Sunday, February 19, 2006

Must be doing something right

Wherein there seems to have been no harm teaching her to impersonate Richard Nixon and the monster from Alien when she was two

What are the expectations for a parent-teacher conference of a 4-year old? In many ways I find it a bit freaky how much kids are supposed to know at so early an age. Why in my day (picture an old man raising his cane), I didn't learn the alphabet and couldn't count anything until I started first grade. I could barely tie my own shoes.

Now, my daughter can count to, I don't know, 40 or 50? She's easily up to thirty, so she conceptually understands groups of ten (Joking around earlier and asking how many I was holding up. She doesn't even stop to count, just recognize the pattern. Then I held up 3 on one hand and 2 on the other, and her answer was 32...very interesting). Alphabet is a piece of cake and she can write her own name. She knows more Spanish than I do and has been doing sign language since before age two. The sign language is also interesting. Kids understand language before they can truly vocalize and can communicate by sign language before speaking. She floored us one morning when we realized that what we mistook for hand waving was her saying "more, please."

Seems relatively unbraindead to us, likes to try new things, and other people tell us she's polite. As my wife says, our job isn't to raise a good kid, it's to raise a good adult. I'm more likely to say, she may become a psychotic mass murderer, but at least she'll remember to say please and thank you.

Long story short - She's one of the most intelligent kids in the class - "freaky smart" was the exact description, very popular with a fun sense of humor. And most shocking to us, she's the peacekeeper. Anywhere she's at, there are no problems and everyone gets along; apparently she just explains who will do what when and it happens. Loves science and art and usually gets whatever they're doing right the first time. Teacher will often tell the others to just watch her. So she's smart, popular, well adjusted, and a bit of a teacher's pet. Not a bad start.

I suspect her best friend (best friends since 18 months old) is also freaky smart, but with a completely different personality. She's a bit darker and more of an instigator. I can see her being the one talking someone into doing something stupid and that person thinks it was their idea. Her parents told us that part of her evaluation said she'll argue with the other kids until they give up. If the two of them stay close, they will be a scary tandem in their teenage years.

This segues into another topic I should discuss in more detail another time - meeting the parents of your kid's friends. Since at this age there's still plenty of adult supervision, meeting the parents is almost like dating. Sure, our kids like each other, but how much time do we want to spend together? Is a casual meeting at the park ok, or are we ready for a playdate at the house and maybe cooking a meal? Dinner out with everyone? Or should we get babysitters and go out for a night on the town? Very stressful.


Blogger reader_iam said...

Yeah, that whole parents-of-kid's-friends thing is weird, as well as stressful.

I don't think my parents ever gave a single thought to that in their lives.

Then again, the idea of a playdate would have been laughable to them (it is now).

We kids just ran all over the neighborhood and town, and the adults basically had nothing to do with it.

Sad, in a way, how things have changed.

And DEFINITELY more stressful for the adults.

2/20/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

And you're daughter sounds a treasure, a shiny, sparkly, priceless one.

2/20/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

As we also say, she's wonderful except when she's channeling satan.

So should we set her up with your son?

2/20/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

Would that be an unholy alliance?????

But we'd all eat well, and, I think, share good music and conversation.

Hmmmm ....

(It'd be fun to seen them interact, I'll bet, in all seriousness.)

2/20/2006 09:50:00 PM  

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