Does anyone know know what Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? I am not sure what you guessed, and off of the top of my head, I can think of a few good answers, but I can tell you with complete certainty what the answer is NOT. It is NOT that they spoke their first word at 3 months old. Because guess what, super-Mommy? Those things have no relevance on the type of person your little baby will become.
Ugh...parental competition is one of the more irritating things about parenthood and nothing, not even this brilliantly written blog post, can prepare you for it. You have truly not seen competition until you become a parent. It puts the Russian gymnasts of the 80s to shame.
I work at a daycare and I recently had a dad say to me, "have you heard Nahala (name has been changed) say 'pink elephant?' It is clear as day." I literally almost punched him in the face. His daughter was 4 months old at the time. 4 months old. And he was serious! I know that parents have rose-colored glasses to some extent, but I assure you that his daughter did NOT say pink elephant. And you know what, that is okay. She was 4 months old. She should have been enjoying learning to roll around and pooping in her diaper. That is what 4 month olds do. They don't put two words, especially not when one of them is elephant, together.
I don't want you to feel bad, but while your baby
was busy chewing on his fingers and drooling,
mine was reading poetry. No big deal.
I think that the competition/bragging thing is worse now than it was in previous generations due to the prevalence of social media. If you have parents on your facebook feed, you know what I am talking about:
* Baby Remy crawled at only 2 months, 3 days, 1 hour, and 4.5 minutes. Amazing!
* Little Mary decided that instead of presents for her 2nd birthday, she wants people to give donations to the local no-kill animal shelter. I am just blown away by how big her heart is at such a young age. Blessed!
Almost worse than the above listed are the ones that dig for compliments. "OMG. Is it normal that Truman rolled over when he is only 1 month old? Kind of concerned." F'n bulls*^#. Your post-pregnant lactating butt is doing the happy dance in your house right now. You have already called your husband (who is SO glad that he is at work) to tell him that he no longer has to worry about paying for college because surely lil' Truman has secured himself a Division 1 Athletic Scholarship.
Who, and I repeat, who, gives a rat's butt? Oh wait, I digress. It has been so long since I applied for college that I almost forgot that they DO ask you how old you were when you started to walk. If my memory serves me correctly, it is right under the question about how old you were when you first lifted your head (because I am pretty sure that a recent study out of Antarctica cited that developmental milestone as a sure predictor of future success).
I am here to tell you that I am fighting back. I refuse to bite. Maybe your child is more advanced than mine. Maybe not But guess what, I don't care! I just want my child to be happy, kind, and secure.
Our society has somehow lost sight of what matters. Early on, I was talking to my pediatrician, who is wonderful, and he said something that has stuck with me. He said, "somehow our society has lost sight of the fact that average is okay." And you know what? He is right. Sure, it is great when your kid is exceptional in a certain area, but with exceptional talent and/or intelligence comes exceptional pressure and, often, exceptional problems. Average people do okay.
Do I want my daughter to be smart? Absolutely. But, as long as she is happy, healthy, secure, and kind, anything else is just a bonus.
Let's just all set the competition thing aside. I want to hear how your child is doing and I LOVE seeing pictures of your kids, but, let me be honest, no one cares how many times they pooped today. It's really not that interesting. Unless, of course, it is a pooping in the tub story because those are hilarious.
All of that being said though, I still bet that my kid is waaay better at throwing tantrums than your kid. ;)