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Friday, April 4, 2008

On Comparing

It occurred to me this morning that SecondKid has been speaking in intelligible, full sentences for quite a while now...and he's approaching his second birthday. FirstKid hit that milestone around the age of 2 1/2, in fact the same week that SecondKid was born, which is why I actually remember it ('cause Lord knows I haven't actually written in the baby books reliably!).

My first thought was, COOL. Go, SecondKid!

My second, immediate, thought was, COOL!! I didn't even make the connection until now. Go, Mom!

It's so hard NOT to compare your kids, once they're plural. Even if you try your darndest not to put any value judgment on those comparisons, it's still a very natural way for you to process your own observations. Ah, these are the ways in which my kids are the same: I wonder if all kids are like this? Ah, these are the ways in which my kids differ: I wonder what other configurations are out there? And in both cases: I wonder if I had any hand in this; e.g., the whole nature-vs.-nurture thing? Hm...

Okay, usually not that literal. But still. It's natural. I try not to hold any of the kids up as an example to be attained or avoided by the others, but I'm not going to lie and say I never compare them. It happens. I'm human.

So anyway.

The fact that it wasn't until well after the fact that I even mentally compared notes on that particular (and whoo-eee, exciting!) milestone makes me realize that I have been relaxed (okay, and busy) enough that I'm just enjoying SecondKid's development for its own merit. I didn't look at a calendar to see exactly how old he was on the exact day when he hit that milestone, nor did I intentionally dig back through my memory to see how my kids measured up against each other. I just smiled and got a kick out of the discourses he's been giving.


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