View Full Version : comparison moms
12-14-2002, 12:45 PM
There is this woman. She is DH's boss. Anyway, she had a baby just over a year ago and is due next month with her second. Every time I see her and she asks how the baby is doing, I tell her something little, like he's playing with rattles or sticking out his tongue. Whatever I say, she has to add something to it.
For instance: Oh, Gannon's great! He's just starting to pick things up. Her response: Oh, is he passing things from hand to hand yet?
Or when I pregnant and I bought some yogurt to eat. (DH works at a gourmet food store.) "You know Joanne, there's some organic whole milk yogurt over there."
These all seem harmless when reading them, but she says it with this tone and I just want to slap her. It's not like I was getting friggin' hot pink Trix portable yogurt sticks. It was Stonyfield Farms vanilla. Okay, sorry, just the comment about passing things from hand to hand really irked me. As long as he's not sticking his fingers into electrical sockets, I'm good. Thanks.
12-14-2002, 01:09 PM
We will all snarl in her general direction on your behalf!
Mom to Abigail Rose
12-14-2002, 02:00 PM
We had this fabulous mothers' comedy troupe up here that used to do a hilarious bit on how other parents are frequently not your best supports, but rather your _worst enemies_ -
(put on snide, all-knowing voice)
"Oh... I see you have a Jolly Jumper. Roger and I decided not to risk the PERMANENT SPINAL DISFIGUREMENT...!!"
(Just in case anyone is wondering, no, there have NOT been any radical, horrible new discoveries about Jolly Jumpers...)
Too bad she's DH's boss. People like this are just asking for you to mess with their heads. If she were someone else, I'd suggest that you start making up weird crap, and tell her cheerfully about how Gannon can now roll his eyes all the way back in his head, or how he really likes his morning espresso, or how you're wondering whether he's old enough for you to get his ears pierced. When she points you at the whole-milk organic yogurt, you could put on wide eyes and say, "Oh - you mean you haven't heard about the strontium issues? I thought you'd know, after all those warnings they put out." And see how long you could get her to chase her tail...
But no, we don't want to complicate DH's life unduly. Too bad...
twins r fun
12-14-2002, 02:12 PM
You are too funny KathyO!!:) I'm glad I'm not your enemy, though!
12-14-2002, 10:04 PM
As the mom of a baby who has been delayed in MANY physical developments I am VERY sensitive to this. Sarah didn't crawl until 10 months, pull up until 14 months, no teeth until 14 months, still not walking at 16 months (but getting close!). All of these are considered in the normal "range" but at the VERY trailing edge. EVERY conversation with my parents or in-laws starts with "is she walking yet?" It drives me CRAZY. My ped has assured us that she is perfectly fine and none of this correlates to mental developmental delys (which, thank God, is obvious in her case).
But people sometimes don't think about how innocent remarks can really hurt some people. They say "Is she walking?" instead of a neutral, "How's she doing", to which you can respond, "oh fine" if there is a problem and don't care to share, or you can wax enthusiastically if she is a little prodigy. I think that most people don't mean anything and are just trying to make conversation. Some people DO mean it, and just ignore them if you can.
Once in a fit of self-pity, I lurked on the Babycenter.com Developmental Delays board. Yikes. People with babies just starting to do directed reaching at 18 months, rolling over at two! I realized how lucky I was and gave extra hugs and kisses to my lagging behind her peers, but very healthy normal girl.
12-14-2002, 11:11 PM
If it makes you feel better, I know a little girl who didn't walk until 18 months, and even then wasn't confident on her feet. At 24 months she was running and totally indistiguishable (movement-wise) from all the other 24 month olds. This girl talked much earlier than my daughter (who walked at 12 months and was running by 13) and was always much better at hand co-ordionation skills (such as coloring, eating with utensils, etc.). Now they are the same. It has been my experience that every child excels at something and is 'delayed' at something.
Additionally, consider this comment from a veteran kindergarten teacher:
EVERY CHILD who has entered my class (age 5) walks, talks, is potty-trained, does not have a pacifer, and uses a cup. Your child will NOT be the first to break this trend.
Moral is: although you will go through personal upheaval over these so-called developmental delays, by the time your child is 5 no one will care when she did something the first time, and she will be no different from her peers.
