I think my kids are awesome, just the way they are. I also, at least in theory, believe in giving kids space to develop in their own way and time.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not prone to bouts of insecurity when I see other kids doing things that mine can’t.
The Wunderkind who knows all his letters at age 2. The one who potty trained before yours. He’s in Kindermusik; she’s in ballet; he’s learning French; she can tie her shoes.
It’s really hard sometimes to remember that all those kids in the nursery room are not contestants in a race with only a few ribbons to be rewarded at the end. Instead, they all end up in Kindergarten, where everyone does fine, even the ones who can’t speak French. A few years later, they’re all in second grade, where everyone is doing fine, even the ones who needed Mom to help them take a bath a little after Baby Center said they could do it independently. A few years later…well, you get the point.
Maybe all this is super important if you live in one of those places where going to an Ivy League college depends on what preschool you get into, or you have some connections to get your kid on Ellen if he can learn his states and capitals early enough.
But for most of us in the normal world, all that stuff just really doesn’t matter.
It reminds me of driving through town, when the jerk passes you on the shoulder because he wants to go 55 and you are driving the safe and legal speed of 40. But there’s a red light ahead and guess what? There you are, side by side again.
It’s awesome when your kids do something brilliant. Some moms have passions that they’re just chomping at the bit to share with their kids. Some parents start “homeschool preschool” at an early age just because the structure helps them (or their kids) keep from going crazy.
But I constantly have to remind myself that all that “advanced” stuff is just gravy, and that I don’t need to sit my kids down in front of Little Pim just because some other kid at church is becoming bilingual at age 3. My kid is not going to go to remedial scissor class just because I didn’t print off those practice sheets that I saw on Pinterest.
Kids will be kids. We’ll see you at the next red light.