Samuel is on the verge of walking. Every day he gets more confident in the way he cruises around furniture. He spends almost all his time standing against furniture these days, and both Richard and I have noticed that occasionally he is just touching the furniture more than he is holding on to it.
I am eager for him to move on to walking, but it’s not like I wake up every day with the thought “will it happen today?” With the notable exception of when he was late to use his hands, I don’t find I pay that much attention to whether is early, late, or right on time to hit the baby milestones. I think it’s unlikely that by the time he starts Kindergarten I’ll even remember, let alone care, whether he rolled over from back to front before babycenter.com said he should. I have total confidence he will some day have a full mouth of teeth, so I’m letting him get on with it without more than the occasional mental note that another one seems to have popped up.
All of that is by way of prefacing this confession with a plea that I not be mistaken for a loon. My child will get bigger. He will learn new things. Eventually all the babies stand up and start walking. My cerebral cortex has rationally and logically informed me as much and dismissed it as a thing to spend more brain power on.
And yet, yesterday when I saw a picture of a friend’s baby, a baby that is a whole month younger than Samuel, standing in the middle of a room unsupported by anything and as steady on her feet as if she’d been doing it since birth I found myself seized with an unreasonable level of despair and annoyance. How DARE that other baby figure out how to stand up before my baby figures it out? Samuel was supposed to do that first!
This morning, after I’ve been able to sleep on it, reflect on it rationally, and adjust to the new data point I find I’m feeling much more logical about the whole thing. This morning my reaction is more, “how DARE that other baby figure out how to stand up before my baby figures it out?! Samuel was supposed to do that first!”
Okay. So maybe I’m not feeling more logical at all.
I’m not sure where this ugly form of mommy competition came from. I am horrified to discover that I am now the kind of mother that I don’t want to spend time with. Where the hell did that come from?
Hopefully these sensations will pass quickly. Samuel will figure out standing and walking, and Kindergarten will roll around and none of this will matter anymore.
I just have to keep reminding myself of that. And I will. Right after I go remind Samuel that he better get higher SAT scores than that other baby.