Saturday, February 24, 2007

Comparing Apples and Oranges

We all do it. We can't help it. We compare ourselves, our kids, our lives to others. As a new mom desperately seeking to understand my developing daughter, I find that my need to baseline has gotten worse.

The world is set up to force us to compare. Look in the child-rearing must-have "What to Expect the First Year." At the beginning of each chapter is a "What Your Child Should Be Doing This Month" section. Most parents, myself included, ignore the footnote in small print that says "each child develops at his or her own pace."

A friend recently brought her daughter who is a week older than LP into the office. I missed it, but rumor has it that she was crawling, taking some small steps and clapping for joy when everyone oohhed and aaaahed. LP continues to be a world-class roller on the brink of crawling.

"No two babies are alike!" I keep reminding myself. Of course, no two babies are alike when my kid is ahead of the curve, but when she is right on (or dare I type, behind) pace, I don't like this disclaimer.

My little LP loves to hug and snuggle. She makes everyone around her smile. For now, I am content that she excels at bringing joy, but come the next milestone check, I am sure I will be looking for the more standard high marks.

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