I never really thought that competitive parenting was a “thing”. I imagined that tales from the playground of boastful barbs like “little Gage can count to twenty!” countered with “well, we haven’t worked on counting with Maddie but she knows all her colours. She even knows taupe!” were largely the stuff of popular culture imagination.
And then I met just one of these parents. Early Thanksgiving morning, the airport lounge at O’Hare was full of babies. I was in the bathroom, changing my clothes, trying to control the damage of a mid-flight nose bleed. Stella was examining all the babies waiting in line for the change table, pointing and making the sign for “baby”. A mother of a girl a few weeks younger than Stella said, “are you dancing?” and I said, no she’s obsessed with babies. she’s signing “baby”. The other mother, flustered, said “Oh we haven’t learned that one yet, she signs a few things but we haven’t done “baby” yet." And then she went on to prompt her child to preform her newest verbal trick. As if it were natural. But if was for my benifit.
I felt like telling her, “lady, my child only says three words. One of them is meow. So, no biggie.”
But I let it go. She was stressed. And ambitious for her child. And comparing hers to mine.
Still, the encounter made me feel uncomfortable. And has stuck with me. Why is that?
This was my five minute brain dump for Stream of Consciousness Sunday. You can join in too. Sit down, set a timer (five minutes), and then write your heart out. Don't edit. Don't worry about typos. Just write. Then grab a button and link up at All Things Fadra.