Tell me again how smart your child is…

About a week ago, all of us proud parents were exposed to the story about the 17-month old girl who can talk and read. The talking thing is no big deal I don’t believe, but the reading thing is and the coverage she garnered was just a hair shy of annoyingly show-offish to be honest with you (jealous much?). Her parents are both some kind of language experts, so it’s no surprise the kid shows talent in that area. Hmm, since CareerMom and I are both in marketing, does that mean our boys will be great shoppers? Points to ponder.

But this got me to wondering what they do differently at home and what kinds of things are we, and our daycare teaching our own kids. I know that in MLE’s class, they are teaching the toddlers some sign language. The only sign that I see MLE really going to town on, is the sign for “more” and it’s usually in relation to food, “Give me MORE!”

Yesterday, when the kids got home, I checked out their daily activity sheet and MLE’s sheet said, “Today we learned the sign for ‘shoes’.”

Shoes?

Really? How does knowing the sign for shoes help my child? I’d rather he learn how to tell me when he’s about to puke all over my clean work shirt, or when he needs to go poopy rather than filling up his diaper and having it leak out and onto whatever surface he happens to be scooching across at the moment. THOSE are useful signing words to me. Not shoes!

But maybe this is the norm. I pulled the image at the top of my blog off the Internet and as you can see, they teach youngsters all kinds of seemingly useless signs, like “cookie” and “telephone” and “frog.” What can a toddler do with that?

Using this list of signs, I suppose a toddler could sign to someone:

“Mommy, the milk you gave me was too hot, so I want to eat a frog instead.”

OR

“I asked for a cookie and you brought me the telephone, and I said no touch, no touch.”

(you have to be an “Office Space” fan to even remotely get that one).

I don’t know, maybe my expectations for my kids are just really low, but I don’t expect them to be able to wax poetic before the age of two. And quite frankly, I’d rather they fit in with their friends rather than being “that freaky kid” who understands quantum theory at the age of five.

Call me crazy…