I try to tell myself this right now with my potty-training woes. :-)
12-14-2002, 11:33 PM
Your daughter is lucky to have a mom who will let her be who she is... I hate parents who treat development as a gigantic race... to where? Everybody wants to be on the leading edge of the curve, and forgets the real meaning of the term "normal". Some day we'll be clustered in school auditoriums somewhere watching them all graduate from high school, strong and smart and beautiful... and nobody will care who rolled over at what age, and who could recite her ABCs before who...
twins r fun
12-15-2002, 12:32 AM
I keep trying to tell my husband something along these lines. With twins, it's so easy to fall into making comparisons. One of our babies is really gross motor oriented and one is more inquisitive/verbal. So DH keeps saying the one will will never walk and one will never talk. This is actually a true concern of his. I keep telling him as long as they can walk and talk by the time they go to school, it doesn't matter. Even if the one doesn't learn to walk until he's 2, he's still got 3+ years to "catch up" before it matters!
12-16-2002, 06:36 PM
Oh my gosh - thank you for this thread! Ainsleigh is 8 1/2 months and has stopped rolling over. And forget crawling. So what does my friend always point out when we get together to walk - "My son is crawling ALL over the place. He gets into everything. I can't believe he started crawling at 6 months, but I guess it's because we spend so much time playing together on the floor. Now he's pulling up and acting like he's going to walk..." (he's 3 weeks older than A)
Oh puh-leez. As if I DON'T play with my child? Yeah, I just sit her in a box in the corner and let my cats watch her.
But I do have a guilty secret -- we still swaddle Ainsleigh. I know - this is something you do for newborns! But it was the only thing that calmed her from the beginning and it has continued to do so. It's the weirdest thing - if we just lay her in the crib, she has a very disturbed sleep. So much that the entire next day she is as tired as she was the night before. But if she's swaddled, she calms down quickly, falls asleep rather fast, and stays asleep for up to 11 hours. My mom suggested that is one reason she stopped rolling over and isn't crawling - because in the morning when babies first wake up is when they're happy and experimenting. So I'm torn - spend who knows how many horrible days/nights trying to acclimate her to "regular" sleeping, or keep her swaddled and eventually let her grow out of it (though they told us at 2 months she'd grow out of it in a couple...).
Oh, but if we stand her up in her crib, she'll hold on to the railing and hold herself there for a while. She'll stand next to the couch, too. So maybe she'll be one of those kids who just doesn't crawl?
Sorry to open the floodgate, but this has been really weighing on my mind. And I HATE it when strangers ask you about your child and then have a story to tell you how much smarter/better their child/grandchild is. I had a woman stop me when Ainsleigh was 6 months old and ask if she was crawling. When I said no she said, "My son was walking at 8 months." Super. That MUST make you a better mom.
Sorry to complain, I'm sure these mothers just mean well (they must, right? why else would they say stuff like that? are they TRYING to be rude?). Oh well, thanks for letting me add to the rant. I just comfort myself by saying (to myself), "Well some kids get skills and some get looks..." haha
12-16-2002, 09:02 PM
Oh my goodness, by all means swaddle that child!!!!
They achieve their milestones when they will. My ped, who I ADORE, says that these things all have to do with the development and maturation of your child's muscles AND their central nervous system. They simply CANNOT crawl, walk, etc. before they are ready to. There are some studies that show that people who work VERY intensively to promote motor skills are able to hasten the onset of those skills by a few weeks. BUT by age three all children are performing at the same level regardless of when they began to perform that skill.
12-17-2002, 12:23 AM
I agree, swaddle away!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, a great deal of moms in Eastern Europe do it until the babies are a year old. A study I read recently stated it greatly reduced the incidence of SIDS and now everyone is saying to keep swaddling for as long as you can. Meg prefered to be swaddled at night until she was 6 months or so. And let's not forget the Native Americans (or was it the Eskimos?) who basically had their kids strapped into papooses all day. They still developed almost exactly as their peers who weren't papoosed. I would like to add that anything that helps you and your child sleep is a good thing. I nearly drove myself nuts worrying a few months ago that Meghan uses a pacifier to help her fall asleep. Now I realize that I have a child that naps and sleep wonderfully well and to count my blessings! What if she sucked her thumb instead? Would I be as worried? Someday the binky will go away, probably even well before kindergarten. :)
Your dd may just not be interested in rolling or crawling now. I've heard it said that when one area is developing, there tends to be a regression in others. So Ainsleigh may be working on verbal or fine motor stuff, sitting balance, eating solids, etc. right now and who cares about the rolling? Maybe it just doesn't trip her trigger. In addition to genetics, I think personality plays a huge role in why some kids do some things sooner. Some kids are very adventurous and latch onto something they think is fun and do it to death. Others are a little more cautious and content to lay about a bit more. The test with parenting is to love and accept your children as they are, no matter what. Children seem to be wonderfully forgiving of all the time it takes for us to figure stuff out sometimes!
