Nod, Smile, Make Rude Gestures
A lot of the time when people natter on about Iz's reading, I just think to myself, "She's been in that preschool for almost three years. That's 50% more time than I spent getting my M.A. Of course she can read."
However one of the nice although slightly snobby and nosy other moms from Iz's school got in my face lately with that whole "You know your girl is a fabulous reader, right?" shpiel. (This mom is also one of those freaks who spends time reading with the kids in the classroom, whereas I deliberately choose offsite tasks such as newsletter and laundry.) Figuring she would be on my wavelength, I voiced my above thoughts on the matter.
She gave me an icy look, paused for a beat, and then said, "My older son also went to that school for three years. He's in first grade now, and is by far the best reader in the class [at snotty Rob Cumulonimbus]. Your daughter is a much better reader than he is [you stupid git]. What are you going to do about that?"
Besides tell you to fuck off about my business? Hmm. Let me think about that. Sell her to a research facility?
Sorry, I am grouchy. And as much as I love my girl, I am already feeling taxed by all the extra effort needed to manage Leelo's needs. I really don't know if I have the energy to manage two non-standard educations.
Also, I don't appreciate the implication that I'm doing jack. I spend a lot of time with her, reading along when she'll let me (so I can point out logic flaws such as Father Christmas telling Susan that her bow and arrow are not to be used in battle because "battles are messy when women get involved," when in fact battles are messy no matter who is involved and that was a silly thing to say to a good archer, etc.). I help her find books at her level for reading alone (not easy, she insists on their having pictures). For fuck's sake, I wrote her a damn book. We seek out challenging puzzles and games. We have interminable discussions about topics like mammalian characteristics and which of her friends are currently barred from holding the presidency due to their foreign births. Need I explain all this?
I don't understand why people freak out about this shit anyhow. Moreover, I don't understand why there aren't programs in place in K-2 for these kinds of kids. It's not as though she's unique. Moomin and Sophie are coming down the pipe, on the cusp of four years old and already reading quite well, thank you very much. Why does everyone react to these kids like they are little aliens? They are legion. They are everywhere. They are going to take over the world. Why is everyone so unprepared?