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Ahead and Behind

Little L is an extremely alert, attentive and articulate little toddler.  She loves to read, has an 100+ word vocabulary, speaks both Canto and English, knows all of her colours and animals, and climbs and draws with the best of 'em.  She is also still eating with her hands (and the occasional loaded spoon), highly uncooperative in organized social settings (like gym class, or music class, or playdates), and can't quite count to ten yet.  She also doesn't know her ABC's.

She's 17 months.  And she is unique, much like every other child out there is unique.  Development is not always a linear path, and certainly does not follow the same timeline for every kid.  She's smart (arguably even gifted) in some areas, and totally "behind" in others.  Sometimes I read the very proud-mama blog posts out there and wonder if my kid is falling behind.  Other times, I am sure that people read my blog and wonder the same thing about their little ones.

Well, I'm here to tell you to STOP IT.  (I tell myself that all the time too).  Stop comparing, I mean.  Our babies will all eventually count and read and speak and do super-sophisticated physical feats like eat with a fork and spoon, or put on their velcro shoes on their own.  They will.  But.  BUT! It will happen when it happens.  If you rush it, you'll regret it, you and your kid will grow resentful, and it will be ugly and awful all around.  If you relax, you will enjoy the journey all the more.

Don't worry, I'm preaching at myself here more than anyone else.  I sometimes find my blood pressure start to rise when I read a blog post that I feel is a thinly-veiled attempt at boasting, and then I have to stop myself and ask, "Why?" It matters not that that kid can already do X or Y, or is at this or that stage in their development.  It doesn't minimize Little L's accomplishments or abilities, nor does it reduce her value as a person.  I'm sure that there are some things that Little L can do that other kids aren't doing yet, either, but no parent is  few parents are going to go and write about how their kid isn't doing X or Y yet.

So yeah.  STOP IT.  STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT.  And love your little genius, because every child is a little genius, and when you think about all of the learning that is taking place in their little minds every single minute of the day (including during their sleep), it's astounding that they haven't exploded from information overload yet.


Ms PR said…
Nice post.

I think everyone will always compare, whether you're a parent or not. This kid is taller. That kid is cuter. This other kid is a genius. That other kid is more well behaved. Meh...

The key is more about what you do when you compare. As in, I try not to be like, omg, my kid is behind, or omg, my kid is better. It's more just like, nice to compare and be happy for other kids too. Joe Jr isn't the most advanced verbally, so we would just acknowledge that and joke with each other. It's totally fine because well, it all balances out in the end. For eg, we know that her friend in NY is a verbal genius (she could count to 15 when she was 18 months!) and that's awesome. We're happy for her and it's cool.

I really like the updates moms put on their blogs (including Little L's!). Perhaps they're all admittedly bragging (I mean, I'm supposed to be proud of my kid, just like other moms who "brag" are proud too!), and that's all right. The people who care about you (I assume for me, those subscribed to my blog) want to know updates and are happy for you.

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