Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Progress report: Lady P

We had Lady P's first parent-teacher conference last week. Yes, providing a progress report on a toddler seems ridiculous to us too, but since Lady P is our favourite topic of conversation we were really looking forward to it.

We weren't completely disappointed. Only a little. Unfortunately for TLOML's 'Tiger Dad' ambitions, Lady P is not off the charts, genius-level. Instead she is pretty much where she should be in most academic areas. To be more precise, she's a smidge ahead of the curve - enough to satisfy her reasonably well-educated parents, not so much we have to worry about paying for college five years earlier than planned, nor the social trauma that I suspect accompanies child genius levels of attainment. Sadly this means she is still some years off being able to read alone and therefore amuse herself for any length of time

The best news came in non-academic areas. First of all, her manners and socials skills were heavily praised. I was delighted. Like all middle class Brits I have been drilling 'please' and 'thankyou' into her since she could speak. I don't think people do that so much here. Which isn't to say that Americans are rude, but just that the social norm of politeness doesn't always include 'yes please' ('sure' does just as well) and 'no thank you'. Despite that Transatlantic difference I believe basic old fashioned politeness goes a long way anywhere, so was very pleased to hear that Lady P is ticking all the boxes there. She's kind to her classmates and gets along with others too, which is good to know. God knows what happens to kid who at two years old is falling out with their peers - by the time they're a teenager I imagine they're really battle weary.

But the crowning glory was her performance in 'food prep', which is an area her teacher said she needed to work on. Food preparation at Montessori might include choosing different chopped fruits to put into your own fruit salad, to give an example. Apparently, Lady P is not very good at waiting till the permitted time to eat her prepared food - instead she scarfs the ingredients as soon as she can get her greedy little hands on them. We nodded gravely in support of 'working on' this. But as we left the conference congratulated ourselves on raising a daughter who sees something she wants to eat and grabs it. What more important life skill for a toddler is there?

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