Our Little Genius

By Diane Stark

“Guess what Jordan did last night?” I said to my co-worker.

He smiled slightly. “What did the most amazing eight-month-old on the planet do last night?”

I launched into a ten-minute description of the adorable thing my son had done the night before. At the end, I expected my co-worker to be as delighted as I was with my son’s precociousness.

Instead, he seemed almost irritated. “Diane, I have to tell you something, and you’re not going to like it. But I mean it in the nicest way possible.”  He paused and blurted out, “No one in this office will ever think your baby is half as fascinating as you do, and the stories you tell aren’t all that interesting to the rest of us.”

My mouth dropped open.

He shrugged. “Sorry. I meant it nicely.”

“So I’ve been annoying everyone here by talking about my baby too much?”

He nodded. “Yeah, but we were too polite to tell you. Well, until now, that is.”

“I guess I appreciate your honesty,” I said. “And I’ll definitely try to cut back on the baby stories from now on.”

And although I did try to talk less about my son after that painful and embarrassing conversation, I found it difficult to fathom that other people weren’t completely enthralled by his existence on this planet. He was all I could think about, and the fact that others weren’t even interested in his latest milestone was hard for me to imagine. He was, after all, just so fascinating.

As a Dog Mom, I often feel the same way. My Pomeranian poodle mix, Piper, is the sweetest, smartest, cutest dog on the planet, and the idea that a human being exists who wouldn’t fall in love with her is unimaginable to me.

Take the furnace repair guy who came to our house last week. I answered the door, holding Piper in my arms. (She has a habit of darting out the open front door so we can play “tag” in the yard, whether I want to or not.) I expected the repair man’s face to melt into the “Awwwww” face I make every time I see my precious pooch. But he merely walked in, put those paper booties over his shoes so he wouldn’t mess up my carpet, and got to work.

I was offended on Piper’s behalf.

Even my own husband is guilty of not properly appreciating how utterly fascinating our sweet girl is. “Honey, guess what Piper did today?” I said one evening when he got home from work.

He pretended to think for a minute. “Um, slept? Chewed on a bone? Pooped outside hopefully?”

“Yes, she did all of those things, but she also learned a new trick,” I said. “Piper gave me a high five on my foot.”

He gave me a weird look. “Piper has been giving high fives for months now.”

“I know, but today, I held up my foot and said ‘High Five,’ and she touched her paw to my foot.”

Another weird look. “I wouldn’t really consider that a new trick.”

I shrugged. “Well, guess what else she did. This is really impressive. It proves what I’ve been telling you all along about how smart she is.”

Eric sighed. “Please tell me.”

“I was upstairs folding laundry and I heard Piper in the kitchen, pushing her water bowl with her paw. You know how she pushes it against the wall so we hear the sound and know that we need to fill it for her?”

He nodded impatiently.

“Well, she was pushing her dish, but I was busy so I ignored her. She came upstairs and stared at me and then ran back to the kitchen to hit her dish again. I called out, ‘Piper, I’m busy, Honey. I’ll fill it in a minute.’”

My husband nodded again. “Because she understands everything you say to her.”

I stuck out my lip, pouting. “I counted and Piper understands 27 words. That’s a huge vocabulary for a pomapoo.”

Eric rolled his eyes. “The water dish?” He prompted.

“Yes, anyway, so when I didn’t come downstairs to fill her dish, she rang her bell to tell me she needed to go outside. I was worried that if I didn’t take her out, she’d have an accident, so I set the laundry aside and came downstairs right away. As soon as she saw me, she ran away from the door and back to her water dish. She pushed it with her paw and gave me a look that clearly said, ‘I win.’”

“So she rang the potty bell as a ploy to get you to come downstairs and fill her water dish?”

I nodded triumphantly. “It was a genius move, don’t you think?”

Eric smirked. “You’re pleased that you were outsmarted by a pomapoo?”

“An extremely intelligent pomapoo,” I corrected.

Eric rolled his eyes, but later that night, I caught him snuggling on the couch with Piper. “Who’s a smart girl?” He cooed in her ear. “You are. You’re the smartest, cutest puppy in the whole, wide world.”

As I watched my husband love on our puppy, I loved both of them a little bit more. I also realized that one of my favorite things about being married is the unique bond my husband and I share because we love the same little people the exact same amount. Eric is the only person on this planet who will ever be as fascinated with my offspring as I am. He loves our kids as much as I do, and I am so very blessed to be married to him. Plus, he will never tire of hearing stories that start with, “Guess what one of our little geniuses did today.”

Even when that Little Genius is a pomapoo named Piper.

About this writer

  • Diane Stark

    Diane Stark

    Diane Stark is a wife and mom of five. She loves to write about her family and her faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

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One Response to “Our Little Genius”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    I can completely relate, as I am constantly bragging about my great grand babies. I’ve learned to read body language. no one thinks they are as cute as i do.

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