From a very early age, my mother knew I'd be a handful. I was bratty at age two. Weren't we all? I was precocious by age three and a half. I've written about being able to read that early. Really. Because my mother and grandmother read to me every night, I learned to follow along, my finger tracing the letters and words. Once when my grandmother read a word differently from the way it was written, and I had the audacity to tell her she was wrong, I went from precocious to holy terror. I read everything. I learned the alphabet and the sounds of each letter. I learned to read by phonics, you know that old-school way of sounding out words which became popular again after decades of students failing to read well through sight reading. But this is not about my precocious ability to read early on. Or about phonics and the failure of modern education.
Why? Because I was bored out of my flipping skull. By first grade I was reading at a third-grade level. By third grade, I was already reading adult books and understanding them. One school wanted to jump me two grades. Thank goodness my mother refused. You see, I was already one of the youngest kids. California changed the law the year I started. Under the then-current law, a child had to be four years and six months old for kindergarten. A month after school began the new law called for four years and nine months. I would have been held back a year.
My mother didn't want me to graduate high school at fifteen, so she refused to let me skip grades. I'm glad for that. I may have been a reading wiz, but math? I still don't do numbaz.
My chin remains a barometer of my behavior. If you see my chin jut out, be afraid. Be very afraid.