My Kid Is Better Than Your Kid! Na Na Na Na Na...

Today I had to go on a field trip to a pumpkin patch with gobs of preschoolers. It was torture. Why was it torture you ask? Because the preschoolers' mothers came along as well.

At one point I sat on a tree trunk around a fire and listened to other preschooler moms chatting. They were talking about how they worry if their little Emily and Magenta (yes, there is a poor little child in this world with the name "Magenta") will be prepared for Kindergarten. Each took turns boasting about their daughter's writing abilities and spelling abilities and how articulate their children are and how they even know how to tie their shoes... but oh sweet Jesus, will it be enough to get them through the rigorous demands of Kindergarten?

I started to chuckle to myself. You see, my preschooler is the third child in a family of four kids. She may or may not know how to spell her name-I'll have to check when I am finished with this post, but I am not worried about kindergarten. Why you ask? Because it is stupid to worry about kindergarten that is why.

I remember when I just had Hope (our oldest) I was positive that she was a genius. She knew her colors, her alphabet, her shapes (even the tricky ones like a pentagon or a hexagon), her name, her address, her phone number, her parent's names, her prayers... and even what a noun in the objective case was! I occupied each and every day of our lives reading books, singing songs, and helping her along on the road to college.

When Aaron came along, I didn't have as much time and I was satisfied that he knew what his name was when he went to kindergarten. The kid still has trouble tying his shoes and he is nine.

Poor Emma has the influence of her older siblings in her upbringing and in her education at home. She may not know her ABC song, but she knows who Hannah Montana is. She may not pay attention to her shapes, but she knows how to program the DVD player. She may not even know what her address is, but she knows how to get to the park and back following the creek. She definitely does not go around singing "I'm A Little Tea Pot" but would rather belt out the words to Avril Levine's "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend."

I am sure there is no hope for Mary Claire when she gets ready for kindergarten. Hell, I don't even know if she will be able to walk by them.

My point is this. Don't be so "my kid is better than your kid" with your preschooler when they are your only child. My preschooler may not know who the hell Little Miss Muffet is, but I bet she could survive on the cold streets of DC if she had to. She has older siblings who have taught her well my friend.

Emma will do just fine next year in Kindergarten, I am willing to bet that she will do much better than Emily and Magenta. Wanna know how I know this? Because while the "Kindergarten will be so challenging" moms were going on and on about how fabulous their little girls were, I saw my Emma stop little Magenta from putting the goat poo pellets she had in her little chubby hand into her mouth explaining to her that she would get sick and die if she ate goat poo.

Emma is going to be President one day!


Stacie said...

There is definitely a huge difference in the perpsective of an "only (or first) child" mom and a mom with several kiddos. With subsequent children, we somehow learn to relax a little and figure out what's really important...like, for example, not eating goat poo. And thank God for siblings...I honestly feel sorry for kids who have no brothers or sisters to go through life with and learn all the good stuff from.

Momto5Minnies said...

Ditto on the stacie comment.

I could have said something similar, but you do it far better. I was feeling a little mommy guilt the other day when I realized that my 2 year old knows the lyrics to some Hannah Montana songs, but we may need to work on the "itsy, bitsy spider".

My first child is a genius
My second child is a celebrity chef, actress, or athlete depending on her mood
My 3rd child is an animal whisperer
My 4th child will make no money, but help the world is some (big) way with all her love and heart
My 5th child is spirited and I am pretty sure she will fight for something

ALL SMART! Each in their own way ;)

Beth said...

Great post! I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE it when I have to get together with moms I don't know who go on and on and on about their kids and how much they know. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

I only have two kids but I can see the same thing happening with them. My daughter has more "street smarts" than my son. I think her "street smarts" will probably get her farther than his "book smarts". (If a four and a half year old can even have book smarts...but you know what I mean!)

But what do I know? Most days I feel like I have "no smarts". And today I feel like I am completely overusing quotation marks.

Marva said...

Love your blog! I totally understand where you're coming from with these moms who are in competition with one another for the "Smartest Kid of the Year" award. I think my kids are of average intelligence, but I really just want them to be happy and hopefully be able to avoid therapy. Would love to meet you sometime as our husbands work together.

Cris said...

June Cleaver Disclaimer: I did not mean to pick on moms who only have one child. Some of my closest friends only have one child--after seeing my family and the chaos that is apparent, I can see why they stopped after one... fear.
If you have one child you are in no way less of a mother than me... you just have more money in your bank account.
Besides, I only have 4, there are people like the Dugars who have 16 kids. I look like a slacker compared to her. Sheesh

Cris said...

Marva, I would love to meet you,and not just because I love you name. I have to warn you, I am extremely boring in person.

Special K ~Toni said...

I loathe parents like that! I'm happy my youngest can get his own snack, therefore I don't have to get up from the computer!

Mary Poppins NOT said...

I have found through experience (read: I am getting old) that in 8 years, it is pretty much all evened out. When they are 12, the genius 4 year olds are reading just as well as the kids who didn't get it until they were 8 or 9. Only in the latter case, that child generally has lots more "life" experience and better memories (not being able to read for a while REALLY improves the memory).

I panicked when my 4th child wasn't learning to read as quickly as the others, but then relaxed when he could fix the lawn mower and build me a table.

You are SPOT ON~

Anonymous said...

Good thing you posted that disclaimer! You are definitely to blame for us only having our dear Morgan! Not because of the 'rat race', but because I know I could never be the mom you are!
Love ya.
Keep up the good writing!

Anonymous said...

One more thing...Steet smarts, book smarts...who gives a cat's meow? I know our kids will find the road to Heaven. Isn't that all that really matters? Looking forward to that one big party we'll all enjoy together some day!

Regina said...

FYI, I think the Duggar's just had #17, but who's counting?
I LOVE how you changed you post name to "ignoring dirty laundry" and comments to "also ignoring...
How'd you do that??

Dana said...

This is so true! My first child is smart as a whip, genius but has absolutely NO common sense. It goes downhill from there.

I guess this is the same concept of the pacifier. The 1st child you sterilize it if it falls on the floor. With the second child, you run water over it and by the time the third gets here, they are lucky if you wipe it off with your shirt!

Anonymous said...

Brand new to your blog. I have 8. I almost wet my pants laughing at this post. Especially the end. Thanks!!