I could use some help finessing social interactions with other parents from people who are currently there, or btdt.
DS is tiny - 22 months - so I don't know that he is gifted - but he has all the classic personality markers, plus things like being super alert at birth (turning towards noise and making eye contact right away), started speaking in early infancy (with inflection for questions), about 300 words by 18 months, knew all his letters (upper and lowercase) and colors by the same time, etc. He speaks quite well, in complete sentences with lots of adjectives, proper pronouns, verb tense, and so on - and generally has the conversational demeanor of a confident, tiny adult.
Every time we get together with other parents of children the same age, the conversation quickly turns to DS' differences. Something he said, how he said it, the size of his vocabulary, how alert and aware he is (perceptive), how he quoted a book we read, or remembered a long ago event. Other aspects of his personality that are hard to define (intensity, empathy) but are just...different, than his peers.
Maybe it is my insecurity as a new parent, or my own anxiety as I remember always being singled out for my giftedness...but I find these situations awkward, to say the least. When kids are still so young, and parents are often using other children as benchmarks, to say, "I know, it's amazing!" seems insensitive - almost like bragging (even though it's all him!) - but to say nothing feels strange - to struggle to change the subject does as well. Especially because 5 minutes later it circles back again!
Sometimes, I'll just shrug, smile and say, "I know, I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff!"
I guess what really makes me sad, is that sometimes the parent goes on to put down their own kid, or just flat out ignores their kid and keeps paying attention to DS. I try to interact more with their child and point out cool things he/she is doing. Every kid is awesome in their own right!
Any good strategies? Am I panicking and overly worried about coming across like a tool? I just never know what to do with all that attention. I want to let DS shine, and for him to be comfortable in his own skin, but I don't want anyone else feeling bad, or making their kid feel bad.