Sunday, July 29, 2007

Euclidean Geometry and Thomas the Train

Little girl stuck in the fountain at Atlanta's Centennial Park

The most stressful place for the parents of a toddler; the Thomas the Train table in the kids’ section at Barnes and Noble. Kids go there and have a great time playing with the trains, while their parents hover near-by and reprimand their child for even the slightest error in social etiquette. Parents are constantly repeating the mantra, “share, share, say thank you, be nice, say thank you in Urdu". The entertainment is not in watching the kids, but keeping an eye on the parents.

Parents are way too wrapped up in raising the perfect miniature adult, and not so much the best well-rounded child. How many parents do you know that love to show off their child’s latest party-trick? “Bobby can count to a hundred”. “That’s nice, but Sally is mastering Euclidean Geometry”. It’s as if they’re raising game show contestants. I have a three year-old son, and sure I want him to do well in life. To me, that starts with being a good three year old, and not a miniaturized thirty year-old.

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