I'm so long overdue for a post. I know. And I also know some may be anxiously awaiting a synopsis of my wilderness escape. However, I have more pressing matters to post about...such as mommies who are over-involved and inexplicably destined to be micro-managers of their child's every single move -- developmentally and socially.
We all agree that a child's development is first and foremost. I would assume that no mom in their right mind would look down on any other mother for fostering a budding intellect, even from birth. In this age of educational toys, it's only normal to want yours to be a Baby Einstein. But what happens when we start to nurture our children's inner Paris Hilton? I'm not talking about her fashion sense, either. Don't see where I'm going with this? Let me explain.
Apparently there's a new trend emerging; Early Childhood PTAs. [Insert screeching tire sound here] I'm not sure if it's a growing trend around the country, but in and around the metroplex I reside, there seems to be one cropping up for nearly every suburb, and all other areas in between. An overzealous grandmother who has her granddaughter involved in our playgroup sent out an email about a month or so back. It was a new ECPTA (yes, they even have an acronym) that was forming and seeking members. This group claims it is for parents of children age birth through five years. That's all fine and dandy, right. But hold on -- doesn't PTA stand for Parent-Teacher Association? In all of this, where are the teachers? And why isn't anyone else asking that question? To answer that question for myself, I Googled the phenomenon and found many websites that proudly tout associations with the local PTAs (though not the actual school district itself) and state sternly that they are not related to, nor involved with any religious organizations...yet oddly enough, most of them meet at churches. That's beside the point, though -- or at least the one that I'm making.
Each little association seems to be involved in community service projects. And although most all of them seem to front that these community service projects and other political jaunts are what they are mostly about, they sure do make a point to hint at the underlying issue of socialization: for children and parents alike. They proudly market their night's out for moms and couples and free parties (free to members, of course). Heck, they even offer a nursery program to watch the munchkins for a "nominal" fee of $5/child (max of $10/family). One of the organizations has a list of benefits for joining. On the list of benefits for children, social interaction and development of social skills are listed twice, along with only one other benefit: support of early learning. It seems that socialization seems to be the most important factor.
One site even states that their mission is this:
To support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children;
To assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children;
To encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation
To Encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation.
Well that's a very valiant mission...but why is there an incessant need to be involved with the public school system if your child isn't attending said school? Furthermore, why be involved if you're not even technically associated with the school system itself? Am I being a bit critical here, or am I on the right track? I'm sure that I'm rambling a bit, and I apologize whole-heartedly for that, but I'm just utterly perplexed by this whole thing. Why on earth do you want to be in a Parent-Teacher Association if you and your child are not associated with aforementioned teachers? I don't get it. Do-not-get-it.
It just seems to me that some mothers are chomping at the bit to get involved with all the fanfare and revelry that comes with being the home-room mom. Is there really glory involved in all the school aged politics that come with the PTA. Anyone who has ever heard the song Harper Valley PTA ought to know the dangers that go along with belonging to such an organization. Everyone's got their grubby little noses rubbed in everyone else's business (whether the business is grubby or not)...and all in all I just find this sort of social spectacle detestable. And on top of that, who's got the time to invest in such a thing if it's not necessary? Well I'll tell you: The over-involved micromanaging mother. The mother who wants nothing more than their kid to be Mr. or Mrs. Popularity and to go along with it, they want to be adored by all the other parents and teachers. They're basically your run of the mill brown-nosing type with a bit of that inherent competition of the socialized mother thing I blogged about before.
Does anyone else smell a repeat of Death of a Cheerleader brewing?
Anyone else find this absolutely absurd?
Maybe these organizations should change their acronym to MWNBTD: Mom's with nothing better to do.