Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Baby Wars

Ok, so now I know what the whole competitive side of having kids feels like. Z has a cousin 10 days older than her, Phoebe, and she's a cutie. Z has been quicker with the motor skills, crawled and pulled herself up, while Phoebe has had teeth for months now. We haven't really thought about what it will be like for them to grow up so close together. Liam would know more about that because he has a twin. I never realized how much more impactful the comparisons you make between children are when they are the same age. It's a lot different to say, "So and So walked at 10 months while it took blah blah until they were 14 months" when the kids are 5 years apart. But when they are right there next to each other it can seem more like "Ohhh so and so is so much more advanced than blah blah, look at how far ahead s/he is." That said, you start to realize just how much parents can hear/see what they want to hear/see.

This brings me to the first baby showdown in my family. My grandmother informed me 2 days ago that Phoebe said thunder. Phoebe is 9 months has maybe said dada, I don't think mama is there yet. THUNDER! Seriously?! According to my grandmom, her mom, my aunt by marriage, Sally, walked into the room and said "Oh listen to all the thunder" and then Phoebe said it back.......

I'm all for thinking your baby is the smartest cookie in the box, but come on. Sure Z says things all the time that sound like words, but it's usually just babbling that our brain is trying to make sense of, it isn't her reciting the Gettysburg address. Now, maybe Phoebe did say thunder and I'm just being a little crazy, but that just seems unlikely. Sure we have pics of Z standing on her own at 3 months. But that was one of us standing her up while the other snapped a few pics before she toppled over onto the pillows.

What I worry about now is how that can create problems for the two as they grow up. My side of the family is crazy close, as in I see all of my uncles, aunts and first cousins pretty much daily. My uncle has a set of twins, David and Jake, that are 2.5. David is super outgoing, knows all of his letters, numbers, and colors. Jake is kind of a sulky kid who doesn't really like to interact. They took Jake to a specialist and they said that he was on the tail end of the autism spectrum, but it was really done, so he could work with a specialist and it would be covered by insurance. Now he's totally blossoming and becoming more vocal and active and wants to participate. Part of it is what a few of us suspected all along. Jake was so shy and withdrawn because David took over. They almost never had time apart, so David would do the things people asked Jake to do, answer the questions directed at Jake, etc, so Jake kind of just gave up. The more praise David got, the more Jake just didn't feel like trying. Now the girls, of course live in different houses, have different parents etc, so it wouldn't be as bad as with the twins, but it's still something I worry about. Because they are around each other so much the comparisons will just keep coming. I guess it's a part of life and I'm just going into protection mode, but I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for it and making sure that they both feel like they are their own person outside of their comparisons to each other.

1 comment:

  1. I remember automatically comparing Timmy to kids his age (or noticing the parents of those kids doing so). As the mother of a child at the slower end of the spectrum in motor skills, it stressed me out more often than not.

    But then we all just sort of stopped doing it. I think when it becomes obvious what each kids' personality is and what their strengths/weaknesses are, it's completely irrelevant.

    My mom warns me that parents do it again with school age children, and I don't look forward to it.

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