Sunday, January 29, 2012

"In My Own Time Baby"

I have been the mom of "benchmark baby" and I have been the mom of "in my own time baby" and let me tell you, it is definitely less stressful to be the mom of benchmark baby. 

If you are the mom of benchmark baby, doctor appointments are fun.  Every percentile, measurement and  statistic are your friend. They all point to the fact that your baby is perfect.  No one questions it and no extra testing is necessary.  You show up at the scheduled well-baby appointments and never have to come in for extra weighing, measuring or prodding. 

However, the greatest advantage to having a benchmark baby is that the general public does not feel the need to express their concern for your child.  I have received more unsolicited advice in the last 20 months with "in my own time baby" than I received with other two ever!  Random people feel the need to tell me what I should be feeding her and look at me like I am a bad mother when I feed her fruits and veggies instead of food that will "put meat on her bones".  Seriously?  Is it really a bad thing that she chooses chopped red peppers over chocolate?  Crazy maybe, but bad no.  My little skinny-minnie will turn down a cookie for a salad.  If I had not been present at her birth I might question if she was mine.

And oh my.  People are really bothered by her lack of desire to walk.  She could walk.  She chose not to.  The pediatrician was not worried.  She was only concerned if "in my own time" could walk.  She told me that physical therapy does nothing to cure stubbornness.  The general public, however, was not so sure.  I was told straight up by one stranger that I was neglecting her, and that it was obvious that she needed braces to assist her walking. 

What is even more fun than the constant advice are the people who feel the need to state the obvious.  Some of my favorites are:  "Well!  She certainly is tiny for her age!" or the standard, "Oh my!  She does not look that old!" when they guess her age wrong by at least 6 months.  I have said a million smart-alec retorts in my head but up to this point I have managed to keep to my typical answer of, "She is happy and healthy and that's all that matters to us!" 

Which is true.  We are thrilled that she is happy and healthy.  She is a great sleeper, eater and pooper, and, you could not order a sweeter disposition.  Even though I know all of this, I would be lying if I told you that it doesn't matter to me what percentile she lands in at her well checks.  I know!  It's crazy!  Why do these silly numbers have so much power over us.  It is ridiculous.  As if my child's head circumference is a measure of my parenting skills.  Insane.

What I do know is that "in my own time baby" brings a ton of joy to our world.  It has become absolutely hilarious to us how she chooses when she will do something.  She totally does not care if we want her move, eat, or sleep.  She will do all of these things because she chooses to.  For example, Little Miss Independent stole the show last Friday when she stood her 21-month old self up and walked out of the room.  Yup, that is right.  She did not pull up on something and she did not toddle.  She stood up and walked as if she had been doing it for years.  We are pretty sure she must have been practicing at night because she did not falter at all.  The rest of us flipped out, but she acted like it was no big deal.

We have a well check in 2 months.  I am pretty sure we are still not even on "the chart" in many areas but she is completely off the chart when it comes to spunk.  I can live with that.

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