YouTube Sensation Proves It: Toddlers Memorize Things!

A toddler talks wine and love on YouTube, which gets played for many laughs and even lands his family a spot on ABC News, but is Samuel Chelpka just the latest toddler sensation being exploited?

The little 3-year-old recites great works of poetry from memory. The Chelpkas have recorded their son reading two Billy Collins poems as well as Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Eagle," all in the same adorable cadence.

Of course, adorable YouTube videos are always kind of a double-edged sword. Are the parents just caught in a cute moment or are they shoving their baby into the spotlight for their own glory?

In this case, there is no question of abuse. Three-year-old Samuel is merely reciting famous poetry, like Billy Collins' poem "Litany":


You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

All toddlers his age memorize things. The other day, I was shocked as my daughter recited almost the entire movie Coraline, word-for-word as she watched. She has only seen it a handful of times in her life.

It's a great time for memorizing poetry and certainly his parents aren't shoving very adult lyrics in his face and forcing him to read them for laughs. The poems are appropriate and pretty adorable. But I still can't figure out why we're supposed to be impressed by a 3-year-old who memorizes.

Am I missing something?


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