My original point (that I never got to) in the previous post was that I am admittedly a slacker mom by the standard set forth in the book. I’m ok with that. I do want my kids to be kids. I want them to run and play and just have no worries at their tender ages of 2 and 4. The preschool we selected for Sister last year focused on social skills and things like that first and then teaching them a little of the basics that a three year old should know afterwards. At the end of the year, one of the Moms wanted to put together a gift for the Teacher from the kids. She asked the rest of us to have our kids write their names and draw a picture to be included in the gift (it was a scrapbook). I was a little puzzled. Even at the end of the year, Sister was a couple of months shy of turning four. She couldn’t write her name.
I asked the teacher at our end of year conference if it was something we should work on this summer so that she wasn’t behind next year (that would be now) when school started. She assured me that there was no need to stress out and that most of the kids couldn’t write their name yet in her class. I was a little reassured by that and thought little of it all summer. Sure, we’ve sat down with Sister a couple of times and let her try to copy my writing of her name on paper. She is a perfectionist and if it doesn’t start out just right for her, she just throws in the towel and moves on to something else. I have no idea where she got that from. But, other than that, we’ve done no “work” over the summer. We’ve had play dates, we’ve gone to museums and the beach, we’ve done countless other fun activities but no practicing on the school work. I was hanging on to the reassurance I got from her teacher. Until last week.
We received a thank you note from a friend of Sister’s for a birthday gift. Inside, she had not only signed her own name, she had written Sister’s name across the top. She’s the same age as Sister and I’ve always thought of her Mom as a fellow Slacker. I’m not sure why I let this bother me but I did. I thought about it and tried to rationalize that maybe I’ve been a little too slack in the academic skills department with my kids. After all, these are the kids they will be competing with in a few (ok, many) years for college scholarships. I’m not saying that my friend has been doing academic drills with her daughter. Quite the opposite, I think it’s just something that her daughter has shown interest in and loves to do. Whereas, Sister would rather play games like “See how far your Brother can slide across the hardwood floor when you ‘accidentally’ put some water in his path” rather than learning to write her name and the names of her friends.
That whole thought process lasted for about thirty seconds and I realized that in the end it all evens out. By the time Sister is competing for college scholarships, writing her name will be an issue of the past. She’s bright, funny, witty and smart. Why did I let those thoughts of doubt creep in and make me doubt what I’ve known all along is best for my kids? Because of all the hype, that’s why. Well, no longer. I’m a Slacker Mom and I’m sticking to it. I’m making a shirt to wear as I take the kids to their first days of school. I’m going to set up a table at the PTA and recruit new members. I’m bringing back the notion of kids should just be kids. On the back of my shirt it will say “It All Evens Out in the End”. I’m sure people will mistake that saying on the back of a Slacker Mom t-shirt to have something to do with the size of my rear, but I’ll take one for the team and wear it anyway.