Posted by: mountainmomma18 | July 21, 2009

The post in which I am a snotty bitch.

So when I was pregnant with the bug I signed up for these email things that came every week outlining what was going on in my uterus that week, you know one week the bug grew some lungs, the next the flippers turned into arms. I remember actually getting excited when the animated blob actually started looking like a real baby. Of course I also learned to ignore the section that let you know everything that could go wrong that week and the giant list of things I couldn’t do. On a side note I just have to say that I was always quite annoyed with that whole what you can’t do list not because I was jonsing for tequila shots, but because I was usually insulted that the list assumed I was an idiot. I mean do you really need to tell pregnant women not to do illicit drugs and stay away from radiation and absinthe? It’s the same mad on I get every time I see the words “Caution, contents may be hot” on the lid of my coffee, or “do not put over head” on plastic bags. Look if you are a functioning adult who thinks it’s a good idea to put a plastic bag on your head and you kill yourself accidentally doing so, well that is just keeping the gene pool clear of some massive stupidity. I’m just saying. Anyway, I still got these emails after the bug was born, first weekly, now monthly letting me know what she should be doing this week ect. I have gotten to the point where I mostly ignore them because really do parents need to obsess that their kid is ahead or behind the curve? But occasionally when I am bored to cleaning out my email I will skim the monthly emails and am I glad I did this week. At the bottom of the emails there are usually links for more topics/questions and this week one of the links was to an article entitled “Is your toddler gifted.” I laughed my ass off for a good 20 minutes and then randomly through the day just started cracking up, especially since the bug’s new thing is to put her Nemo sand bucket on her head and try to walk around; yep right there I can tell she is gifted. I mean really have we reached the point where we as parents are so freakin’ competitive that we are delusional enough to believe that we can see if a toddle is gifted? Now I am sure someone out there is going to say, hey sure they can, they gave my kid some test – we can tell, we should nurture this gift. I partially agree, yes if a child is truly gifted in some areas that gift should be nurtured, of course all children’s gifts should be nurtured. Look I vaguely remember walking down some long hall for a test with an annoyingly sweet lady (yeah even as a child I was kind of annoyed with super sweet people, still am, sorry) to play games I thought were stupid to try to gauge my intelligence. Of course I had no idea at the time what this was all for, and it was not until I was much older that my parents discussed their decisions with me. Of course back in 1980 they didn’t call people “gifted”, and thank god because that buzz word needs to die, but they did want me to skip a grade, my parents vetoed the idea because I was already younger than the majority of my classmates and because I already had a tendency to be a perfectionist and a control freak, they thought my social skills would suffer. Of course they were probably right and I developed very well socially while my parents encouraged my interests at home. Now I am not blathering on to brag but to make a point and that is there is something important that my parents recognized, the need to a kid to be a kid. I worry about what I see regularly because even the activities that are ostensibly for the kids are riddled with competition and one upmanship. The bug had fun at kindermusic this summer, but really it just seemed like a place for parents to show off and scope out what other kids are able to do, and this is the newborn to 18 month old class. I can just imagine what it’s going to be like in a few years. I am not worried about the bug, the husband and I have discussed what we will do to nurture and encourage her talents. Not to sound like an snotty bitch but genetically and logically the bug will have an academic advantage, both of her parents as PhD’s, trained teachers who will be able to help her with her studies in ways that parents who are not educators cannot, of course this does not mean parents who are not educators do not do well helping their kids academically, but I have resources a lot of other people do not including a tutor in every subject and the run of a university library. But when we make decisions regarding the bug we will do so with her in mind, not with my hopes and dreams in mind, not to compete or project some image of myself or her. And let’s face it all of this blah-ing could be for naught, the bug could grow up with no discernable talent in anything, which actually would be fine with me because a beautiful mind is great, but not if you walk in front of a bus because while you know a lot about books you tend not to pay attention to what’s going on around you all the time (and I say that the bus was really far away still, the husband disagrees). But I know that that competitiveness will be hard to ignore as kindermusic turns into something else. I just hope that I can be strong and not shove someone else in front of the bus. And I hope that I do not let that competitiveness supersede the bugs need to be a kid and learn with enjoyment, not untenable pressure.

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Responses

  1. I know what you mean. My oldest skipped a grade at school when he was three (he was really bored), and I still compare him to other kids all the time. I think it’s just natural, especially if you’re an academic (which I was as well for a while).

  2. I’m not a fan of competition either. The school system wanted me to skip a grade, but that would have put me in the same class as my sister (who already had competitive issues with me) and my parents decided against it. I will encourage my daughter to try everything and support her in the things she decides she wants to pursue. I’ll even push her a little bit, if it seems necessary. But her success will be hers, not mine.


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