Discovering Me

Me on having babies, losing babies, trying to have babies and hoping to bring this one home.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Beware...Mommy rant.

Why do I do this to myself?

Gracie starts pre-school in the fall and I am very excited. It's a great school and a really great opportunity for her to learn, make friends and generally have experiences and an education that her dad and I never had. I'm so excited for her.

But...There is some disagreement between my friends (read: other moms I know) about what our three year olds should be doing at this point in their lives. Gracie has swimming lessons twice a week. She loves, loves, loves them. She's such a little fish. Since we have a pool, my biggest concern was safety, so I wanted her to learn early. I loved at the beach at her age and was in the ocean at 6 weeks, it's part of my culture. She also has an art class once a week. I'm cool with just that. The classes are through the rec center and are very in expensive, they teach what I think she should learn at this point and I'm good with that. She stays with a friend of mine during the day while I work. She gets to go hang out with the same playgroup once a week that I used to take her to when I worked from home, so she gets a little socialization there. It's all good. I'm cool. Oh, and she's about to join a 3-4 year-old T-Ball league because I want her to have the experience with team sports that I never had. Well, that and I think it will be really cute seeing a bunch of 3-4 year-olds trying to play T-Ball.

She speaks very clearly for her age. She uses whole sentences and uses (mostly) correct grammar and context. You can totally understand every word. She knows the words to any kids' song you can come up with, she has memorized parts of all of her favorite movies and can tell you what they are all about and what's going to happen. She knows her ABC's and can recognize most of the letters. She can count to 15 pretty consistently. I'm so proud of her.

So why do I keep comparing her to other kids? Why do I keep comparing what I have planned for her with what other parents are doing? It makes me feel stupid when I get irritated at my friend for putting her 3 year-old in horseback riding. Why? Because what the hell is a 3 year-old going to get out of it besides the opportunity to ride in a walking circle on a horse for a half an hour? Seems pointless to me to do something like that until a kid can really learn what it's like and what it means to have a horse. It's not about just riding. It's about feeding them and mucking stalls and exercising them and just generally caring for an animal that requires so much work.

I get irritated when I hear moms talk about not putting their kid in pre-school in the fall because they are going to put them in a kindergarten that they know will not challenge them academically so they don't wan t their kid getting too far ahead and be burned out too early. Seriously? Do people not value academics anymore? It makes me insane. I know you don't have to put your kid in pre-school. I know that. But don't tell me you're not doing it and then offer up such a completely lame reason.

And then...I wonder if I'm doing it wrong. I am making choices for my daughter that will affect her whole life. What if I make bad choices? Why am I so judgmental about what other moms are doing? I try not to be judgmental, I really do. But, I still catch myself getting irritated when I think someone is being dumb.

God help me.

8 Comments:

  • At 4:20 PM , Blogger Isabel said...

    You just have to do what's best for your family.

     
  • At 5:17 PM , Blogger kate said...

    Huh? I did not even *understand* the argument there -- they are not putting them in preschool because they don't want a 'challenging' kindergarten? Maybe i burnt myself out by too much eddication?! Why not just send them to Waldorf then (let the flames begin LOL)

    Seriously, it is hard not to question our own choices when our society is so child-obsessed, family-obsessed, perfection-obsessed. As mothers, also, we worry because we want the best for our children. But also i can't help thinking that horseback riding for 3 year olds is mostly about showing off to the neighbors...

    I find i am much more laid-back with Chloe's education and development than i was with Alexander's. I remember being extremely concerned with how many words he was saying and when he was hitting this milestone and that one, and what were the other kids doing and etc etc. I don't think it is because she is my second living child -- i think it is because there is so much space between them. I look at Alexander at 13 and truly know that it does not make a difference now whether he spoke clearly at 2 1/2 or not...

     
  • At 6:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Being a teacher, and an avid horse back rider, I have just one quick comment.

    Horseback riding does wonders for coordination. It is often used as a tool to help the impaired get back on their feet and work muscles that they are perhaps not capable of working at a gym. It also teaches respect for animals at a young age, and helps boost self-esteem.


    I love reading your blog!

     
  • At 11:31 PM , Blogger Jill said...

    Hmmm, interesting. May I share my experience and thoughts here? Well I'm going to anyway;)

    I had my daughter in a Waldorf *inspired* daycare(not completely nuts!) for the years she turned 3 and 4. Then, because they are a little too much about sticks and leaves for me to be entirely comfortable (but I love their education through role modelling belief)I moved her to a state run preschool for the year she turned 5.

    According to the bazillion eductors I earbashed on the way to my decisions, children who are bored through being over accomplished academically cause as many problems as the kids with learning difficulties.

    So I made sure she was moderately educated in an academic sense but mostly that she was socialised and got to explore all sorts of different aspects of her personality, from sports to arts.

    It seems she is very well prepared for school and is doing well. Her lack of organised activities hasn't hampered her at all and the few she has had don't seem to have made that much difference.

    In the end, they will earn what they are ready to learn. If it is too early for them (talking about little kids here) then they just won't learn it and we as parents will worry. And then one day they'll just get it. Conversely, if they are ready, they will figure it out no matter what.

     
  • At 5:14 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

    My opinion (as a mother to no living children- ha!) is that what you are doing makes perfect sense. What you are talking about sounds normal to me... i guess its similar to what i imagine doing with our child/ren.

    I love the idea of a 3-4 yo T-ball team. I didn't start until i was 7 (and then played until i was 16)... I can't imagine the fun it would be to watch such little ones playing tball. And the thought of the trials of a coach at that age level make me giggle.

    We had a 6 year old on our team who did cartwheels to first base one time. And was often found watching bugs in the grass in the outfield. So cute!

     
  • At 6:17 AM , Anonymous rach said...

    Nothing I hate more than pretentious moms who won't let their kids just be "kids". As a former teacher I saw the damage firsthand of kids growing up too fast; not allowed to go out in the backyard and play for hours.

    You're doing the right thing. Don't let it get to you.

    Early opportunities has no impact on intelligence, whatsoever. Let her be a kid. There's enough time in life to be bogged down by schedules and so many planned activities.

     
  • At 8:12 AM , Blogger KB said...

    I've said it many, many times to many, many parents. Kids learn best through play. Let them have fun and let them be kids!

     
  • At 7:25 AM , Blogger 日月神教-任我行 said...

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home