Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moms and Dads

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."


Karly said...

Uh oh, I think I'm a dad! Actually, I can be neurotic with the best of them, but I refuse to get into the mommy wars. I think maybe this is because Kailey was my first? I never really got caught up in it with her (obviously) so saw no need to jump in the second time around either.

Yay for Michael being a ballet daddy. What a great guy.

Anonymous said...

He's got it down, I too don't really get the mommy competition but I'm somewhat norm challenged anyway. I actually sound like a guy when I talk.

Ria said...

What a great dad for going to ballet, ie with your daughter. Hmm...maybe you should send him to PTA meetings too. hehe. kidding. Anyway, it must be a guy thing. My husband says the same thing "Matthew is who he is."

Bill and Ria

Tricia said...

Michael and Alex must be two peas in a pod! We're lucky to have them!

Lovin Mama said...

We don't tell people that Goldie isn't doing something because of her DS (anymore). We just say "she's still working on it." Then when they look at me like "don't you know somethings wrong with your kid" I tell them "Her PT said..." just so they know we're taking care of things. But, I agree, my husband is much more laid back about these things than I am. I'll get there, someday.

DownTownDan said...

Hi Lisa - this post struck a chord with me because I had a similar experience just last week. I actually have so much to say about it that I have decided to just post about it on my own blog. Hopefully you'll enjoy hearing about this from a dad's perspective.

DownTownDan said...

I meant to say that I'll post it late tonight - it's not there right now.

Monica @ Monkey Musings said...

I can relate. I think for me, I'm so intune w/ everything my little guy does - micro-details. My husband goes for the bigger picture. BTW, our little guy didn't crawl until a week after his first bday, so if Finn's close... Hurray!

Tausha said...

Love your husband, he is so like mine. I watched our neighbor who's little boy is 2 months younger then Sam sit in a little push car. He sat straight up and was holding onto the steering wheel and I thought of my gosh, Sam probably can't do that yet and he's older. I felt sad and then though okay Tausha, relax!!! Anyway, I so agree with you, wish we could be more like our husbands.

datri said...

Hmmm, must be a guy thing. My Hubs is the same way. He doesn't really seem to stress about Kayla's development. Or get involved in the whole Down syndrome movement. To him, Kayla is just Kayla.

Jeanette said...

I think the guys have it right on this one.

Tara Marie said...

Big smile.....the Dad's have it right. I know many women complain because they say that their husbands are just not 'into' their childs development. The truth is, they are, they just don't over analyse everything and don't take everything to heart we Momma's do [must be the hormone difference]

Also, as you age [which I"m doing so gracefully] you realize the 'Mommy wars' are so not worth the time or energy and you become much more relaxed about those things.

I love when Daddy's take their girls to hubby has had the opportunity lately to do if often and they both love it!!!

Sharon said...

So true - my husband is usually the same way. He doesn't get caught up in who's doing what, who's wearing what, who has what, etc. I can't honestly say that I can do that, too - but I think it's worth trying. Definitely a less stressful, more enjoyable way to live life!