The Perfect Baby Blog

Hot new toddler craze: Joining Mensa!

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

It was announced today that Elise Tan Roberts, a two-year-old Brit, has been accepted by Mensa, “The High-I.Q. Society,” making her the youngest friendless nerd ever. In this video, the legitimately adorable Elise Tan—or as I like to call her, E.T.—demonstrates the best way to wear a high-pony while identifying the capital of Indonesia.



E.T. boasts an 156 I.Q., spoke her first word at 5 months, and was running by age one. Despite her busy running/speaking schedule, she has found time to learn the capitals of 35 countries, familiarize herself with basic geometry, and master dinosaur classification (when a neighbor mom handed. E.T. a stuffed “rhinoceros” recently, E.T. diplomatically informed her that the cuddly toy was, in fact, a triceratops.)

British Mensa itself does not like to refer to E.T.’s age using a measurement as imprecise as years: “Previously,” it stated in a finicky press-release, “Georgia Brown had been the youngest girl joining in 2007 at the age of 1041 days, with the youngest boy being Ben Woods who joined Mensa in the 1990s aged 1035 days. As Elise was aged 845 days when joining she became British Mensa’s youngest ever member.”

Before you storm your local Mensa headquarters to casually inform them that your toddler knows 36 national capitals, you may want to consider what membership in the society really offers a gifted child, apart from a certain coveted stigma. American Mensa already has more than 1300 members; the youngest is three. These prodigies enjoy an opportunity to “fit in” with other gifted kids and are, moreover, “welcome at most Mensa events.”

If Elise Tan were passing through Tuscan, Arizona, this month, for instance, here are some of the local Mensa activities she could mostly enjoy:

May 6: Games Night at the Something Sweet Desert Lounge (5319 E. Speedway Blvd.)
May 8: “Mingling” at Mama’s Pizza (4500 E. Speedway Blvd.)
May 13: Billiards Night at Clicks Billiards, featuring $3 Jumbo Hefeweizen Drafts and the “Hot Box, a climate-controlled patio where you smoke while relaxing on the couch!”
May 15: A presentation on solar power.
May 19: Book Club at Borders Bookstore. Elise Tan could share her thoughts on Crooked House by Agatha Christie.

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What people are saying

  1. i have a five month old daughter and she is saying mummy already is this normal?

  2. Everything this baby girl is doing is very much doable by most parents if they focus well on their child.
    Either that or I haven’t recognized potential of my baby as he reads 200 words, knows few physics formulas, recognizes more than 15 varieties of flowers, knows his table of 2 etc etc (and of course that includes all basics like being able to recognize his alphabets capital and small, numbers) at age 20 months.

    Rasika Karve
  3. Our son joined Mensa Australia at 3.5yrs with an IQ of 152, which is higher than 99.9% of the population. They have been great in introducing our son to other children of a similar age and intellect as statistically they are hard to find. We took our son to a psychologist not because we thought he was gifted (though we did realize he was quite advanced compared to his friends) but rather to get advice on when to send him to school given the recent trend in Australia to hold children back (especially boys) until they are older and more mature. The psychologist tested our son and told us he was highly gifted. Whilst we have met (and now avoid) many parents who have gone crazy schooling their toddlers until they are so far advanced they don’t fit in to the school system anywhere, we have taken a different approach. Gifted children have trouble making friends as they often have trouble relating to children their own age. They are also rather sensitive, take many things to heart and analyse school yard slights whereas their peers may shrug them off in seconds. We have taken this information we now have to help our son learn how to find alternative common ground with other children so he can make friends and build relationships with others regardless of their intellect. It has helped us find the best school environment where he is with children of a similar intellect and age. It was important he not be the smartest in the class or he not be segregated into a “special class” or accelerated to a higher year level.
    He comes out with some things that leave us and our family speechless from time to time and can do sudoku puzzles faster than my Dad (a civil engineer and no slouch with number puzzles). He loves solving abstract puzzle/adventure games on the iPad and is a meticulous junior paleontologist. Mostly we want him to enjoy learning and be happy. If he is truely highly gifted as the tests predict, by giving him the best environment in which he feels safe, loved and respected I feel he will be able to be happy. That is all that I want for him as do most parents.

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