mom to Meghan
12-17-2002, 01:22 PM
I don't think the swaddling is stopping her from moving. In fact, the reason I stopped swaddling my daughter was because whenever I laid her down that way I would come into the room in the morning to find blankets all over the crib. She had kicked them off! That's when the SIDS worries lead me to use blanket sleepers. If my daughter can kick off the blankets at 3 months I'm sure yours can at 6 months. they should not be stopping her unless you are pinning them or something (and I know you're not!).
One thing that helped my daughter learn how to move was that I would give her some tummy time each day in front of a mirror. We have mirrored closet doors that go to the floor that are perfect for this, but you could just take any decent sized mirror and put it on the floor. At first she would just stare at the baby in the mirror, but then she started realizing that it moved when she did and she kept working on new ways of moving. She ended up being an early crawler (although walking was a little late!) and I think this mirror time was why. It also helped her get comfy on her tummy, which is essential for crawling.
12-17-2002, 01:26 PM
Oh THANK YOU Beth and Jen! My ped has been so good to assure me that Ainsleigh's development is fine, but I don't often go to the ped (just for her 2, 4, 6-month check-ups) and I seem to run into competitive moms more.
What you said about the European moms, Jen, really makes me feel better. The native American/papoose thing has crossed my mind, but of course it's easier to disregard things that EASE your conscience. And it does make sense about personality. Ainsleigh has always been one to observe more than interact. People comment all the time about how serious she always looks. Of course, she laughs and smiles and "talks" to DH and me all the time, but in public she's a watcher. My dad nicknamed her "poker-face" because she wouldn't even crack a smile at him for the longest time. At church while other kids her age are crawling and tearing the place up, she'll sit there looking around, or examining a bracelet someone has given her. And she's never been much of a cuddler - she wants to face out and see the world. So much so that I'm a little afraid that once she begins crawling and walking she might not come back! haha.
Thanks for your words of advice and comfort. You don't know how much better they made me feel. I just have to keep repeating, "I AM a good mom... I AM a good mom..." :)
12-17-2002, 02:23 PM
Ainsleigh sounds very similar to my Sarah in personality. Sarah is also more of a "watcher" when we are at playgroup. She has also never been much of a cuddler until recently. She has just NOW started hugging me of her own volition at 16 months. That has been REALLY hard for me, watching other babies hug and kiss their mommies when Sarah didn't. :(
I was a little worried around 6-9 months when she didn't really go through much of a stranger anxiety phase. There I was, worried again over nothing (is my child not properly attached to me...). Well, she is making up for that with a vengeance these days. Some days when we got to the gym, I only get a 15 minute workout. :(
I think the biggest gift we can give our babies is to respect them as individuals, give them all our love but also the space they need to develop in their own way. And of course you're a good mom! Only a good mom would worry about these things. A bad mom wouldn't care.
12-17-2002, 02:33 PM
Lola first rolled over right after she turned four months old. She rolled from her front to her back continuously for a day. Then, she didn't do it again for MONTHS. When we tried to encourage her to roll over, it was as though she was saying "been there, done that." When other parents would ask if she was rolling over I would answer, "No but she did for a day.'' I always felt compelled to add that last bit, "...she did for a day."
The only thing Lola has done early, relatively speaking, was sit up. She did that at just over 4 months. When people asked me at five and six months if she was walking yet my answer was always "No, thank God!" People would often look at me dumbfounded when I said that until I spoke of the charms of being able to put your kid down, go to the bathroom and have them be in the same place when you returned. In my mind the perfect child is one who sits up early and crawls and walks late. Once they're on the move, so are you and there's no turning back.
Babies grow so quickly!!! Enjoy EVERY stage. At some point we'll all be yearning for the time when they were younger.
