A gorgeous face, concentrating intently, as he removes soil from the flowerbeds and piles it nicely on the walk. Toddler-gardening requires an open mind about the overall asthetics of our outdoor space.
Fraser’s in the next room singing to himself, “on the bus, on the bus” after hearing the tune to wheels on the bus. It’s such a difference having a verbal toddler second time around. I find that I’m actually harder on him, expecting him to understand concepts that are beyond him simply because he can construct a sentence. It’s also made me aware of how much bragging and exaggeration there is about our toddlers among parents. Is my child brilliant because he can count to five? Well, he’s not actually counting, just repeating a series of words he’s memorized. I might think he was counting, if I hadn’t seen how D learned, carefully looking and touching objects. Fraser, adorable as he is, is not a child genius.
And why do we really want our children to be geniuses these days? Is the world so competitive that without brilliance our children are destined for poverty? I seriously doubt it. Is mediocrity okay? Yes – and we shouldn’t be setting our kids up for a sense of failure if they turn out to be average. I’m not blind, there is a wide range in abilities between kids; some of these are developmental differences and some will turn out to be more representative of ability in adulthood (I’ll be surprised if my two turn out to be artists). But happiness should be separate from high-achievement. I’m hoping to keep the pressure off my boys as long as I can and let them grow up with a strong sense of self that’s not connected to being the best or brightest.