Posted by: mommytoo | October 12, 2009


almost since nate was born, people want to know what he’s DOING.  is he holding his head up, rolling over, smiling, sleeping through the night, sitting up, mimicking faces, getting teeth, commando crawling, eating solids, regular crawling, standing, cruising, walking, talking…?  what is he DOING?  i find it kind of exhausting.  i love talking about nate more than anything else — i love showing pictures, telling stories, everything.  but i feel so bad for babies and children, always being inspected.

it’s no secret that nate is/was a bit of a late walker and talker, and we’ve had our moments of concern.  we had a long talk with our pediatrician about it at his 18 month visit, and felt good about her evaluation.  we trust her and we felt good about the discussion, but of course it gives us pause.

we were still carrying that around with us a day or two later, when we in a nearby playground, and decided to walk down the block for dinner.  as we passed the toystore where nate loves to play with the “choos,” he tried to steer us inside.  it was early, so we obliged, and he toddled over to the train table.  there was another little boy there, and a harried-looking mom, and she had a little baby, too.  after a minute or two, as we were talking to each other’s kids, we got to talking with the mom, too.  the second sentence out of her nouth was “he’s three he still wears diapers he still takes a bottle at night.”

since then i’ve been noticing just how much confessing moms do.  i try not to take part, but of course i make excuses for – or maybe just jokes about – nate’s limited vocabulary and tiny, toddling steps at 18 months.  i don’t think i degrade him, but i am guilty of mentioning his late developments quickly, before other people can say anything, or before they ask.  i’d rather not be on the defensive.  i just wish i could ease mothers’ minds — barring some huge neglect, i am not going to judge you for your kid’s using a pacifier, taking a bottle, scooting on his tush instead of crawling, or even for his tantrums or rough behavior.

i wish we could all just assume that the other moms around us would be understanding, supportive, and non-judgmental.  certainly plenty of us judge plenty of the time, but don’t you think most moms understand that kids are just doing their own things, working every day to be themselves?

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