Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thanks - We Think She's Great Too.

Thordora's post got me thinking on how hard it is for me to accept compliments. Both compliments for me, and compliments on my spawn (which in essence, considering spawn is two, are still compliments for me). If some mother at the playground (more likely the mall play area) mentions how cute/smart/funny/potty trained my child is, I have a hard time not blurting a disclaimer out, especially if she has that wistful "I wish my kid was. . ." look on her face.

"She doesn't know her numbers or shapes, though." I don't know if I'm inviting the complimenter to tell me about what she think is amazing about her child (I wish I could say with all certainty that this is the case, becuase I think that every so often, we need Mommy Brag time), or really just brushing off the fact that yes, I DO think my kid is amazing, simply because she's mine.

The more I think on it; however, the more pathetic I think it is that I feel I must apologise for Freyja's verbal skills, early potty training, or great thinking skills. Whoops, sorry. Yes, she's outside the "norm" on those things. Shit. Call the PC police, because she's not right on those exact 2 years and 3 months development charts. It's like covering up for someone else's insecurity.

I don't want my girl to ever feel that she has to apologise for being herself, but isn't that what I'm doing for her? We don't drill with flash cards, or spend long learning sessions when we could be having fun. Instead, we talk to her like an adult, complete sentences, no baby talk (not including sing-songy talking - that is GOOD and builds brain connections - we just use normal words and sentences when we do it). We ask her questions. We help her with pronunciation when she struggles over a word or mispronounces, and ask her to repeat the word in segments. We point out things in her enviroment, things that I would imagine most parents do. I have nothing to apologise for!

I need to stop. I need to learn to just say "Thanks - we think she's great too!" or "Thanks! We think so too! Tell me what's great about YOUR little one," because what use is talking idly when you have the very real chance to make a connection with another human being?


thordora said...

I've had that problem with myself, and any more you know what I do? I say

You're right. I have awesome kids. We're very lucky.

It makes me feel better about WHO they are, and not what they can do. Otherwise, you'll go nuts thinking about it. :)

Besides, yours has the coolest name ever!

karrie said...

What is really weird for me is the near constant compliments about Max's appearance. The implication (I feel) is thinly disguised shock that two gigantic weirdos have a cute kid.

Heather said...

I don't know, Karrie - I think you and James are both good looking, it's no wonder you have a cute kid :)

kat said...

"Thanks! We think so too! Tell me what's great about YOUR little one,"

That might be a perfect response. It acknowledges your child while at the same time letting the mom know it's ok to also feel great about her child.

I'll have to remember that next time