Yet Another Irritating Tale of Progeny Precociousness

For Athena’s birthday, my friend Regan sent along a big ol’ plush white tiger, which my daughter, in her way, insisted on calling “White Striped Kitty,” with “striped” pronounced “Stripe-ED,” just like one of your snootier class of Shakespearian actor might. However, that is not the bit of random precociousness I came to share with you today. No, that came a couple of days later, as Athena was about to walk down the stairs with the stuffed cat. She looked over to me and said, “White Striped Kitty is both male and female. It’s a sport.”

Which of course made me stop. “As in genetic sport?” I asked.

“Uh-huh,” she said and then went off down the stairs.

Now, I’ve taught my daughter a number of things, but I guarantee you that the definition of the word “sport” meaning “An organism that shows a marked change from the normal type or parent stock, typically as a result of mutation,” is not one of them. I was saving that until she was six. So I kind of goggled for a few moments.

Now, I don’t want to go on record and state that in fact she knows what a genetic sport is (or more accurately, that she did know what a genetic sport was prior to she and I talking about it in slightly more detail since, as we have done). But it is nice to know that every once in a while she can come out of left field and whack me aside the head with something that she says — and have it not be of the “Daddy, you’ll never guess where I hid the cat” variety.

Thank you. That is all.

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