We all want out kids to be the fastest, cutest, smartest, bestest at everything (Yes, I know that's not a word, but we still want it). So much that it makes us completely irrational about development, aka the baby milestone competitions.
Why is everything a competition? I mean I love a good challenge as much as the next person, and trust me if you have ever stood next to me in a fitness class, there was infact a showdown without your knowledge.
We are adults though, we choose to compete, our sweet babies shouldn't have to feel this competitive pressure without having a choice in the matter. But, we do it anyway. The other day my sister sent me a snap chat (damn you snap) of her daughter who happens to be 3 months younger than my own, clapping on demand to happy and you know it. Adorable right? No, competitive juices flowing, yes! Can my kid do it too? Uh, yea, I'm sure she can I just haven't given her the opportunity. No time like the present! "Ellie let's answer Baby S's snap chat." Cue me, and Gigi looking like some fools singing "happy and you knowit " 3 times over while my daughter literally laughed in our face's then finally humored us with a limp, lackluster clap and devilish grin in the end.
Why did I care so much if she could do it? Why did it matter? Why do we have to compare this little humans? What was I going to do if she couldn't do it?
We are so competitive that we even do it with bad things.
"Your kid didn't sleep last night? Mine never sleeps, like ever."
"Your kid won't eat? Mine never eats like less than never, can't get her to eat a thing?"
No wonder our kids grow up so self conscious. Half their life is already documented in social media for all to see and judge, and we are constantly throwing their hats in the the ring to compete with the next baby when they dont even know they are on stage! You know what would be great? If we could let our kids just grow up and be themselves, if they could grow in their own independent space and thrive.
Who cares if Mrs. Jones' little can spin plates while skiing. Fuck that. She is probably lying anyways.
Trust me your kids can feel when you are pressuring them to be someone there aren't. You know the feeling, when you try to make them do their latest "trick" in front of people, and they look at you stone faced like "bitch I am not trained monkey." That's the feeling. Leave that poor child alone.
My kid eats her toes, and paper she finds on the floor. She is not even one for God sakes. She will figure it all out, they all will, if we let them. So let's all just step off and stop being all toddlers and tiaras, they are just babies.
They will sit up, roll over, walk, eat, and talk crap to us ONE DAY. Don't rush it. As my little one naps on my chest while I type I wish I could turn back time and watch her hit every amazing milestone again. She is going to be one year old. One whole year, and she has learned so many amazing things, and taught me so many things. It's ok if they crawl a little longer, wake up more at night, find the good in it, more time playing on the carpet together, more midnight snuggles. We are all gonna it phase when its gone...
Now excuse while I go sob because I am going to have a freaking one year old before the week is out!
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Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.