Even before I gave birth to my fabulously adorable offspring, I had worried that being a teacher would make a dreadful mother. I would turn everything into an educational opportunity and drive my daughter into becoming a screaming rebellious teenager who would set fire to books, get pregnant at 14, and run away to join the circus.
Hopefully she at least won't do the first two things, but I am finding it harder and harder to fight the instinct to teach.
Being the frighteningly oppressive and pushy teacher-mum that I am, I've been showing her the letters of the alphabet on the foam play mat I bought for her when she was a fetus.
"Duh, this is duh." I figure teaching her the sounds of the letters might be easier than the names. She chews on the purple letter D and drools onto the mat. Ah well, it's one way to explore a letter.
"Duh!" she echoed one day. I light up.
"This one is duh, say duh again!"
It's not long before I can ask for "duh" and she pulls it out of the mat and hands it to me. I have a genius child. A teacher's dream come true. This one won't be eating paste, or asking if Apollo 13 is set in space...
Time and again, she is able to retrieve "duh" every time I ask for it. At 10 months old, she has shown me that reading books to her from birth has not been for nought, that teachers really do make good parents.
"Okay Midget, get duh for me again!"
She grabs the letter B.
"Duh!" she announces. She then wanders away unsteadily saying "duh, duh, duh." Apparently, the letter F also makes the sound "duh".
We took her to the zoo: "Duh!" she named every single animal.
It didn't take me long to realize I didn't give a shit that she can't tell me consistently which letter is D at 11 months old because she's a happy, beautiful, healthy baby and I love her so much it hurts (especially when she hands me a book into my EYE) and she'll learn in her own damn time, thank you very much.
And anyway, we all know that in this world, it's good looks that count, so even if she never learns to read, she's set for life ;)