It was bad enough when it was other parents. I kindly smiled and nodded my head while they blathered on about their offspring's genius like proficiency at the human language/motor abilities/ emotional capabilities and agreed that yes, little Mary/Johnny did seem to be quite advanced for their age. All the while I was seething inside knowing that only after a full report on their child's genius like tendencies would they oh so innocently, with eyes like saucers ask after the Snot Queen's abilities in the same area.
When they were under ones, the focus was on motor skills. When the Snot Queen first sat unaided at four months, I admit it, I was delirious, I thought "we're onto a winner here!" that she'd be flying around the place in no time! Little did I know that for the next 7 months, that would pretty much be it. My gorgeous, precious, one trick pony of a daughter was content to sit and watch the world (and every other baby we knew) crawl, stand, walk and eventually run on by.
Then came their first birthdays, and with them a whole new set of goal posts. Out of nowhere it seemed, the focus had turned from motor skills (we were now taking things at a slow crawl and mighty proud of it!) to vocab. Suddenly, all of the parenting forums were filled with mothers bragging about their baby's ability to communicate and comparing lists of words with each other, each one longer and more ridiculous then the next.
The Snot Queen of course was happy out with her da da da's and her piece de resistance, fa fa fa's (a multi usage word applicable in any situation ) and we were happy with her. At this point, we'd learned to relax about these things and accept that as the daughter of two people who were slow to talk, slow to teethe and slow to walk and yet who miraculously did eventually learn and master these skills, she would get there as well in her own time.
Nowadays though, things are getting a bit irritating as more and more people are jumping on the bragging bandwagon. People without children. People who come to your home and tell you all about the incredible achievements of their friend's/family member's/ work Colleague's brilliant litle tyke who just HAPPENS to be about the same age as your own little dribbler there (darling, stop eating the compost please) and yet is SO MUCH MORE ADVANCED!!!!
I mean, what on EARTH are you supposed to say? Ummm.... thanks for pointing out our child's deficiencies and as a result our complete and utter failure at this whole parenting lark! Nice to see you, thanks for stopping by!
Honestly, get a life.
When I look at the Snot Queen, I like to look at the things she can do and not focus on what she hasn't yet mastered. She's 16 months old, so what if she can't recite shakespeare or tell a cracking joke? Who cares if her idea of fine cuisine is whatever she can scavenge from the ground and that she prefers playing in the recycling bin to playing in her toy box? She's happy, healthy and well and that my friends, is all that matters to us.
Everything else will come, in her own time.