I'm probably a bit late to pipe in, but I'm pretty sure that crawling is no longer considered an official 'milestone'. I thought I had read that because of SIDS and the push for babies to sleep on their back, many more children were skipping the 'crawling' phase and went straight to walking. Thus doctors stopped keeping track of the age kids were crawling at as it was no longer relevant (my ped never asked when DD could - though they asked about every other milestone). Lilli didn't crawl until she was about 9 months old - she actually rolled to get things :)! She sat early and could pull herself up to stand, was cruising, etc. but wasn't interested in 'crawling'. She also didn't start walking until she was 13mo. And that was at a party with a ton of kids. DH and I think that she was scared that she'd get trampled by all the kids running around if she was crawling. I watched her sit on the floor after crawling a bit, look around at all the kids running, then she pulled herself up and away she went. She walked from then on. I had people at the party asking me how long she'd been walking (oh, 5 minutes or so... :)). Also, she didn't have that 'toddling' stage - she just walked and very, very rarely fell down. Don't worry - once they get moving you sometimes wish they'd just sit still! Best of luck to you...
SAHM to Lilli (9/20/00) & Alec (10/21/02)
12-17-2002, 07:00 PM
KathyO - You're too funny!
I have to say that I'm a comparison mom (mentally) but not a competition mom! Ds is behind some of his classmates in some things so mentally I'm always wondering what else *I* should be doing to help him. It's very silly, and logically I know there's not a thing to do, and he'll get there when he does.
I'm lucky that the other moms that I talk to aren't the competition type, so I get to enjoy their little ones milestones too!
Mommy to Jonah
12-17-2002, 07:09 PM
I know this is going to make me sound hormonal, but I feel like I'm going to cry from relief from all of you - you really know how to make a girl feel good. Thank you Beth, brubeck, Jen, ct and Sarah. Seriously, my hormones are out of control right now (I thought bfing would help alleviate pms... think again...).
Like Lola, Ainsleigh rolled over for about 4 days (one day of front to back ONLY, 3 days of back to front ONLY) and hasn't done it since. She now lunges at things from her sitting position (and the distance she gets is entertaining!) and if she gets off-center and rolls to her back, she gets very upset. Is tantrum a milestone?
Beth, so far Ainsleigh hasn't experienced any stranger anxiety either. Well once she pushed away from someone (and I have to admit I got a little excited inside thinking, "she wants me!"), but she does that to me sometimes and it's more that she wants to face out. I totally understand wanting her to at least acknowledge I'm her mom. I think I've mentioned it before, but one reason I'm terrified of weaning (though we won't do it until she's a year - unless she starts biting) is that I'm afraid she won't care who I am if I'm not the milk. *sigh* Not that I'm wishing she would be a mama's girl, but...
All in all, like some of you have said, I'm glad she's not crawling and try to focus on how fun (and manageable) she is at this age. While I thought it would be cute for her to crawl for Christmas, I suppose it is a lot easier to baby-proof when there aren't packages and decorations all over the place.
Thank you everyone, and sorry Joanne for sort of stealing your thread. These boards give me the nerve to voice the fears and guilt I would otherwise keep buried (and festering...). Thank you!
12-17-2002, 07:15 PM
Yes, count your blessings! I have one of those I so labeled "adventurous" children who is constantly on the move so basically I don't get much at all done during Meghan's waking hours. Usually, by the time she naps there are half done projects all over the house that were interrupted when I needed to go and chase her down, not to mention the zillion toys all over the floor. Meg rarely sits still (even to watch Baby Einstein movies) and is really running these days vs. walking. She will eat in her high chair but doesn't want to be in it another second after she's finished. Forget me browsing about while shopping, because God forbid the stroller or shopping cart stops moving. And did I mention the wrestlemania we do to change most diapers? We go to church, but my DH or myself ends up chasing her around for most of the service and I honestly wonder why we go. So sometimes having one of those peaceful little children like Sarah and Ainsleigh who sit contentedly in strollers, car seats, high chairs is a really great thing!!!! :)
By the way Beth, I just started getting Meghan-initiated hugs and kisses last month. She has a large personal space and a lot of time will still push me or Scott away if the hug wasn't her idea!
mom to Meghan
12-18-2002, 10:58 AM
I know a Mom with twins, a girl and a boy. The boy is super affectionate. He will cuddle and smile at everyone, and has flirted with other Moms (including myself) since he was 16 months. He also likes to give big, wet, spontaneous kisses. His sister (until recently and they're 22 months) was quiet and reticent and only really opened up after a big nap and a huge meal, and then only for about 30 minutes or so. Even now she will smile but she's not a super cuddler and doesn't warm up to anyone she hasn't seen a billion times before. And these are TWINS who shared a womb together.
