We had Kindergarten Orientation last night. My son is 5 and will be starting Kindergarten in August. And this isn't a big shock to us. We bought the house we bought for many reasons. And one of the most important ones was the schools our children would attend. So we knew this was coming. That doesn't make it much easier, but at least we can try to be prepared.
But the funny part of the night was when the speaker started going through all the skills the kids should have by the time school starts in August. They said that he/she should be able to identify most letters, count to 10, identify the colors, and "write" (meaning scribble and pretend to write) among other basic skills. And the funny part about that was that I knew what every parent in there was thinking. They were thinking, "Ha! Little Stridler has been doing those things since she was two!"
Okay, I made up the name "Stridler," but it sounds like one of those new age, post-post-modern names that people use when the normal names are too low-class for them.
Anyway, I know they were thinking that for two reasons. First of all, I was thinking that. I wanted to say, "Excuse me, should we look into first grade instead? My son can count to 20, he can tell you what every letter sounds like, and he can write multiple words!" But I knew better than to say that. There's nothing worse than a parent who doesn't understand that all kids learn and develop differently. And it's not a competition (until middle school).
But the other reason I knew what all the parents were thinking is because every set of parents there (yes, every set) turned to each other after the skills were listed and gave a knowing look. And they had that infuriating arrogance that parents have when they think their kid is something special. It was as if they were silently saying to each other, "Pish posh, what a joke! Our little Creighndyn knows everything! Why are we wasting our time with this drivel?"
Yes, I imagined them speaking to each other in English accents (it's fancier). And yes, "Creighndyn" is another ridiculous made up name. But you get the point. There is little in this world that is more annoying than a pretentious parent. And if it were justified, that would be fine. If your kid is a certfiable genius, brag away! But don't try to convince me that he'll be graduating college at age 12 because he knows three Spanish words. I've met my share of Stridlers and Creighndyns. They're no geniuses. These supposedly advanced children are the ones who eat their boogers and have their shoes on the wrong feet.
That being said, I'd like to clarify that those kids are no worse than mine. My daughter has a 50% chance of putting her shoes on the right feet through random guessing. But somehow, she does it wrong 90% of the time (which I think is statistically impossible). So all kids are kinda dumb in some ways. And that's fine because they're kids. But don't tell me that your little "Kyndryn" is a genius unless you've got proof. Like maybe some origami that she's designed, or a videotape of a lecture she gave at Stanford last year. Otherwise, let's all just be happy our kids are healthy and happy and let them compete with each other when it really matters... the sixth grade.