Thursday, 6 September 2007


Growing up I was taught by my parents, teachers including the principal that average is just not good enough. I should always strive and work harder and aim for that distinction. They believe that by instilling that idea when young I will learn to apply that attitude to whatever I do in the future.

Once I entered the work force I learnt quickly that turning in average work is also not acceptable. Not if I want that raise and big fat bonus anyway.

I believed this applies to all of us so basically we were all thought that being average simply wouldn't do! We should not accept average in our lives. This can be applied to simple things like the food we eat, the movies we watch to more important things like our job satisfaction, to our pay and definitely our partners.

However I learned that there is an exception to this universal rule during our last visit to Dr Chang for our detailed scanning. I believe I have never been so happy and relieved to accept "average" in my life.

You see, according to Dr Chang, Baby is "average"! Baby's growth is average and this applies to all parts of Baby. His head is average, his weight at 397grams is average, the sizes of his hands and feet are average. The development of his spine, rib cage, kidneys and brains etc. are all in average progress.

You can see from the below graphs that Baby's growth is really right in the middle of two extremes. So according to Dr Chang, we should be happy parents and there is nothing to worry about.

With Baby being so "average" maybe we should just name him / her Joe.

So when was it in our human history that we decided average is not good enough anymore? It surely was when we were growing in our mums' wombs. In fact as a father-to-be, I am delighted that my baby is average. I definitely do not need Baby to excel and strive to surpass the line above his chart. So now my question is at what age should I tell Baby that the time to be average is over? It was all good and acceptable when he / she was still in the Mrs's womb but now times have changed!

From which point in his / her life must Baby be subjected to all the scrutinies of achieving average?

Should we emphasize so much on result for our next generation was well? Surely things are different now! In the past to pursue arts and sports are deemed doomed! There was no money there so all Artists and Sportsmen back then were all supposed to be struggling for roofs over their heads as well as meals to fill their stomachs. These days however even an average artist or sportsman is able to make a decent living pursuing his dream here in Singapore.

I would like to think that I am an open-minded parent and will encourage Baby to grow and to pursue his / her interest.

Of course I understand that it is still early days now but that is something I feel rather strongly about. Only time will tell if I am as open-minded as I believed I am.


Unknown said...

it's v society dependent sad to say. :P i'm also unsure if my bb will b subjected to pressue from us parents as the need to excel is extremely important in the little red dot. :S

Trina said...

hmm, not so sure it's a "being in Singapore" issue as much as a "personal living" issue. Yes, Singapore is pressurizing and we can't really be "average joes". But as a proactive person, shouldn't we also strive to "be the best that we can be"? It's not about comparing with others, but living to your fullest potential. If we can look at things from this perspective, it'll make us happier about working/studying hard, as our efforts are driven by inner desires rather than forced upon by external factors.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi JJ and Trina,

I agree with both what you both said.

I believe that more often than now it is usually due to pressure from society and parents afraid of losing face.

This year there are many people around us giving birth so I was telling the Mrs that maybe Baby will have a lot of competition in the future. Even if we are not interested I'm sure the other parents will want to compare results.

What I meant in my blog is I hope I can be supportive should Baby's lies elsewhere besides academically. Of course I will expect Baby to give his / her all to pursue his / her dream.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I hope the same thing too, that we will be supportive, and not get caught up in being competitive.

For now, I try not to engage in comparisons -- what can baby do, how much does she weigh, etc. I don't know many parents, so it's not been too difficult. :)

Recently, I asked my husband if we should begin teaching our year-old girl some words, and he said he'd like it if our girl could just play for now and be free to pick up things on her own. So that's what we're doing -- no educational cds or toys, no enrichment classes, and no attempts to teach her anything. It's more fun for us this way too.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Evelyn

I applaud you and your husband for really allowing nature to take its course for your little girl.

We are not there yet obviously since Baby is still in Mrs's womb. However we are also rather laid back. We did not buy any Mozart CD or any other "training" material for Baby.

We are also a little skeptical about all these materials in the market.

Aces Family said...


Interesting topic again...i find reading your blog a pleasure because it always lead to deeper self-reflections.

So far, our family believe is 平凡就是幸福. So average is good. Espcially for children, we want them to enjoy their childhood.

The "Rat Race" will start sooner or later, but we will access them according to their abilities.Hopefully, they get to do what they enjoy most.. : )


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Astee,

Welcome back! Maybe I should rename my blog to A Husband's Thoughts instead. Ha Ha

Yeah, I am really determined to allow Baby to enjoy his / her childhood. Once missed, he / she can never experience it again.

It will not be easy because as it is I have 3 friends who gave birth and another 2 nephews all born this year.

Actually our due date is 9th Jan next year so maybe Baby may just be able to miss this rat race with them.

Nicole said...

I have 2 nephews(twins) born in the same year as claire and I have 1 niece born the following year. I have at least 5 friends whose kid are of the same age as claire. Imagine all the 'comparing' of notes. How tall, how heavy, what school(goodness, they're talking about school already), what method you use to stimulate your kids' brains, what VCD are you watching and etc etc. Even the amount of angpao money which you put inside her bank! GOODNESS!! I have to admit, sometimes, it does gets to me, all the comparision. Then I'll wonder if I'm not doing enough but I'll always think back and realised that all I want for now is for Claire to enjoy her childhood and be happy. I don't wanna stress her out as well as stress myself out. So sometimes, it's not a bad thing to be an average joe. :)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

I thought Baby had it tough, seems like Claire has a lot more competition since these children are all of the same age. Baby is due in January and so far no one I know personally are due for delivery next year.

Comparing schools, results, ECA and training material I understand but Ang Paos!!! Now that I think is too much!

Trina said...

anyway, i think it's a good devt that new age parents like us are beginning to be aware that there're other things besides academic achievements in life. it'll take time to change perceptions, and more than a few brave souls to swim against the current tide to change the climate. let's continue to encourage each other n reinforce our beliefs!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hey Trina,

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Let's stick to our belief.