Mr A was telling me about infomercial he saw the other for the Your Baby Can Read! DVD series. I found this so fantastical that when I saw one of the videos at the library I had to check it out.
Now the very nature of this is competitive, which irritates me. I believe one parent said it best when she said "I love telling other parents that my child can read. You should see the looks on their faces!" *my head is shaking slowly*
Why is it that the latest trend is to breed a super baby or feel like crap because you are forsaking your kid to be a dummy? What I find particularly annoying is parents who spend the first five or so years doing everything in their power to foster their childs inner genius but, when these same kids reach high school they are usually on their own, academically speaking. Who cares if your toddler can count to 30 in Spanish if by the time they are a junior in high school they cant figure out how to turn in their homework consistently enough to pass Geometry?
Now, that being said, I do think its cool that babies have the capability of learning so much. And theres really nothing wrong with wanting to give your kid the best start possible. And...I must also admit that perhaps I feel peeved by baby-genius-makers because I am just so darn bad at doing these kinds of things myself.
I feel a twang of guilt every time the doctor asks me one of two questions - "are you brushing his teeth?" and "do you read to him?" I love reading and before Ikaika was born I had fantasies about reading to him before bedtime like Granny used to do for me and my sister. I collected books that I knew I wanted him to enjoy because I loved them (including Pat Boones Bible Stories and A Chocolate Moose for Dinner). But then I had this baby. Maybe its because hes young but he doesnt just relax and kick back for a story, he tries to eat the book or crawl on my face or he just wont sit still. So I have almost completely stopped reading to him.
And now this damn DVD has got me feeling plenty more guilty than the doctor ever did. Babies in this video are like pointing to body parts or imitating sounds - my kid cant do any of that! He should be communicating in sign language by now! Sure he can practically run at 10 months, but if you ask him where his head is he just drools and looks for food! Obviously, theres a reason we didnt name him Akamai.
The bottom line for all this guilt, and the reason for these infancy learning programs being such hot sellers, is the burning question "what if my kid turns out to be a dope and its all my fault?!"