shouldn’t let it bug
yet it eats away at you
while you ignore it
I knew this was going to happen when the wee one started school. I didn’t know when it would happen, and I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew something like it was coming.
The wee one is apparently "behind." Or something like that. According to his teacher at Mother’s Day Out he has "weak motor skills." This means he grasps a crayon with his fist instead of holding it delicately like you hold a pencil.
He’s 3 1/2.
He had a conversation with me in the car yesterday about hubris.
He double-clicks a mouse like a pro.
He can tell you every single character in every single Star Wars movie.
I know not to worry about this. I know that he is incredibly smart. But what bothers me is that, at 3 1/2, I’m supposed to be grooming him for kindergarten. It bugs me that he’s supposed to go into school already reading and writing. When I tell people that this bugs me and that I went into kindergarten not knowing how to a hold a pencil, I get tongue clicks and chastise-y sounding statements like, "It’s been a long time since then." Well, duh. But still.
I don’t like the idea of feeling that I need to tutor my kiddo so that he can write his full name with precision before he gets to school. Is there no time to be a kid anymore? Is there no time to learn things on your own? Must I force it down his throat – THIS IS THE ALPHABET, REPEAT AFTER ME. He’s going to get it when he’s ready to get it.
And, frankly, I feel judged. I feel judged as the mom who’s not doing everything she can to make sure her baby is already on a waiting list for Oxford. And I resent it. My son will be fine in school whether he writes his name at 3 1/2 or not. He may be much less fine if I make him write letters everyday instead of learning them on his own. To me, there’s a fine line before enjoying to learn becomes dreading it. I will not make my child dread learning. I want learning to be a discovery for him – light bulb moments. And, yes, I will excitedly guide him to these light bulb moments. But I will not condone rote memorization. Not now especially.
Anyway, this is obviously not an eloquent post. I just don’t want to feel bad about my kid having "weak motor skills." His motor skills are fine. It’s the education system that’s weak, when you have to prepare toddlers for the state and federally mandated assessment tests they’ll be subjected to when they go to school.