It starts preconception, I’m pretty sure. I mean, all you have to do is to have a hard time concieving Baby and all of a sudden you’re inundated by people telling you that they got pregnant while humping around in a hot tub, because “my/his boys can SWIM!” I like to imagine this sort of comment is well-meaning, because I hate to think of someone voluntarily trying to make someone else feel small, but I don’t honestly believe that.
In my heart of hearts I feel as though this is just another way someone else’s kids/sperm/egg/wives are better than yours. Why, didn’t you hear that Susie only gained 12.4 pounds with Junior who weighed in at birth at exactly 12.4 pounds AND DOING GEOMETRY? My own son was only born with the ability to pee on the doctor AND NOT EVEN IN HER MOUTH.
Once while I was working in the Special Care nursery, I inadvertantly got called into a conversation with a father who was examining the size of his son’s penis. He was convinced that it was larger then all of the other baby boys, and because his child was in Special Care, I didn’t bother to correct him. I agreed with his assessment and moved on while thinking to myself that baby penises look remarkably like canned Japanese mushrooms. Then I said a prayer to the Gods to let the guy let go of the size of his son’s wang. I mean, hey, I have two boys and the size of their respective genitalia is not something I care to think about, because that would involve me imagining them having The Sex and ew! those are my KIDS you’re talking about here.
While I waited for the doctor at Alex’s newborn checkup, it seemed that everyone wanted to comment on his size. I was genuinely shocked to be bombarded with comments about this as he was a completely average sized newborn, just as his brother was. But it seems as though the bigger the baby, the better, which confuddles me: I mean, if you’re already pushing out (or having pulled out of you) something roughly the size, shape and texture of a uncooked turkey, why would you want it to be grossly larger? Hell, I’m sure the Depends manufacturer would rejoice at the forthcoming lack of bladder control, but as for me, I prefer not to flappity-flap-flap in the breeze. But, like most things in this world, maybe it’s just me.
I mean, I’m GLAD that your child was born large and healthy and that he or she is consistantly in the 90% percentile for height and weight, but it honestly doesn’t concern me too much. I don’t tend to rely on charts or graphs to plot my child’s progress because I have better things to do with my time (also, neither of my kids were preemies, which DOES involve measuring these things pedantically), like organize my massive collection of toenail clippings or clean the bathtub drains with my tongue.
Ben is slightly undersized, but if you remove the extra baby-fat from me, I’m not exactly an Amazon myself, nor is his father. I figure that it helps him stay in his clothes for far longer, and move the hell on with my day. Alex, on the other side of the spectrum, against all odds (The Daver is about the size of a garden gnome, and as previously stated, I am not what ANYONE would call “tall”) has gone from being a teeny peanut to earning the nickname of “Slim.” Let’s just say that his rolls have rolls and I may have to begin powdering them to stave off the yeasties.
Babies, like people, tend to develop as they were programmed to do at their own pace, which you’d never believe in listening to people tell you about how your child is not on the mark for crawling, walking, sitting up and playing Parcheesi, but their child is WAAAAYYY ahead on ALL of their milestones. Be that as it may be, I hate to inform them that parental involvement isn’t really a huge factor in this, nature is as nature does (does that even MAKE SENSE?).
Honestly, what irritates me the greatest about this particular brand of competitive parenting is not that Little Bobby crawled at 5 weeks whereas Alex hasn’t crawled yet (oh, THE HUMANITY!), and Ben didn’t crawl until after he learned to walk, but it’s the gleeful and self-satisfied manner in which they inform you of this. It inspires me to Pimp Slap them, but usually I refrain and ask a pointed question about who their mother loved more. Then I walk away.
Mayhap THIS is why I have so few Mommy friends.