One thing that surprised me about motherhood is how it often feels like a competition. It’s so strange though, sometimes I am not sure if I have signed up for the competition and am in it or if it is happening to me.
I find myself totally in it when I don’t expect it. A while ago a friend was over and her son (a month younger than Gus) and Gus were playing and we were chatting. I don’t remember how this came up but she said something about how another kid was not smart like “our boys”. I caught Lesley’s eye and we both gave a little eye roll. Whoops. That’s totally involved in the competition, eh? It’s not that her kid isn’t smart, I’m sure he is – but I have never seen him do anything extraordinary. He’s also a toddler so, you know, who am I to judge his smarts as I am no toddler expert.
Yesterday Lesley posted some pictures of Gus and someone commented that he is so happy. A friend with a 10 month old commented that her kid is like that too. No tantrums at all. HA. Ten months. Tantrums aren’t a thing for you yet, love. I commented something about how I could have said the same thing about Gus at that age. But really, do I need to say anything? Why burst her sweet naive bubble? Is it to show her that sure, sometimes she sees Gus lose it but she should know it is coming for her? I have no idea.
These are examples where I feel myself playing into it but I often walk away and wonder “Are we competing and I don’t know it?” It’s weird – it’s often right there under the surface and I am not sure if it is real or just me.
I really hate it when people compare their kids to Gus. I think a lot of it is, because try as I might, I think he is special flower and your kid is not him. On some level I think when people compare their kids to him it minimizes his specialness.
I am the parent I have always hated.