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!