You can do it mama! Someone should have done it better for you…..

  86. need coffee now says:

    Love it! Time for Mommy=so important!(:

  87. Trisha W. says:

    I often say that my daughter will be management material. She has a way of getting others to do her bidding and you don’t even realize it until she advises you of how she’s come to trick you in to things. Oh, and she’s bossy as all get out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah…for the love of kids.

  88. need coffee now says:

    LOVE IT! kids are too cute!

  89. need coffee now says:

    sorry-the writing was not that great at the beginning there-I do need my coffee now…time to go get it! This blog is great though! LOVE the pictures!

  90. Heidi S. says:

    I once winessed a conversation between a 3 year old and a 45 year old man. The 3 year old girl was one of thosekids who is able to hold her own in an adult conversation. So she was telling this guy (my father in law) about this show she was watching with a robot. And the robot had only one arm. To which my father in law replied “why did the robot only have one arm?” and the little girl, dead pan look said “because he didn’t gave two.”. Of course. Of course.

  91. hope says:

    Just another reader scrolling down to comment that you made me laugh! Kids are the best. and the worst!

  92. Fenny says:

    Yeah, one of my 18 year old apprentices said something similar to his boss the other day. I spend 2.5 hours with the pair of them trying to sort it out!!!

  93. Kate says:

    Yeah…my crappy husband says the same thing to me. It’s like I have 3 kids. No, YOU do it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  94. Lara says:

    Both of my boys tried to put trash in my hand today, when they were standing next to the trash can. What’s up with these kids? They’re lucky they’re cute!

  95. Hah, absolutely. Who doesn’t want to be babied the rest of their lives? Kids understand it all.

  96. Ruby says:

    LOL love that show!

  97. teachermommy3x says:

    That is my favorite line. Unfortunately all three of mine are as smart as Crappy Boy. It’s exhausting.

  98. Greta says:

    Awesome, didn’t see that coming! You are hilarious…in case you hadn’t picked up on that yet ;).

  99. Cheryl D. says:

    Yeah, I’m one of those annoying parents who feel no gifted program is good enough for her girl! But I base this on the fact that she’s always two steps ahead of me too!


  100. KalleyC says:

    Absolutely funny! Yup, I think he’s ready to take over the world.

  101. CJ says:

    When my oldest daughter (now 6) was 3, we’d sing the ever-irritating “Clean-up” song while we picked up her toys. You know the one… “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.” She’d walk around singing with me- making herself look busy. One of these clean-up sessions I actually heard what she was singing. “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody else.”

  102. esther says:

    i just found your blog and i am instantly smitten.
    i went back and read every single one, when i should have been making dinner (cuz naptime synced for toddler and baby for first time ever)
    thank you for being so awesome

  103. Conny Jensen says:

    You wrote: “Oh goodness, my child is such a unique snowflake genius he will need to be in a special gifted program designed just for him.” Because those parents are annoying.”

    There are parents who recognize their child needs more challenge and they may request placement at a higher level, or if the child qualifies, in a GT program. Do you consider those annoying?

  104. Conny Jensen says:

    It is no use arguing the issue of giftedness with those who do not have the understanding or compassion. I had the experience with my daughter and son, but did not understand what I was dealing with until my daughter (the oldest) was twelve and began to have problems in school.

    I became a self-taught expert and tried to advocate for her needs, and later also for other gifted kids in the school system who were failing, but sadly to no avail.

    The majority of schools and teachers do not care about the bright kids, nor does our society care about what becomes of these kids; a large percentage of whom will fail in school, drop out, or will not finish college and end up in menial jobs and often in prison too. A pretty bleak picture!

    Please peruse my “dormant” blog and this reading list. My favorite book with best advice is by Nancy Alvorado Stone, “Gifted is not a dirty word; Thoughts about being bright in an average world”. Gifted Grown-ups is a good one too, as is The Gifted Adult. Giftedness is not something you outgrow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  105. Conny Jensen says:

    If you mean that every child has a gift or talent for something…hopefully, but not every child is gifted in the sense that they have high intelligence. Those kids’ gifts or talents are qualitatively different from non-gifted kids. That is why they need individualized instruction, just like the kids who are mentally challenged.

  106. JCCyC says:

    Mine uses a more lethal approach. She makes the Puss-in-Boots sad-eyes face and says, “Aw, Dad, it tastes better when you give it to me.”

    Stinky little manipulative SOB.

  107. Amy says:

    Sometimes I’m afraid that my kids are dumb, like when we went to a Picasso exhibit and they picked out refrigerator magnets as souvenirs. One said “Everything you can imagine is real”. Gosh, that’s totally stupid, I thought to myself, but the kids wanted it. Weeks later, my 9-year-old read it and said, “Hey! That’s not true! Look at me! I’m can fly! Crash!” Yay, my kid isn’t dumb after all. Another Picasso gem in in the exhibit was printed in huge letters on the wall: “God is almost an artist”. Picasso, you idiot, God invented art. His mom must be so proud. (I do respect Picasso as an artist, just not a philosopher.)

  108. Cheap Dunk says:

    I like this blog. Really helpful and very motivational. Thanks a bunch. This will help me a lot.

  109. Hazel says:

    Yes – rings a bell. My eldest son thinks that I am his butler/PA/bum-wiper… which I am of course.

  110. Sheilla says:

    I linked this post in one of my recent blog posts… this story reminds me so much of my oldest and made me laugh! Love your blog so much!

  111. Judy Arnel says:

    Smart kid sounds blonde… seen lots of really smart ‘dumb blondes’ start their lives this way. You gotta be smart to be ‘dumb’ enough for everyone to do things for you cause your too dumb to do it yourself. Watched one kid get their parent to do all their math homework this same way. lol