Point is, every child is different, even ones from the same DNA pool. Some kids are just more affectionate than others, just like some people are more affectionate than others. All you can do is create an environment where the child knows it is OK to express any affectionate impulses.
And FYI, my daughter just turned 2 and at the 24 month appointment the doctor asked me FOR THE FIRST TIME if she was showing affection towards her parents. And the only reason the ped cared was because not showing affection (when it is accompanied by MANY other things such as severe tantrums, demands, etc.) can be a sign of emotional problems well beyond the usual 'terrible twos'. Actually I had a good talk with the ped about what the terrible twos entailed and what degree of tantruming, independence, etc. was normal. All this while my daughter was pulling my hand saying, 'We Going!'. :-) So certainly the medical community doesn't seem to be worried about 'lack of affection' until at least that age.
And BTW, you can create a bond with your child even if you don't breastfeed. My daughter preferred me over my husband for more than a year but that was because I was the primary caregiver. I was the one who did 90%+ of the feeding (BM/formula/solids), diaper changes, dressing, playing, singing, etc. I got pregnant when she was 16 months (I'm due any day now) and that gave me the 'sleepies' at about the time she was seriously pepping up. Suddenly Daddy was much more fun because he would swing her around, give her rides on his shoulders and back, jump up and down with her, etc. Soon she was jumping up and down in the evenings when she heard the garage door because Daddy was home and she was running to greet him for a 'jump'. Now she knows that I am fun and Daddy is fun, but we will do different things with her, and she is affectionate with us both.
12-18-2002, 11:42 AM
I wish I could swaddle Gannon! You are so lucky that you can do it! It really calms him down but he just busts out of it so fast. And besides, I feel like I need a twin blanket to do it properly he's so big. Gannon hasn't rolled over yet and I'm a little worried. He's right on the cusp. He kinda does it halfway and then just stops. I guess he's lazy, like his mama.
Head to the lounge girls...Big news! :)
12-18-2002, 12:36 PM
I went to the lounge where's the big news??
How was your day in the city Monday?
Did you ever win that auction on the M5, you never told us.
12-18-2002, 12:47 PM
How funny- Amira is so similar!! She is also so shy in public and was not at all a cuddler- only recently started hugging and cuddling and only with me and DH...I think every baby just has their own "thing" Amira started talking at 8 months- before she was able to crawl...! I always think about a cousin of mine who refused to talk until he was almost 2- he was not delayed at all, just refused and finally one day just started talking- in full sentences, no baby talk. it was pretty strange, but he is extremely bright and a fantastic 12 yr old now! I have a friend who has a son 3 weeks younger than Amira and he was sitting, crawling and pulling up before she even really got the hang f rolling over both ways!! oh well...she is adorable and she is mine and who cares when she does things as long as she does do them!!!
the comparison thing drives me crazy too. That's why I like talking to the old people at the mall instead of the other new moms. :)
With twin babies, most people always ask how much they weighed, or how much they weigh now, or comment on how small they are compared to their baby/neice/grandchild... who might happen to be twice the age of my babies.
I'm just grateful to have lean - muscular - active healthy babies. They may not be the fattest babies on the block, and they aren't eating the most solids in town, but they're mine and they're perfect.
I'd love a witty response to those who comment on how small they are, or ask if we took fertility drugs, or say that it's not hard for me because I have no other babies. ugh.
Really, though, in good humor, people can be so annoying sometimes! LOL Gotta love the greeters at WalMart though. They make us feel so welcome and appreciated! Even the lady in the baby section, who has to be close to 80, remembers us, our stroller (and how we bought it online!) and says everything is perfect. Not a negative word out of her mouth.
twin girls 7.20.02
charlotte & else
02-17-2003, 02:42 PM
My son never crawled.He used to pull himself around with his arms and drag his little body wherever he had to go.
He is now very athletic and competitive.YOU have done nothing to stop her development.She just may get up and go when she is ready!
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