Thursday, December 8, 2011

Losing at Competitive Parenting

"Chillax, Mama!"

It happened yet again at LO's 15 month doctor's appointment. After determining the child's cranium hugeitude in relation to his body tinyness, Dr. B started in on the list of things that tell her if he is on track to become the first American President to hold both a PhD in Theoretical Physics and one in English Literature after setting an unbreakable time record at the Boston Marathon and fighting crime as a caped crusader in his spare time.

Responsible parents read the What to Expect books (motto: "If you're not scared yet, just read chapter 12!!") and know what the doctor will expect to know at each well baby appointment. Since I only barely qualify for the title (remember how my kid had Fig Newtons for Thanksgiving dinner?), I have not once looked at the "milestones your pediatrician will ask you about" section. And since I am an absolute failure in the sport of competitive parenting, I have also neglected to teach to the test in the weeks leading up to our appointments.

Don't get me wrong. I want my baby to be just as extraordinary as the next mom. There was some thought about how my baby would be so brilliant he'd emerge from the womb clutching a Bachelor's degree he earned in utero. (Of course, I wouldn't want him to get further than undergraduate studies prior to birth, as it might limit his future growth opportunities). But my lack of a competitive mothering gene means that I don't do anything to help him along with his extraordinariness. I just expect him to get there on his own.

Yesterday, when Dr. B asked me if LO knew his body parts, I had three distinct reactions.

Paranoid Mama: "He's supposed to know his body parts? Dear Lord, he's not even waving yet!"

Snarky Mama: "He's doing pretty well with them, except that he keeps getting his duodenum and his perineum mixed up. Kids!"

Zen Mama: "Do any of us really know our body parts? We're really only souls renting corporeal space until our energy moves on to another plane."

This morning, I found myself reverting to Paranoid Mama thinking and we had a rousing round of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Duodenum" over breakfast. LO was too busy throwing his food on the floor to notice my singing, which is probably best for everyone involved.

Because really, even though I compare my son to other children and I get paranoid every time he's not hitting one of the milestones that Dr. B didn't warn me he should be able to do by now, I don't truly care how he gets where he's going. I hope he has a contented, interesting, long, and fulfilling life. It doesn't matter when he learns to wave or point at his foot or potty train (provided it's before he goes off to college) or even read. As long as he's learning and growing making strides toward whatever his future brings, it's not a race.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I will never win the parenting olympics. Thank G-d.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, love this post!! I'm right there with you on the non-competitive parenting.