All she wants for Christmas is . . .
Hold it . . .
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A TOOTH.
Actually, two front teeth.
Aren't they cute?
I am just glad she has some so I can finally say yes to all the people that ask. Same reason I'm glad she's now crawling, standing, balancing, and at least attempting new sounds. She has really come a long way in the last month or so, but for a while there I felt like I said "Not yet..." to every question.
It's not the questioners' fault, of course. It's just natural to talk about other/your own kids when you meet someone else's, and they are watching her grow just as we are. And clueless new mamas like me need to know what other kids are up to to have the vaguest idea what ours are "supposed" to be doing. I wouldn't have known Anna's teeth were on the slow side coming in unless I'd been asked a hundred times and heard how little Einstein got his at four months. The thing is, I wouldn't have felt bad about hers being slow either.
There's a sly kind of competition in the comparisons sometimes--even if it's fighting a guilt that's purely self-imposed. Why should I feel bad that my daughter doesn't have teeth? It's not a reflection on me, as if I could do a thing to speed them up. It's not a sign of adoption difficulties or third-world nutrition or being licked by the dog too many times that I should feel defensive about. It's just teeth, and here they came in their own sweet eleventh-month time.
But I let it nag at me sometimes that maybe she's behind. Maybe she's not catching up as fast as she should be. Maybe I should be reading to her more, feeding her more variety, leaving her with others more, taking her out less. Maybe Early Intervention will be needed and they will revoke her status as Ethiopian Adoption Poster Child. And then what does that do to me as Poster Mother? (They just take the T. Make it Poser Mother.)
Every time I start to worry, though, she learns a new trick (or grows a new incisor) to reassure me. Look, I'm standing, I'm crawling, I'm able to leave a path of chaos through the house in a single bound. I'm sippying my cup and I'm hiding my own face to peekaboo you. I'm renewing my interest in the contents of this drawer and the word Mamamamamama. I'll take that step before you know it, and then there's no slowing down.
Really, world, what's the rush?
Moms (and dads), let's hear your thoughts: Do you ever get caught in the comparison trap? Why do you think we do this? Why are we in such a hurry for our kids to get to the next thing, and how can we remember to enjoy them as they are each day?