March 17, 2009

Milestones, Shmilestones

I hate baby books. While they're written with the best of intentions, the fact of the matter is that they wind up making you feel completely inadequate as a parent if your baby doesn't reach certain milestones by a given amount of time.

For example PK is nowhere near saying "bababa" or "mamama". And yet, she does experiment with different sounds, especially while she's standidng. So, should I feel bad because PK doesn't say what she's supposed to? Probably not. After all, she's still developing her vocal chords. And yet, I am totally jealous when I see a baby younger than PK "bababa" or "mamama"-ing.

PK is also nowhere near crawling. I think it's partially due to the fact that she has always hated tummy time. To her, it's the second-meanest thing you can do to her. (First place goes to wiping her face at mealtimes or sticking an aspirator in her nose.) I feel totally cheated on the tummy time thing. I see how other babies are so comfortable and happy on their tummies, and how unhappy PK is when she's on her tummy. As a funny aside, she's okay on her tummy as long as she has one arm under her tummy (the result of rolling over from her back). Anyway, I think that this severe dislike for tummy time means that she probably won't crawl - especially since she likes standing so much. The only way that she *might* crawl would be from a sitting position. I'm not too optimistic, however.

The other thing that really bugs me is the fact that PK has no teeth! I know that it just means more work and more pain and all that, but seriously, seeing all her little friends on their 4th or in one case, 8th tooth just kills me. I feel so left out! I know this sounds totally dumb and irrational, but that's just how I feel.

At this point, I've all but stopped reading baby books because I'd wind up calling up the hubby in tears in the middle of the day because she wasn't doing what the book said she was supposed to be doing. Although I'm not fully there, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that not all babies are created equal. While PK did some things ahead of the pack (like rolling over from her tummy to her back, object transfers between hands, sitting on her own, and standing with assistance), there are things that she's slightly behind on or may never even do. I also need to stop comparing her to other babies in my mommy group. That's tough, because I think that most of us tend to compare ouselves to others, even if to a small degree. (Don't deny it, because you do!)
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Anonymous said...

Throw out the baby books - good idea! Pregnancy books probably also talked about things that were "supposed" to happen to you but didn't, right? But you're right. I REALLY ought to know better, but I worry about Halia's development. I haven't been able to pay as much attention to her or give her as much tummy time as Jade had and it bothers me. So when I hear about milestones other babies are hitting, I worry. But! I know that she will catch up, and it's not a big deal in the lifetime scheme of things. PK may surprise you yet with things you think she'll skip altogether.

BTW, Jade's first tooth came in at 15 months and Michael has a cousin whose first tooth came in at 18 months. I LOVE the babyish look of a gummy mouth! :)

Mr. Shiny and New said...

My daughter doesn't meet many of the milestones in the books either, but surpassed many of the others. And for some she was right on schedule. But some of them are just crazy. Like I read one that suggested that she should be able to play patty-cake by a certain age... she's almost a year now and she is only just starting to maybe get it.

As for words... that's a whole separate ball game. Some kids start talking really late. Doesn't seem to matter though. I started talking late but I still managed to graduate from Comp Eng.

Mrs. Shiny & New says that's because once I started talking I never stopped. There's some truth to that. :)