Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A child's duty

"It's time for you to start school!" she chided. "It's a child's duty to go to school!"

I hate that sing-songy voice people use when they are pretending to talk to your kids, but they are secretly talking to you/judging you.

"You ears are getting icicles, aren't they?  Where's your hat?"
"You sure have your own way of doing things, don't you?"
"You're too old for breastfeeding, aren't you?  Aren't you?  Aren't you?"

I'm not surprised when people say this kind of school stuff to M, since he's four.  Thai children start their first year of Anuban (a 3-year Kindergarten program) at three years old or even before, so to them, M is already years behind schedule.

But she was talking to L.  My 2-1/2 year old.

I weighed my answer options.
A) Quick and easy answer. "The school where I teach starts with what we call 4-year-old Kindergarten.  There is no class for two-year-olds.  He'll start in year and a half."

B) Mean answer.  "Well, some people may be in a hurry to ship their kids off to school at two, but we aren't like that.  Whim loves being home with the boys and will spend his days with them as long as he can."

C) Passive-aggressive but funny answer. "L, Auntie is talking to you.  L!  Sorry, he must not have heard you.  I better go catch him."

D) Most truthful answer.  "I don't think 2-year-olds need school.  And once school starts, that's it, for the next 13 years, 18 years.  Or more.  Why rush it.  Before we know it, we'll turn around and they'll be all grown up, and there's no going back."

I actually didn't choose any of the above.  I decided, rather wisely, to change the subject and asked after her 6-year-old granddaughter, Int.  "Oh, Int's still at school.  She doesn't usually get home until around 6 or 7."  "Too bad," I said.  "That doesn't leave much time to play." "No," her grandma agreed, "and she's up before five.  It's a long day, but... she'll be older soon"

Funny, that was kind of my answer.



18 comments:

  1. I absolutely cannot STAND those kind of sing/songy "questions". I commend you for taking the high road and just changing the subject.

    If you ask me straight up, "Aren't you afraid he'll get cold?" I'll answer you straight up that it's a fight I won't fight anymore and he'll wear a jacket tomorrow without a fight if he's miserable today.

    BUT... frame your judgmental attitude toward me as a fake question and I will answer with a combo of B. Mean and D. Truth (leaning heavily toward the Mean) because I'm irked.

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    1. Hahaha. Thanks :)
      I agree though. If he's cold, he'll learn not to refuse his coat.
      If he falls, he'll learn to be more careful.
      Natural consequences: teaching children since forever.

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  2. Holy crap that is a long time to be in school!! That's crazy!

    That sing song bullshit would piss me off too!

    That picture of Lennon is so cute! I agree with you, keep them home and play with them as long as you can!

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    1. That was his punky brewster inspired outfit. Not really, but isn't it?

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    2. Hahah it totally works.

      I love that my comment says it's January 17th there, because that means it's my birthday! Woohoo!

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    3. Don't worry, I won't tell you what happens.

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    4. Hahahha love this comment!! Thanks Robin, I'm terrible at spoiling surprises :)

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  3. I hear you! Korean kids start preschool at 2, but we'll put our kids in kindergarten at 5.

    And I hate the indirect criticism/judgment! Boooo. Here's another one: "Oooh don't cry, baby. You must be hungry. Why doesn't your mommy feed you??" >.<

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    1. Hhahaha! Yes, Malia! I hated that one, too. I hate all those types of judgy comments. :)

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  4. Up at 5 and home at 6? That's terrible! When do they get to be babies? What are the rules about homeschooling over there? Is that something you guys would ever consider?

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    1. Thankfully it won't be like that for Miles. He'll only go from 7:45-2:20, and after lunch is nap time. Still long, but I think he can handle it once he gets used to the routine.

      I do know a few homeschoolers here. My husband is a great stay at home dad, but he isn't interested in homeschooling unfortunately.

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  5. Robin I saw your comment on the Crappy Parenting page, I am also looking for a pen pal for my son. He is 6 years old and we live in New York City. Interested?

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    1. Zsuzsa,
      This is going to be great. I deleted your other comment so your email address wasn't out there for the spammers. :)

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  7. God! I hate that too!! I hope I have your patience if this happens to me.

    But such a cute photo :D Looks like he's giving someone an earful ;)

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    1. He does look like he has attitude, huh? :)

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  8. Found you via the Honest Mom link up! :-)

    We're weighing the options of getting our youngest into a co-op next year... He'll just have turned 2, which I feel is still too young, but he sees his older brother and sister go to school and is really interested. So, we'll see. Baby #4 will be here right around the time school starts, so there's going to be a lot of adjusting to do anyway, I don't know if I want to add school on top of it for him.

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    1. Good luck!! I'm sure you'll make the right choice. I know it will break Lennon's heart when his big brother goes to kindergarten without him.
      I had a look around your blog, boy you are quite the cook. I could learn a lot from you!

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