Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Really, Infomercial? REALLY?

A commercial for "My Baby Can Read" came on today. I watched it. And I thought, "Why?"

Why would any right-thinking parents EVER do that to themselves?

I personally have given birth to a scarily precocious two-year-old. Actually, he's not even two which makes him EXTRA scary.

Follow me, here. We have few enough advantages over our offspring as it is. We have an edge in height, finances, and language. That's about it.

I watched the height advantage evaporate this morning when my 22-month-old mastered tools. Yeah, he jimmy-rigged his brother's light saber to fish down the Wii remote that was hanging two inches above his highest tippy-toe reach. I guess, like the monkeys, he was tired of being taunted by almost-low-enough-hanging fruit and hence, he entered the Bronze Age of tool-making far earlier than I would like. Just like that, my three foot advantage over him disappeared.

Right now, I still have language on my side. I can say to my husband, "Baby G has to take a b-a-t-h in a few minutes" and he (the baby) roots in his filth for a little longer, not realizing it's all about to come to a sudden and sudsy end. If he could spell "bath", my little announcement would provoke a full-scale hissy fit and a chase around the house. The element of surprise would be lost.

So tell me, why would I make that happen ON PURPOSE? Why? WHY?

I wouldn't be able to spell, "Take the route that doesn't go past the S-W-I-N-G-S" or "Let's put him to B-E-D and have some I-C-E C-R-E-A-M."

Seriously, I'm going to pay someone $20 PLUS shipping and handling to take that away from me?

PASS!

26 comments:

Don said...

I believe you are correct: It's not worth giving up that advantage for what I believe amounts to nothing more than bragging rights.

Our oldest figured out the spelling thing on her own - way too early. B-A-B-Y (for her doll) and I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M were among the first to go.

We had to come up with some substitutes. "Frozen dairy confection" and "plastic-headed person" bought us a couple more years.

Luisa Perkins said...

Right ON. Now that our kids are in various stages of mastering French, P and I are discovering that our secret language is no longer viable. I guess I'll have to learn Italian.

InkMom said...

You are SO right on this one. I have always scratched my head and wondered why people would brag about kids who walked early. Really? What's wrong with normal development of large motor skills? Because, seriously, do you REALLY understand how much harder it is to chase around a kid who has mastered bipedal mobility than one who is limited to crawling? Same goes for talking, reading, climbing, all kinds of skills that I am absolutely thrilled with when development follows a "normal" pattern rather than a precocious one.

Lara said...

Oh yes. I cursed the day when my oldest learned to spell. And now my middle child. It's really awful.

Becca said...

Amen to Louisa - when my kids understood our secret sign language, Husband and I had to find new ways to make fun of what was happening in Sacrament meeting. Oy.

Kristina P. said...

Maybe I can use this with some of the 14 year-olds I work with who only know the words "stoner" and "Amsterdam."

Kaylie said...

I don't know that having kids read early gives them that much of an advantage over their peers anyway. They all catch up eventually, so reading earlier doesn't make them smarter.

Kimberly said...

It just goes to prove that there is no end to the human potential for self-destructive behaviour.

DeNae said...

Frankly, I felt this way about potty training. Oh, it's sooooo great to not have to buy diapers - right up til the moment you're stripped down to your religion in the Macy's dressing room, and your "potty trained" child suddenly announces he has to go right now right now nownownownow and of course the restrooms are eleven miles away in the food court.

Suddenly you're thinking "diapers til his mission" isn't such a bad plan.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

ha! the diapers comment cracked me up.

You won an award on my blog. Again.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm still mourning the loss of spelling things out. How can pride war with sorrow?

Chris said...

Those things are so ridiculous. READ to your kids and all of the rest will be natural, not forced memorization that doesn't include comprehension.

JennyMac said...

This is spot on...our son started talking early and my Father sent this to me. My Mom almost had a fit.
Too much, too soon.

And thank goodness for spelling..we even spell swear words which is funny that we cant just NOT say them at all...LOL.

abangxxx said...

abangxxx said,
Funny! It wont be long before somebody try to size you up and say," Geez, a few more months and I'll be a man too."

That Girl said...

It's just another way to make us feel guilty.

Like we need that!

Kazzy said...

You are so right! Once the kids start getting the spelling trick all life as a sneaky parent ends. It is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!

myimaginaryblog said...

Amen. And then the kids figure out Pig Latin and you're really out of luck. Also, I'm so very bummed that my husband studied Arabic instead of French so we don't have a foreign tongue to use as our code language. In fact, my 12-year-old is now studying French; I guess we can use it to keep secrets from my husband (because emotional incest is such a lovely thing.)
--
I just saw DeNae's comment about diapers and must add an Amen, and Amen.

myimaginaryblog said...

I'm catching up on your posts that I missed (I was like, 12 behind, gasp) and I wasn't going to leave any comments because who reads comments on old posts, but then I saw the one about the harness and checked to see if anyone suggested the cute ones they sell at Target, and Heather did but didn't mention that they look not just like a backpack but like a stuffed-animal backpack--TOTALLY cute, and your kid will love to wear it. At least Rose loved wearing hers when I insisted she have one for some of the steeper trails at Zion Nat'l Park, and we got comments from strangers on how cute it was, AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE IT WAS A HARNESS. Anyway, I really empathize with the need for one--when my now-9-year-old was two or three we lost her TWICE in one day at Sea World and it terrified me--so I'm glad they're making soft, cute ones now.

myimaginaryblog said...

All caught up! I told myself it wouldn't take half an hour to catch up, but it did, but it was worth it; I learned about cheese and vipers and other kinds of vipers.

Also, I think your housecleaning solution is brilliant, but mine is more practical, which is to not let anyone into my house (at least until my kids are grown.)

Debbie said...

I am so with you on this. And while children do need to be stimulated and given the resources needed to learn and achieve, let's do it at a normal pace!

Andrew & Sarah Clawson said...

Loved your post.. I just had to comment. I have seen the commercial and all it did was make me feel guilty, but after thinking about it and seeing all the boring videos and boring flashcards, I finally came to my senses and the guilt went away.

Heather of the EO said...

YES! It all happens soon enough the way it is, I say.

I NEED to be able to spell things to get through the day. N-E-E-D

Eowyn said...

I have far too smart of kids as it is. They do not need any help. I'm still bigger than they are and that's about it, and that's not going to last long.

I'm with you, I'll keep the advantages.

charrette said...

We still have our (lame and mostly forgotten) missionary Spanish to wield over the kids!

But I remember the day I encountered the exact same fear as you with Baby G wielding a light saber when 9-month-old Jeremiah couldn't reach something he wanted on the desk and lined up a series of boxes in graduating sizes to create his own set of stairs. Genius!

LisAway said...

I think it's a plot by other precocious two year olds to prevent the spelling of secret words.

Don't worry, though. Instead of spelling things (could never do it with Greg because he can't read words that I spell out loud, either) you can just you MUCH more interesting ways of saying things. I LOVE being creative and using two sentences instead of one word. ;)

Emily said...

RIGHT ON! We spell a-l-l t-h-e t-i-m-e and my little three year old can spell some of our words! It stinks! Just tonight I told her she better stop saying what my husband and I are saying because then we'll be forced to learn another language!

I don't have to do that. :)