Today Maddy and Sarah played chess while Grace and Laura and I played. It was a good division of labor, since my ability to plan ahead has been reduced to about two moves.
Madeleine played a 14-year-old boy, a really smart boy, and she judges that he'll be a good chess challenge for at least week or two. Not a competitive bone in her body, I tell you.
In the meantime, Laura finally learned to clap! That would be so great, but did you know that chess match audiences are a little like golf spectators? Yeah. The required silent, respectful clapping is a little out of Laura's repertoire. She's of the squeal-and-clap club. I'm pretty sure that when she starts writing, she'll enjoy using multiple exclamation points. That's how excitable she is.
Sarah enjoyed chess today as well. She learned a new "strategy," she informs us, but will not elaborate further. (No inkling of the competitive streak in her either.)
And not that I'm keeping score, but a lot of these homeschool parents are competitive. I think it's fun to hear about everyone's accomplishments. I think every kid I met today is pretty spectacular. I think your kids are wonderful too. And you don't know me, but please believe me: I am not interested in the one-upmomship.
Do you know of what I speak? Some of the other baby siblings I met were reaching different milestones at different times than their mothers or neighbors thought they ought. One 12-month-old wasn't walking yet (gasp). One toddler refused to self-feed but could take apart an alarm clock and put it back together. A vast majority of the homeschool students I met were introduced by their name, quickly followed by a recitation of their grade level in each and every subject.
How would we feel if our spouses or friends introduced us like this:
"Bob! I want you to meet Maryann. She's really good at bookkeeping but a little behind in telephone skills. I've never met anyone who could photocopy as well as she does, but we've really got to get to work on her spreadsheets."
I just want to say, for crying out loud, don't let me go there with the half-apology, half-bragging thing. And don't get me wrong: I LOVE to hear about kids and their amazing quirks and differences. I LOVE to know what your kids (and anyone else's, honestly) are up to these days. I just don't want to feel like it's a big competition.
Did I just drop out of Pluto?