Thursday, June 2, 2011

My baby's better than YOUR baby....

"Where 2 or more babies are gathered, there, comparisons will be in the midst of them."

Its not a Bible quote, but maybe it should be.

I have 3 kids- I'm a pro, if you will- and even I have found myself doing the comparison dance from time to time.  Its interesting to note, by the way, that boxing has also been compared to a dance.

Coincidence?  I think not.

You can find this dance occurring anywhere moms are found- parks, grocery stores, even the library:

The dance begins:

"Your baby is SO cute- how old is he?"
"5 months."
"Mine too!"
"Aw, she's gorgeous."
"Thanks.  What a cutie- he's so big!  Is he crawling yet?"
"No- yours?"
"Just yesterday.  Its like she's been saving her energy, though, because she crawled across the entire kitchen floor first time out!"
"That's incredible!  You're going to have your hands full with her."
"I know!"
"I'm a little thankful that mine is still a sweet lump- we haven't had to really baby proof.  Now if only he'd stay a sweet SILENT lump- he just said 'Mama' yesterday.  He'll be talking up a storm in no time."
"They grow up so fast, don't they?  Mine was reaching out toward the 'Modern Science' magazine in the bookstore earlier.  My husband and I are already deciding which Ivy League to send her to.  I guess we'll just wait a month til she can tell us her choice."
"That's really impressive.  You must be proud.  I don't think there's an Ivy League in our little guy's future, though,"

...Wait for it...

"all he wants to do is read cookbooks, so we're looking into early enrollment for the Culinary Institute of America instead of kindergarten.  A parent should always encourage their child's strengths and he makes the BEST bolognese- just think what training could do!"

Every time a mom asks another mom her baby's age, the first step in the dance is taken.  Even if each others babies are no where near in age, its a crucial step in determining how their own baby is doing; however, no mom wants anyone to look at their baby as the weakest link, so they throw out their own baby's recent milestone... and if necessary, they embellish:

"Little Johnny just took his first steps!  How 'bout yours?"
"Oh, mine is content to keep his seat on Terra Firma... chewing on books... well, reading books... A book, actually- he's reading 'Hamlet'."

Its not our fault.  Like the bell that starts the boxing match or that first note of a tango, asking a baby's age will always be perceived as:
"Betcha my baby is better than yours."
"Nuh uh."
"Uh huh."

Soooo.... how old is YOUR baby?


  1. Great, great post!!! You are so right!!! I am proably just as gulity of it, I hope not, but, I know me!!! For the record all three of my babies could speak french before they were 6 months old and for each of their first birthdays volunteered their time buliding and designing homes for Habiatt for Humanity! They also cooked and fed all the voulunteers, mind you, this was all before they were 18 months old!!! Lol!!! Thanks for a great post and a great laugh! I love to visit your blog!!

  2. You must watch How I met Your mother too... unless "wait for it" was a phrase coined somewhere else and adopted by the show. (it's my fave)

    Anyhow, I know for some it's SOO competitive. I don't really compare my kid in THAT way personally, he is a person, his own person who will do things in his own time. Of course we are his parents so we are prouder than the average bear and our first so we're excited. But I really have a hard time with "my kid is super smart" because I think they are all "smart" but at different things- they will have their strengths- don't get me wrong- maybe I just know too many people getting their kids IQ tested and "making sure they are challenged" but I guess at least they take an interest in their kids lives- but it's a double edged sword- some of those people are too controlling and hard enough to deal with.

  3. Haha. I know what you mean. But believe it or not I once had a mom come up to me and say, "Wow your daughter is so cute. I wish my daughter was that beautiful!" I think she might have just earned the "Worst Mom" award at that very moment, good thing her daughter was still a toddler and had no idea her mother has zero confidence in her beauty. Come to think of it...I knew that mom who shot botox in her 8 year old's face looked familiar!

  4. and the worst of it....wait for it....
    it never stops. my boy is in high school and i still hear it. ugh. double ugh.
    it is all about one-upping the other parent. i just don't have it in me. i suppose that makes me better;)

  5. I was nodding my head in recognition through this whole article. What is it with us moms? Even those of us who really don't want to 'compete' end up getting sucked into these conversations. Ugh. But it gets easier to recognize and dodge them when they are about to happen. The most common start to these conversations is, "How old is your son?" Depending on who my son's 'competition' is, he might be told, "My, you're big for your age!" and then the mother will ask what 'percentile' he is in (am I a bad mother for not caring what percentile my son?); or the other mother might simply nod and then call over her son, a head taller than mine, and introduce him. Brava! Moms are silly.

  6. Hahahahahaha that's hilarious! I hate those awkward moments when moms who don't know each other but pretend like they are interested try to make conversation.... i'm careful about even asking the how old is she/he dooropening question :)
    {tara} from Undeserving Grace


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