As some of you know, I'm a fairly competitive person. My parents tell me that when I was born, I saw that there were two ahead of me and I needed to catch up, so I was forever doing things well before I was "supposed to." If people told me I couldn't do something, I would do it just to prove them wrong. But, only if it was something I wanted to do. If it held no interest for me, I could not be tricked into doing it by being told I couldn't. When we moved from Texas to Indianapolis, I was told that I could not be placed in their gifted and talented program, even though I had been in all my schools before, because they didn't know if they were the same. So, I made it my mission to see how many of the people who were in the program I could graduate ahead of by the time I was out of high school. (It turned out to be most of them). When I was in law school, I don't remember what ticked me off, but I made it my mission to graduate ahead of this one girl--I called her my nemesis. I graduated third--4 people ahead of her. The funniest example of my competitive nature is when my family came down to Texas for Phil's ordination. My sister and I managed to create competitive yoga by trying to out yoga the other person, but in a subtle way. Oh, she can stretch that far? Well, I'll stretch just a little farther. Needless to say, we were both sore the next day.
All of this is simply background to help you understand my most recent challenge in raising Lil' Bit. I had heard about parents being competitive--My Johnny can already roll over. Oh yea? My Sally is almost walking. Well, Johnny has 3 teeth. Well, Sally has 4. Etc. etc. etc. I thought this was all rather silly. Everyone know that kids develop at their own time, on their own schedule. As long as they are developing appropriately, what's the use in being competitive about it? I was sure I was not going to be one of those moms. Little did I know that my inner competitor was going to try and sabotage me.
See, apparently Lil' Bit was born during the "busy season" last year. I have three friends, all of them also first-time moms, who all gave birth around the same time I did, with kids Pippa (10 days older), Toby (2 days older), and Jack (12 days younger) [These are all fake names because I don't think it's fair to share their names when I haven't shared Lil' Bit's]. Color me surprised when I discovered that, as their 2-month check-ups rolled around, I was all worked up that they all weighed more than Lil' Bit, but was pleased that Lil' Bit was taller. Seriously? Taller? Yes, I was excited about taller. Then Pippa got 2 teeth. And Toby got 3. Alas, Lil' Bit remained toothless. Then Pippa could roll over. Then Toby could rollover. Lil' Bit showed little interest in rolling over. The other day, I saw that Jack could sit up. Lil' Bit is still working on that, but still falls over a lot. I find myself having to continually remind myself that it is not a race. Lil' Bit is progressing nicely. She now has 2 teeth coming in and can roll over both directions. She's JUST FINE. Still, I find myself having to tell myself in my head all the time--it's not a race. It's not a competition. She's doing JUST FINE. On the plus side, however, except for my admissions here on the blog, I have managed not to play the competition game out loud. I have managed to keep my thoughts, concerns, or "wins" to myself. And hopefully, I can kick myself of this habit before they all start talking. Oh, who am I kidding. I'll be lucky to have kicked it by the time she's done with grad school. :) Still, it's just another reminder that I got exactly what I asked for--a growth and learning experience.