I hope, dear readers, that you have by now formed the opinion that I am a generally cheery kind of person. I like to think that I have a bit of a "teflon" coating that allows some of life's minor irritations to slide right on off. I don't normally like to use this wonderful bloggy forum to spit the dummy... particularly about people whom I love dearly. But I have to tell you all about what has been bothering me recently. I have muttered my opinions to Brad, and he shares them, but this is festering enough for me to want to air it in public!
We had family visitors staying with us last week - they came up for Naomi's first birthday, which was lovely. We enjoy having them here - not least because they do the washing up every night... I have had to specifically ask them not to, when the guilt factor got too much for me! But this last few months, one issue has really bugged me.
Whenever the topic of conversation turns to Naomi and her latest achievements, behaviour, sleeping patterns, etc, (or those of Naomi's 2 little cousins, who are nearly 4 and 2), there is an inevitable comment regarding how perfect their 2 children were as little ones. And I mean, to the most ridiculous levels. I have concluded that these were not children, but dolls, or perhaps Pavlov's dogs, in disguise.
Case in point --- my definition of a successful evening out with a 1 year old is no tears or tantrums. We had a very enjoyable dinner out with the visitors last week. Naomi sat in her highchair to eat dinner (while we were waiting for our meals). Then, understandably, she got a bit antsy and wanted to get down for a while. She sat on my lap during the meal, nibbling on pieces of finger food that I gave her. I was happy with this arrangement, and things were going swimmingly.... until.... "Of course, Braddy (what MIL calls DH!) sat to the table perfectly in restaurants, and fed himself at age 2. He was never any trouble at all in a restaurant." What the??? Neither is Naomi -- by my definition, she was being an ANGEL!!
A few other recent comments...
"By 14 months, Braddy was walking, talking and fully toilet trained." To which I couldn't hold my tongue, and had to reply, "So no nappies at all after 14 months?". The response was silence.
"Our 2 never had any trouble with teething - they weren't even irritable".
"We never had any problems with their sleeping - they just went to bed, there was no crying."
"We never had to go into them at night - they just didn't cry."
The cumulative effect of these comments is to make me feel that Naomi is in some way badly behaved, for such things as needing Panadol when teething, crying at bedtime, and not being even remotely close to thinking about potty training!
I have blatantly said (albeit in a joking tone of voice), that I didn't believe it, and perhaps they had raised dolls, rather than babies. This was when I was at the end of my outer limits of patience.
With distance now firmly restored, I am able to start letting it go... but really, am I getting het up over nothing? Is it just the passing of some 35 years since "Braddy" (Lord, how he hates that name!!) was a baby, that makes the sleepless nights and food tossed on the floor mysteriously disappear??? Have you had anyone make comments that made you just want to come out fighting in defence of your child's absolutely normal behaviour for their age???