homeworkI have heard here on Mommyish and also from my sister who has an eight-year-old daughter that homework overload is a real thing. It gets even worse when you factor in uber-competitive parents that may take it upon themselves to finish little Timmy’s science project so that he gets first place in the science fair. Jerks.

So I was kind of expecting that I would have to put my foot down and force my kids to do their own homework when they started school. Or maybe I would be one of the parents that complained about “kids these days” getting too much homework for their age. Who knows?

But what I wasn’t prepared for was that all of this crazy competitive homework nonsense would start before my son turned two. In daycare, no less.

My son is in a really great in-home daycare program that seems to do a lot of interactive educational activities. I know that I would never be able to provide him with the same level of exploration at home. We’d probably be binge-watching Sesame Street all day long, like we do on the weekend.

I love the fact that he engages in so many activities and even brings home cute little art projects that basically consist of smeared paint. A few months ago, my son’s daycare provider sent home a mini “Me Doll” that he was supposed to decorate to represent himself.

Since he had no clue what was going on, I just let him haphazardly color all over the little doll, and then I turned it in. I also filled out his “About Me” sheet myself, thank you very much.

The day after I turned it in, my son’s teacher pulled me aside to have a little chat. Apparently, I had misunderstood the purpose of the assignment because the doll was supposed to be decorated much more elaborately than a few scrawls of crayon. Oops. The teacher also showed me a really freaking impressive Me Doll that another little girl’s mommy clearly made for her.

Magic…

That put the fear of God into my husband and me. We didn’t want our son to be the lame ass kid with the terrible project every time they sent something home from daycare. On the next project, my husband went all out and used a myriad of impressive crafty supplies—yarn, glitter, stick-on letters, the works.

Since our kid can barely hold a crayon, we have little choice in the matter. Enriching a toddler’s life with art projects at daycare is awesome but sending home homework is overkill.

(photo: Getty Images)