Michael was telling me that when he took the girls to dance yesterday morning, he was talking to another dad there (don't you love it that all these dads are taking their little girls to ballet?). The other dad had a baby with him who was apparently 8 months old. So they were chit chatting and the other guy told Michael "Yeah, he's trying to crawl, but he's not quite there yet." Then he said to Michael, "You have a baby too, right?" Michael said, "Yeah, he's 10 months old." The guy asked, "Is he crawling yet?" And Michael said, "Nahh, he's working on it, he's kind of got the backwards thing down, but not quite crawling yet." And that was it. They moved on from there, and it was no big deal. The other guy probably couldn't have cared less that his own son wasn't quite crawling yet, and he didn't care that Michael's baby wasn't crawling yet, and he probably didn't even wonder why Michael's baby, at 10 months old, wasn't crawling yet, and Michael didn't feel any need to explain to the guy why Finn isn't crawling yet.
I tried to imagine the same conversation between me and another mom (which wasn't a stretch since I've had this very conversation many times):
Me: "How old is your baby?"
Other mom: "He's eight months old, and he's just about crawling!"
[Me, smiling, starting to feel a bit tense . . .]
Other mom: "You have a baby too, right? How old is he?"
Me: "Yeah, he's ten months old, almost eleven months, actually."
Other mom: "Oh, he must be crawling all over and getting into everything!"
Me [feeling defensive]: "No, actually he's not crawling yet. He's close, but not quite there. He has Down syndrome, and babies with Down syndrome often do things a little later . . ."
Other mom [with concerned look of pity, or so I imagine]: "Ohhhhhh . . . ."
[Me, hating her guts now and realizing that we can never be friends.)
Yeesh. It really seems like moms are just so much more comparative and competitive, doesn't it? And everything our kids do or don't do are a reflection on us, or so it feels.
I wish I could be more like a dad and just not give two craps about all this stuff, and I wish all the moms I encounter could be more like that, too. I mean, I know Michael cares about Finn progressing and everything, but he doesn't take it personally, and he doesn't always feel compelled to justify Finn to people. He said something to me recently, something about how he just doesn't see Finn as "a disabled baby." "He's just Finn, you know?" he said. "He'll crawl when he crawls."
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
6 years ago