Mar 22, 2011
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.