My daughter has some great playmates and I generally am not the type to compare. I grew up in a Chinese family and I'm fairly certain that comparing children was a national pastime. Because of such, I have always made it a point to note that every child is different.
Now, I'm still human though and there is one kid in particular who leaves me feeling as if I somehow could do more for my kid. He's three month younger than my daughter and I know that means less and less as we get older. He may be younger but on a school skill set level, he's slightly older. The kid can read numbers in the hundreds. According to his mom, he can read at a 5 year old level.
I try to remind myself that each kid is different and my daughter's imagination and creativity is what sets her apart. She shouldn't expect her to know the hundreds at this stage. I shouldn't expect her to to be at whatever reading level she's at. Actually, she's more into telling me stories based on what she remembers about a certain book with a splash and dash of her daily memories. It's actual, kind of cute and I love to see her imagination and memory at work.
I laugh at it and know it's silly of me. What irks me most is not whether he can spot the quadratic equation out and my daughter can't but that I leave with a little comparing in my head. I hate that. I hated it when my relatives did it. I swore not to do it. I'm fairly certain I will never ever talk like that in front of my child that way but it's in my freaking head. It's just the idea that I would even allow myself, no matter how illogical it is, to wonder, "Why isn't my kid like that?"
Case in point…
Today while playing with trains at his place, my daughter exclaimed that he has a model 'A' subway train.
PG: That's right. Did we take an 'A' train today?
TG: No. We took a 'B'.
PG: No. We took two trains today. Which trains did we take today?
TG: Long silence. We took a 'B'.
TG's friend: Today, I took an 'A' train and a 'C' train to the art museum.
PG: Ignoring me and playing with the trains.
Ok kid. I get it. Trains are more important than answering my trivial questions.
TG's friend: TG, come to my bedroom?
TG: Looks at friend for a bit as if deciding. No. returns to playing with trains.
TG's friend: TG, do you understand?
TG: looks at her friend again with eyes that say, 'Yes I understand. Do you not understand 'No'?' Does not respond and returns to playing with trains.
That last scenario is scary because, that expression is my husband's face to the dimpling of the eyebrow and the gesture of returning to play without answering is so me.
Maybe it's not that I'm irked by me internally comparing even a smidge but more the fact that the things that irk me about me occasionally pop out in TG.
Argh. As if motherhood doesn't have enough guilt sprinkled in.