Monday, October 29, 2007

Baby Einstein

As Mama to a preschooler, I have learned that people judge your child continuously. It’s not enough to judge the accomplishments of adults, to make others feel small for their decisions about what is important in life, to convince one another that we aren’t pretty no matter what we look like.
When they are unborn babies, children are apparently judged by how pretty they make their mommies look, as if they have some control over that. As newborns, it’s all about how well they sleep. As toddlers, babies are called “so smart” and praised for how well they can walk, run, jump, etc. Next, it’s how well they can or can’t speak. I am guessing that when they get to school, the kids who don’t sleep, run, jump, or talk too much are the ones judged “smart.“ I might sound like a bitter mother whose child has been slighted by lack of some ability, but really I’m just a mom who is overly aware of what people say about my kid. Natalie has been called “very smart” most of her life. I always tell her how proud I am of her and that she is my genius, but I confess that I have spent even more time down-playing her achievements to others because of my own aversion to the competitiveness of childhood.
I'm starting to think maybe I have been overcompensating a litte too much, and that I owe her a little more limelite. So, I’m going to put her latest accomplishment right out there for all The Internets to see how proud I really am of my little smartie. Last weekend, she totally surprised us all by writing her name on the sidewalk- proof below: (photo editing by Picnik- thanks Jenny)

And wasn’t it nice of her to write in chalk so I could take a digital picture and properly display it, rather than using a sheet of paper that I would inevitably have to shove in her baby “book” (read: shoebox) with the last 18 months of stuff I haven’t gotten around to preserving yet? Smart and considerate. Who could ask for more?

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