When Grace was not yet two, she spoke in full sentences. She had beautiful insights into the feelings of other people. She sat like a tiny doll in any restaurant we chose and we relished in telling people these very things.
If I could, I would travel back in time and tell that smug version of myself what a righteous ass I appeared. I would explain that not everybody's baby turns out this way and who the hell did I think I was pointing that out at every turn.
Did I tell my anecdotes at parties where other moms sat quietly listening and fretting because their child had yet to utter a word? Did I find excuses to show off Grace's loquacious ways? Of course. I would have hated me.
When Kate came along it was especially troubling to watch her miss one milestone after another when compared to her sister who easily reached and surpassed the lists in those baby books (which can be equally as awful as I was).
It hurts like a son of a bitch to feel your gut wrench when your child doesn't pass the standardized tests in the bullshit baby books but what hurts even more is when thoughts of what was once such a source of pride about your other child can now bring you to tears in comparison.
Do we really need other mothers to point that out to us when we are already so hard on ourselves? How kind they all were not to speak up when I bragged about my talking baby.
I won't say I am done comparing my girls. I will say that no one, not even me, can set a standard for my children, or yours.
So, tonight when I changed the diaper of my almost four year old and tucked her into bed after reading her a board book about colours, I kissed her forehead and told her she was perfect because I know she is.