Mar 22, 2011

worrying about nothing



"Flubber!  Flubber!" she says, and I know what she means.  The wild toddler is requesting a flower for her hair.  "Preeety" she coos at her reflection.  Mommies always know how to interpret better than anyone else, even those impossible toddler words.  I know that when she runs into the kitchen screaming "NANA," she wants a banana.  It's like a secret code, the made up language that binds our little family together.  Although I am certain that life will get easier when most of the world can understand what's she's saying.

People always asked me when Cara was an infant if I used those teach-your-baby-to-read flashcards, like because I'm an English teacher, Cara would have come out of the womb reading.  I guess those cards could work, but I didn't have any desire to try them out.  I said that I want Cara to develop at her own rate, to stay a baby as long as possible, to remain innocent, to preserve her childhood.  I see what happens when children, especially girls, grow up too fast on a daily basis, and it scares me.

Someone told me today that Cara is spunky, and I love that description for her.  She is spunky.  And adorable.  And independent.  And an individual.  Which is what I am remembering right now.

In the past few days, it has suddenly occurred to me that the other toddlers in Cara's class at "school" are just barely toddling.  Maybe a group recently moved up together from the infant class or something.  I don't know, but I also noticed that several of her friends have moved up to the next group.  Her little buddies that moved up with her from the infant class have now moved up again.  Without her. 

When this realization hit me, I went into mom-super-worry-mode.  Is it because she's not speaking in complete sentences yet?  Does she not follow directions?  Can she not color in the lines?  Part of my problem here is that I have no idea what milestones signal a move up to the next class.  When I went to pick Cara up this afternoon, I had decided to ask.  Maybe I could work with her on those particular skills so that she can move up; she can't be left behind!

Then, I had sort of a flash forward moment of me pushing my elementary child, my middle schooler, my high schooler to do more math worksheets, to read longer books, to study more for the SAT, to take harder and harder classes.  And I stopped and told myself that this is ridiculous

It took forever for the nursery at church to realize that Cara could crawl.  Know why?  Because someone held her the entire time she was in there.  And she was snuggly and content.  Of course they didn't know she could crawl.  And my girl was happy as a clam right where she was.

I know my girl is smart.  She knows her colors, some of her letters, she counts, she says "ready, set, go" all. the. time.  I know she understands what other people say because the only way to get her to ride in a cart in a store is to warn her ahead of time.  Her teachers even sent her a star student certificate for knowing her days of the week (okay, honestly, I have never been able to get her to tell me what day it is...this would be a waaaayyyy advanced skill).  I remembered that she doesn't turn two until July, and in toddler time, three or four months can mean leaps and bounds.  When I think about this logically, it's absolutely not a cause for concern.  But you know how mommies worry.  About everything...

Maybe her teachers in her class just love her.  Maybe they see that she is happy right where she is.  Maybe she has a buddy she always plays with.  I don't know, and it doesn't matter.  Cara is right where she should be, "flubbers" and all.

15 comments:

  1. Yes, dont worry momma. She sounds like she is very intelligent! The days of the week? My daughter doesnt even know those!
    I know exactly how you feel though and unfortunatly it wont ever go away :)

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  2. as a mommy I understand ur worries ... but really don't worry ;) between my 3 girls ... they all started doing different things at different times * u got a healthy, bright, beaut' little lady * cheerz to the worries of motherhood ~ I'm right there with ya * *

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  3. All moms have worries like that....and you're right, it's usually unnecessary! It shows that you're concerned, which is great, but your little one is definitely doing what she should be and she sounds like she's very smart. Sounds like she has a great mommy :)

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  4. Your daughter is beautiful and perfect! Enjoy every moment of the "flubbers" and "nanas". All too fast they grow up and you wonder where time has gone. It's could to be concerned for her well-being, but don't worry. She's God's girl too. :)

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  5. I like this post, I can totally relate. My husband is a teacher too and is always telling me to just be happy that my preschooler is learning social skills and is a caring child. The other stuff will come in due time. I do think kids are pushed too much often times and just need to be "kids" sometimes :)

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  6. It's so hard not to be jealous or want to "one up" everyone around you. I find that I even try to compare my kids to my neices and nephews! But there is no point! My kids are right where they need to be and I want to keep them young as long as possible! Enjoy them and not stress over them! :)

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  7. Jessica, I totally understand all of this. As far as her not moving up, I know at the daycare Aydyn attends, they have to meet several different criteria (I.e., being a certain age & keeping teacher to student ratios). There just may not be room for her. She is very smart! Aydyn is a few months older and he doesn't know all that stuf, nor does he care to. He would rather play and be all boy than learn hardcore.

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  8. My thought the whole time reading was "maybe her teachers just really like her" - you came to the same conclusion :) You are right, no need to rush this phase!

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  9. I remember this same dilemna when deciding whether or not to hold my two sons back a year since they had very late birthdays and would therefore be the youngest in their respective classes. I couldn't possibly hold them back..they were the smartest kids in their classes, not to mention they may be bored. My conclusion: they would always be better off being the oldest than the youngest in the class! I ended up holding them both back, and realized at high school gradution that I had given them both an extra year of childhood!

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  10. I can't tell you how encouraging these comments have been to me! I am so genuinely thankful for the support and advice ya'll offer! :-)

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  11. Well first off, your daughter is ADORABLE! And secondly, you are an amazing writer. I love reading your blog. :)

    That being said, I completely understand mommy worry, but there is no way Cara could be anything but brilliant coming from you.

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  12. I love this post and I love you for the person you are and the mother you are. You are doing a perfect job as a mother. Keep it up! Cara is not only precious but intelligent and HAPPY. Love you all. Bitsy

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  13. I totally understand how hard it is to not gauge your child's success/failures against the other kids, but remember, she has no idea what it means to be 2, and you don't remember. I think that you will end up expecting her to read longer books, etc...unless she chooses it on her own. It's OK to expect your child to live up to THEIR potential, just not someone else's.

    You're doing a great job, Aunt Jessica and Uncle PJ. Keep it up.

    L.

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  14. aww, you are right! It's so hard to NOT worry but they all develope differently and we have to work at not comparing them to the others around us. They are their own unique individuals with their own potentials! Good job mom putting those worries in check! She will be fine!

    Bernadette
    http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com

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  15. okay now I'm worrying my daughter will be 2 in May and she doesn't know all those things. She can say the alphabet if I say it slowly and she just repeats me but recognizing colors, days of the week, knowing which letter is which? forget it... uh oh maybe I need to read a milestone list :(

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