So, I’m still relatively new to this parenting lark. We’re not even one year in yet so I’m pretty open about the chaos that occasionally ensues within my household. My lack of knowledge about the ‘prohibited’ items on the food weaning list (i.e. no salt, sugar or anything that creates any flavour it seems) causes much hilarity to my antenatal co-apprentices. Look, I don’t feed him pureed Happy Meals (is that an urban myth or do people actually do that?) but I don’t think a spoon of sugar in a homemade banana muffin is going to create a catalyst of health chain reactions as a result of a spike in his calorie intake. He’s now 10 months old but showing no signs of crawling/walking but am I worried? Of course not. He’s a boy, they all take a little longer to do most things don’t they? But I can appreciate how some people do cave in to the pressure of ‘Billys doing this’ and ‘Josie is doing that’. This parenting lark it seems, is a tad competitive sometimes.
I have quite a small closed group of friends who are pretty like minded so its fairly rare for me to be exposed to these people who appear to have an innate paranoia that there child is not ahead of the game in the eating, teething, walking arena. Whilst I can kind of appreciate their worry, after all its quite intense being wholly responsible for another human life, I do get pretty annoyed when people are so concerned about what Billy isn’t doing that they don’t notice exactly what he is doing.
I also sometimes wonder, if the concern for the childs progress (which is inevitably at the route of this crazy behaviour) is sometimes just one factor in their view of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. It’s easily done, but you can spend way too much time worrying about what other people think of you, your child and your parenting skills. This self induced social pressure can drive you crazy and really, in my experience, people are so wrapped up in their own life that whether Billy can throw a ball or count to ten doesn’t really mean that much to them. Whilst you’re trying to justify another thrown potato on the floor at that family function, they’re probably wondering if that queue at the BBQ means there aren’t any sausages left.
And generally, in my view, children are magical whatever their ability, talents or preferences. They’re our own little miracles.