Sunday, October 2, 2011

Overachiever vs. Underachiever Moms

We had a visit from a family member recently who lives up in Northern California - we'll call her Betty the Brains.  Betty has a daughter the same age as ours and an older son.  She comes from a long time of achievers and brainiacs.  (Me - not so much.  Brain dead more like it.)

Betty came over around dinner time and began showing the l'il Chicken Hawk baby sign language.  "Have you taught him signs yet?"  Well, yes, I've shown him some basics and I also make some up as I go along.  But Betty started to teach him full-on sign language sentences.  Okay, cool - overkill for a 9 month old.

Then the youngest chickadee told Betty casually that she likes to speak Spanish.  So, Betty proceeded to teach rapid-fire Spanish sentences to my daughter and expecting her to repeat them.  By then, my daughter had lost interest and had moved on to something else. 

During dinner we also learned that her 6 year old daughter had had a Harry Potter themed birthday party.  As a frequent guest to little girls' birthday parties, I can honestly say this is not the typical girl themed birthday party.  None of the little girls we know have even heard of Harry Potter.  But Betty's daughter could read Harry Potter books when she was in kindergarten.  Wow! Our oldest daughter just learned to read See Dick Run books - Level 1.  We haven't evolved from the Disney-themed, G Rated birthday parties yet.

Betty's son is now in the debate club in 4th grade.  Interesting - wouldn't have been my kids' or anyone in my family's choice of activity.  I don't think I've ever even known anyone who has been in debate. We choose to debate for fun at home!

In addition to attending a nice private school and being tutored by their extremely smart, domestically-inclined, crafty mom who also works full time as a lawyer, they have a wide range of activities they participate in that will mold them to be super-humans with sharp minds and bodies - including martial arts.  My children will likely be more socially adept and will know how to entertain the crowds with their parlor tricks and gross humor.  I have to leave a legacy folks! 

Play Time with the Underachievers!
I prefer not to over-schedule and overstimulate my chickadees with too many activities.  I also don't want to spend a lot of my time and money on 'frivolous' things.  They are still too young to be dumping money into things until they've expressed an interest in seriously pursuing something.  I also think that allowing them to develop a love of learning and the process of exploring through play is best at this age.  Which means a lot of dabbling in creative and intellectual subjects and sports classes.  

I could learn a lot from Betty and some of her mom skills.  But I am pretty sure I have my own skills to be proud of.  For example, my chickadees fold their own laundry and put it away.  Booyah! That's way better than reading Harry Potter books!

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