Thursday, January 19, 2012

The non-competitive edge

Ok, so here goes, and I *hope* I don't offend too many people by making the following statement. It's the statement that no moms are supposed to ever say, even though I know we all think it.

My kid is better than your kid.

She's cuter, funnier, prettier, smarter and overall outright more incredible than yours... why? Because she's mine. I don't care if your kid was potty trained at 3 months, walked at 5 months, dances the macarena in fast forward and can say their alphabet in English, Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi and Mongolian at 18 months.. My kid is still better...because she's mine.

Again, I know you are never supposed to say these things, but admit it.. even if you don't say it aloud, you know you've thought it.. Come on, it's just you and me... You know that you think your kid is better than every other kid out there, and I am here to tell you that it's cool that you think that, but my kid is still better. :-)

As parents, this is a normal thing. It's ok to think your kid is special.. As a matter of fact, I would worry about the parent whose like 'wow, you're kid is WAAAY cooler and much smarter than mine'...

As parents we are supposed to be amazed at the amount of things our kid can do at every age, and we are supposed to puff out our chests a little with each accomplishment, because with each one of the new amazing things that our kids do, it's a pat on the back for us as parents, telling us that we are in fact raising the coolest kid that ever lived.. It's all about validation, people. And who out there isn't in someway always searching for some validation?

As parents, competition for 'my kid did this first' and 'my kid did this better' is ingrained in who we are.. However, I want to try really hard not to do that. Of course you think your child and everything they do is amazing, because it's true. They are your flesh and blood. They are a deeper part of you and a more important part of your life than you ever thought possible. So it's natural to relish each moment. And with every new step taken  and every new word uttered you will honestly and truly  be unable to believe how amazing your kid is, and you will think it's insane that out of all the kids in the world,  how your child has to be the best that was ever created.

I'm pretty sure that the only people who are 'exempt' from this are grandparents, because they are 'supposed' to think that each of their grandchildren are the best in their own way.. From grandchild #1 and beyond (17  and counting in the case of my family), each one is special, amazing and incredible... But let's be honest, grandma and grandpa... Mine is the cutest, right?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The terrible what's now?

I am pretty sure everything I read said 'twos'.

 What I was expecting was a few days after the perfectly baked and decorated ND Birthday cake leftovers are tossed into the trash and the Thank You cards are ordered, that I would notice the beginnings of a subtle change.. A little defiance, a little harder time with understanding patience, a few more battles here and there over the things we already have a hard time with, getting diapers changed, not running away when I grab her coat, you know, things like that. And me, I would deal with these little changes with as much grace and patience as Mother Theresa herself, all the while gently guiding and helping my little girl to understand her new strong feelings of independence and self awareness..


The terrible Two's (as someone so wrongly referred to them) have reared their ugly head in my  house at exactly at 21 and 1/2 months. Perhaps they are called the terrible twos because this awfulness continues throughout the age of two, in which case if this is JUST THE BEGINNING,  I am going to need new meditation techniques and A LOT of red wine to get through.

My daughter, who I affectionately refer to at desperate times as 'Sybil' woke up one morning as a new kid. My assumption is that the evil little fairy that sprinkles terrible two dust in the middle of the night on once perfectly well-behaved children heard me one too many times tell people how lucky I am that my daughter is so well behaved, and how she (up until recently) had been an absolute dream, and wanted to test that theory by giving her all the sass, gumption and strong-will she could manage to give her overnight. (I will end you, you evil little fairy!).  I just cannot comprehend how a child can be the picture of perfection at one moment, and very definition of  'the terrible two's' the next.

There are many times a day when I find my child stamping her feet, throwing herself on the floor, or outright just telling me 'no', that I find myself being tested not by her tantrums or defiance, but my own ability to see through all her insanity and realize that she is still the same lovable sweet kid, whose growing up before my eyes. I hope that one day all of the strong will and gumption that she has will be used to fight the many injustices of the world like prejudice, hate and ignorance and not just whether or not she can have M&M's before breakfast.