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.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

11 Responses to Com-pet-it-ion

  • Cricket says:

    The comparisons are so absurd. I’ve lived, them, too.

    I can comment no further. You raised my blood pressure.

  • Meg says:

    I think people just want to know that they’re not doing the wrong thing. As babies are too young to be crack addicts, I guess reaching milestones has to be the marker.

    You’re right about the development. They do stuff when they do stuff and nothing you can do will make them do it any quicker. Jasper didn’t roll front to back till he was nearly eight months, but once he did he suddenly strted doing all he other things within a few weeks. And the sleepig through – that’s the other big one. People say: “MY baby was sleeping throught at eight weeks.” I’m tired of people telling me to nip it in the bud etc etc etc.

  • Jenn says:

    My kids were both bigger-than-average babies and I always got negative comments about it. As if they thought I was feeding them pureed chocolate chip cookies rather than breastmilk. They would say, “Oh my! He is AWFULLY big for his age, isn’t he?” Then I would get tips on how to have a ‘healthy’ baby. People suck sometimes.

  • becky says:

    Meg, I am with you on the sleeping thing. I am so damn sick of hearing everyone tell me that their kids slept through the night in utero! I already feel like I’m doing stuff wrong because Alex is a piss-poor sleeper and I don’t need the world to remind me of it.

  • becky says:

    Jenn, you’re kidding me. Really? I cannot believe that it’s BOTH ends of the spectrum, but I guess I shouldn’t be suprised. People find fault in everything, don’t they?

  • dig your blog. i have nothing clever to say but i did buy a wooden playstructure from this company. my husband has a thing for redwood and other companies wouldnt guarantee thats what they’d use. we designed our own which is nice but the monkey bars are way way high, thats a bummer.heres the site: http://www.kidscreations.com/

  • Denise says:

    Oh yeah, it doesn’t stop. Ever. At least, that’s been my experience. My kids are tiny (one was a preemie and the other just made it to term) and we get comments all the time about how small they are. It drives me batty.

    There’s always that small part of me that wonders if I doing a good enough job and when you hear shit like this, it does tend to eat at me on occasion.

  • Heather says:

    My first (3.5) is a ‘non-eater’ as we kindly call him; people are always hassling us/me about his lack of eating (or what he eats – if it ain’t white, he ain’t eatin’) and his small size. My second, nine months, eats like a horse and someone actually advised me to cut back her milk consumption at five months! She’s not *that* big! So, yeah, it’s all over the place.

    Interesting story about her nine month check-up. The nurse asks if Beans plays pat-a-cake (along with all the other sleep/eat/play questions). I say, ‘no.’ The doc comes in, we chat, he plays with and examines Beans. Then he says (with a gravely concerned voice), “it says here she doesn’t pat-a-cake.” He then proceeded to grill me about her daily activities (does she babble, follow people with her eyes, and finally, is she engageable?). Finally, I was like ‘we don’t pat-a-cake at our house, we play chess. Okay, seriously, she’s engageable and fine and if we played pat-a-cake, I’m sure she’d be very adept. And, yeah, she’s engageable.” He then chats with her for a few minutes and we were sent on our way. Damn the pat-a-cake.

  • becky says:

    Heather, my first is also a non-eater, and people gave me NO END of grief about it. Like I could physically MAKE him eat (I have tried, it doesn’t work) or something. I’ve gotten over it.

    Alex, like your 9 month old, will eat anything not bolted down. He is my non-sleeper, which is much worse than an non-eater. Ben was a great sleeper.

    Guess this is how I know it’s not my fault. Anything to assuage the guilt, right?

    But pat-a-cake? That’s twisted. I don’t pretend to get it (and I HAVE medical training!)

  • Kim says:

    here it is, the place where I can always come to feel better about quietly wishing that about 5% of all the people who discuss my children with me would perish a firey death, and not feel bad about it.

    #2, the boy, the Wonderboy….he refused to walk, doc told us that if at 15 mos he did not walk, we would have troubles, big troubles (the ped is amazing, we adore him, honest). So LouDog decided that 3 days before he was 15 months he would start jogging. THREE days, Mommie had to be put on prozac for fear that the dreaded 15 month mile marker would come and go and here the child just gets up and takes off, never wobbled, never fell…just took the fuck off. Amazing how they are….I swear the kid was just testing my resiliance.

    I can’t count how many people tell me that their amazing child walked at 4 months, 6 months, 15 minutes after delivery, it’s great, I just hope that Little Johnnie can read or write, or draw a picture. Otherwise, Lydia and Geoffrey (his snot wad mother and golf pro father) better hope that the kid likes to run track, because it’s all he may have going for him. I hope we sit next to them at graduation….honest.

    I am a bitter, nasty, sharp tongued Mama today. I simply hated it when people compared my offspring to someone elses.

    I won’t go into how amazing my kid is, i know it, he knows it, and let’s face it, you got your own kids to oogle over, and THAT, my Pretties, is how I feel it should be! *stepping off the soap box that I was on*

    It’s good to be back with my bitches on the internets….thanks for giving me some space to rant on, Aunt Becky, yur da bomb.

    And, oh….my #2 is going to be 7 next month and I still have 20 lbs to shed. This might be my year *laughing wildly and adjusting the waist band on my sweatpants, the grey ones with the stains on the legs where I wipe off the potato chip grease* Bawahahahahaha

    be well,

  • becky says:

    Kim, I think people have some kind of radar for what will upset you most about your children. Ben walked just fine, but didn’t speak until he was well over two. And this was with bi-weekly therapy. But I never heard the end of how Eric or Susie BrightEyes spoke their first sentence at about age 3 months.

    Alex babbles and talks all of the time which is great, but now I can’t stop hearing from parents whose babies slept through the night at 1 day old (because Alex hasn’t even begun to master that can ‘o’worms).

    Parenthood is treatcherous. And dangerous.

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