Who knew a leisurely Memorial Day party could turn into the third degree about my 21-month-old daughter's summer plans?
So when I'm asked "What will Aurora be doing this summer?"--I'm a bit flummoxed. "Um..." I say, trying to think of something. "We haven't mapped out all our plans yet." But I really know what she'll be doing. She'll be eating ice cream, making her face a sticky mess, and probably have a few wipe-outs on the sidewalk as she masters her tricycle.
I'm fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Aurora, and I know that I'm raising a bright little lady. She sings her ABCs constantly and has demonstrated her smarts in so many other ways as well. She has a playgroup, so she spends time with other little munchkins, which gives me faith that she's getting enough socialization.
But I fear she may need more because I'm being tormented by the "Keeping Up with the Joneses" mentality. My mom assures me that I didn't go to classes until I was older, but that was then. Aren't all little ones taking swimming lessons before they're two? It sure seems like it to me! So now besides fretting over the cut-throat world of pre-school, I now get to stress over pre-pre-school!
That's not to say that I'm against classes--because I'm not. We go to a little kids' gym twice a week and Aurora loves it. And I'm not indicting my friends who do participate in lots of classes, because I know for a fact that they spend tons of quality time with their kids. But I'm just not sure Aurora needs art classes just yet. After all, she's still tentative with finger paint and has a tendency to paint everything but the paper when she uses a brush.
Am I depriving her? I fear that I'm already blowing her education. Will I pay for this down the road when she's bawling her eyes out because she didn't get into her first-choice college? I guess that remains to be seen. But for now, I'll concentrate on keeping that angelic face smiling; because to my own surprise, I'm actually pretty good at it.
Karyn Bryant is a television personality who's hosted shows on networks such as CNN, TNT, VH1, and MTV. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Wade, and daughter, Aurora. For more from Karyn, click here.