I Don't Care That Your Toddler Can Read

toddler readingMany years ago, I had a roommate who would get very upset when she received her friend’s annual newsletter. Yes, newsletter.

For whatever reason, the woman got it into her head that the best way to say happy holidays was to mail out a professionally designed and printed newsletter to review all the awesome things that had happened to her the preceding year.

When I was shown the offending correspondence I thought, Cute ... a little self-indulgent, but cute. Upon further review, it was easy to figure out why this newsletter was such a thorn in my roommate's big toe. I mean, great for you, newsletter woman, but what if life ain’t so honky dory on the receiving end of your marketing brochure?

I received a very similar “roundup” the other day, except mine was focused on all the awesome things my friend’s toddler was doing.


Now, I was extremely happy to receive an email from my old friend and even more happy to check out the attached photos, but I couldn’t help but think back on those old newsletters my roommate and I agreed were, yes, an incredibly annoying way of keeping in touch.

All in all, things are quite hunky dory on my end. I have my family and my health. My son is truly amazing and beautiful and up to some really cool stuff -- developmentally wise -- but I will spare you every last detail. Why? Because unless you are related to my child, chances are you really don’t care about how his reading skills are progressing.

“Wait, his reading skills?” you ask. “Are they supposed to be reading?”

My point exactly.

No, my son is not reading. Hers, on the other hand, is singing the alphabet song and counting and, yep, reading. He’s moving on to his multiplication tables next month and the month after that he’ll probably start studying trigonometry.

I’m sort of stumped on how to respond to her email. Am I supposed to write, Oh yeah? Well, mine can quote Shakespeare? Do I talk about how great he’s doing with utensils and soccer balls and all manner of drumming equipment? Do I mention what growth percentile he’s in? I can’t bring myself to do it, for fear that I’d end up in some sort of developmental milestones tête à tête.

I’m by no means slighting my friend for being proud of her son. Heck, I’m over the moon about mine! It’s just that the art of parenting does, unfortunately, involve some appraisals. We moms just want to see some evidence of the brush strokes, too.

Send off the good news newsletter, I say, if that gets your rocks off. Fire off that developmental milestones email, too, if you’re a proud mama like the rest of us. It’s just if you have managed to transcend some of the challenges the rest of us face -- like sleeping, biting, and hitting -- throw in some juicy bits, too. We parents are all in this together, after all ... it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly news, too, that make this whole journey so gush-worthy, not how many Chopin tunes he can rattle off on his piano.

What do you think of these milestone announcements?


Image via Ruth L/Flickr

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