Set-up: Chance meeting with another mommy friend, one evening
Starring: Me & a squirming 11 month toddler in his pram; another mommy & her squealing toddler in pram; couple of extras in background who cross the scene giving quizzical looks to the mommies who seem to be comparing mental notes as against taking the squirming toddlers in their arms
Me (M): Hello…. (turning to other toddler) hello princess.
OtherMommy (OM): Hi… (turning to my toddler) hi bunny boy.
Me: Where you off to with such a big baby bag?
OM: XXX Learning program at XX.
M: Oh, how old is your girl? And when did you start these classes?
OM: When she was 9-months old, I took her to first of these learning programs and she loved it. As she grew, I extended these classes to include more learning activities.
M: Uhmm, my boy is 11-month and I haven’t yet started any activity program for him. Is that bad?
OM: Really. (wide eyed) You should. Everyone does it nowadays with kids. Research says that this way kids get a head start in school.
And the conversation went on to become where I should go, what type of classes I should look for and how should I interview the teachers about the class size and activities undertaken. Heavy stuff. All this for 11-12 month olds! I am now scared to even look up the internet as to what I should be doing when my child approaches school age.
Longer stays at home with a single caregiver are argued to be more intellectually stimulating, claims one research. My spouse also agreed.