Fact of the Matter: Comparisons

Post # 2 in my Fact of the Matter series. (You will find the link to the first post in this series in this post itself) 😉

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I am particularly not fond of road travels by car. It gets painful and annoying very quickly for me. But what makes it bearable is the series of conversations that the husband and I share with two sleeping children to add tune to the talk. While hopping from one topic to another, it suddenly hit us that our baby girl turns a year old in just 3 months. Time has flown by really fast. Frankly, I remember tiny details of Isha’s birth and her first year more clearly than I do of her brother’s. Strange huh?

 

People have this whole thing around their first baby and its first tooth, first step etc. Well, Lishaan was born with teeth, so that simplifies one ‘first’ for me 😉 But coming to think of it, most of his milestones seem like a distant memory, considering he is only 3 years old come December.  Maybe Google photos can help me trace back and recollect some of them, but I had no answer when my husband said ‘What was Lishaan’s first word?’ I thought hard, really hard, but couldn’t for the life of me remember his first word. Somewhere I remember him saying ‘nanni’ for thanni (water in Tamil) but the rest seems to be a big guess-work. With Isha though, we remember a lot more details. Surprisingly, we seem to have paid more attention to smaller details about her growth. Also, there are a whole lot more photographs than we had with Lishaan. Ouch!

So, why am I telling you about my child’s first word? Because, even with the same mother, no two babies are alike. Each child is different in its own abilities and developments. One shouldn’t place two children to measure up against each other EVEN if they were born on the same day. It doesn’t work that way.

Most of the stories that I hear about parents with more than one child are about how the kids are chalk and cheese. Even in things like food habits, they are very different from each other. Like I had mentioned in my Baby food post, my children started off and reacted very differently to food. I am learning to unlearn this about them. They won’t do things the same way, though they might surprise me once in a while.

I think, as parents we should stop doing ‘mera beta this and meri beti that’. Going back to when I was 9 or 10, I remember how children were constantly asked to perform. Sing, dance, recite a poem, show them your drawings etc. and this became a huge tournament of sorts. But what has amplified this whole ‘is your son smarter than your Mr.Kumar’s son’ is Social Media. Nowadays, EVERYTHING gets onto the internet. My son’s first ‘drawing’ – IG It! My daughter’s first somersault – Facebook it! My child’s first ‘unassisted’ cooking experience – YOUTUBE IT DAMMIT!

That’s the problem. We have stopped to see that each child, each pregnancy, each delivery and each parenting style is unique in its own way. We may draw points of similarity, but they can’t be the same. When we understand this, we will stop over expecting from our children. We will stop comparing milestone charts (I am saying this because mentally, I keep doing ‘Lishaan rolled over when he was 5 months old. Isha did much better. Ha!’), 1-100 recitals, world map identifications and the works. Let children grow without invisible checklists and charts hanging above their teeny tiny heads!

PLUS, it eases the whole parenting routine for us too, right? 😉
~ The Lazy Parent

 

14 Comments

  1. I do not remember the firsts of my daughter. I haven’t documented those too. But sometimes I feel I should have taken a picture so that I can savour the memories. maybe that’s why I click pictures of every drawing my daughter has done and store it in a Facebook album or share it with my friends. I don’t know if it’s wrong or right or will I be judged to be a show off mom but I feel I do it maybe because I do not have memories of the first word, or first independent walk etc etc. What do you feel?

  2. You have made such a good point! Each kid is different even if they are your own and just because they’re siblings doesn’t mean they will have much (or anything in common). We need to appreciate and get to know all kids as individuals.

  3. Beautiful post Anjana! Just like no pregnancies are same, neither can two kids be the same.Yet we always tend to forget that.Sometimes unknowingly also I say that to Zu, when she doesnt do a thing, and I am like ‘Your friend will do it’ and you aren’t doing it.I think as parents or rather as humans the rat race is so engraved in our blood that it becomes difficult at time.But as much as I say, I really am trying my best to not come with such one liners, all in to raise a mindful daughter.Because the India which we have dreamt of is very different from what our Parents thoughts! And only we can change that -Right?

  4. Okay, so I am UBER guilty of sharing EVERY LITTLE MILESTONE on social media, and right now may be it is just for the fun of it because I don’t have another one for comparison. But I get what you mean. Understanding that each child is different and is progressing at their own pace is what’s important. 🙂

  5. That was a lovely post. I totally second you here. Each child is different and we as parents need to stop comparing our own kids. I have two daughters who were born on the same date 3 years apart. And I’m often amazed at how different they are in almost all the things they do.

  6. I completely agree. Each child is unique and different and we should celebrate these differences rather than comparing. Both my daughters are very different from each other in every way. I know what you are saying. they are a teen and a tween now. So, been there, done all. 🙂

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