While I’m certainly not one of those moms who brags on her kids all the time (heavens, no!), I do from time to time mention their amazing capabilities. Can I help it if my girls are amazingly talented, kind-hearted and (hushed voice here) … gifted?
I don’t bore most people with these anecdotes, but certain folks do seem to beg for them. You know, like the ones who said I’d never be able to teach my kids anything? I like to update those people with the occasional tidbits peppered in our conversation. Now and then.
Soleil is reading at an adult level! Coco is acing Spanish! And I may have been caught smirking as Soleil read aloud all her birthday cards last year, much to the amazement of the friend who bought her kindergarten phonics workbooks because she thought I was crazy for not using workbooks. So, you see, nothing major. And certainly nothing undeserved. Right?
Ugh. Wrong. So, so wrong. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time (or the title of this post for that matter), you’ll know that I didn’t just wake up one day and realize I was wrong.
No, my homeschool-pride in all it’s ugly glory was brought to my full attention during an impromptu quiz given by a relative to my six year old Soleil. (Don’t you just love those?)
This relative was quizzing her on several facts (read: checking up on me), and at some point she brought out coins. I scoffed inside. Gimme a break! My scoffing soon turned to horror, though, as I realized that Soleil has forgotten everything I’ve ever taught her about money. Perhaps because I taught her back in preschool and we seldom revisit it. Of course my bright girl would remember the names and values of coins if I had bothered to teach her! But I couldn’t really say that, could I?
Because then I would be admitting how incompetent I really am.
So I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders when the quiz-giver gave me a pompous, You really can’t teach your kids anything, can you? look. Believe me, that look exists. I am not projecting my own feelings into her glance, here. It really happened.
Anyway, I was embarrassed. Now, I’m embarrassed that I was embarrassed, but there it is. I was ashamed I hadn’t properly taught my girl something so basic. I mean, I kind of forgot about it for a year or so. I was also a tad sheepish about my earlier bragging.
Because this particular relative has been quite vocal about my inability to teach my kids and because I am personally working on not getting down on myself because of other people’s opinions, I decided to ignore the money issue for a few weeks. Better that than to immediately commence an intense coin-recognition regime to prove to said relative that we know our stuff around here.
Not that it crossed my mind.
After a few weeks of trying to tame the shrill voice in my head that kept saying How will your child ever function in the real world?, with the calm response, “We aren’t homeschooling to prove anything to anyone,” I settled down a bit and began introducing money concepts again. In a totally sane, non-schizophrenic fashion. I promise.
And I haven’t said a word to anyone about how well she’s doing with it.
So, about the bragging: Lesson learned. About trying to prove people wrong when they say I can’t teach my kids: Lesson learned.
Aren’t you proud of me?