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bringing her up to speed

i was trying to write a letter to a mommy friend and failing miserably. could barely get past the "how were your holidays?" before just trailing off and letting myself get distracted by stuff... like keyboard lint.

it's not that i don't like writing to my friend. it's just that she wants paul updates (she doesn't even know about this blog -- if she does, she's not sayin') and the competitive little bitch in me is all, "riiiight, so you can compare my little stinker against your perfect little one and then feel like you're winning the mommy stakes" -- which is totally unfair because she has never been like that, but other moms just bring out the sad and angry in me.

i told cam today that although sometimes i feel like of lonely, i'm mostly glad to not have other moms and kids around because i can forget about the milestones that paul is missing. there are yardsticks i can ignore. i can concentrate on stuff like paul's burgeoning lexiconnoisseurness --

paul: look at this syringe. [pointing at imaginary needles on the floor -- gah, what an image]
paul: there are two of them.
paul: i built this trebuchet all by myself.
cam: paul, you have the most amazing vocabulary.
cam: i don't even know how old i was when i learned words like "syringe" and "trebuchet."
me: i think i just learned "trebuchet" last year.

no, paul does not dress himself. no, paul does not pick up after himself. yes, he still fights the toothbrushing. yes, he drinks far too much milk. no, he doesn't like to draw. no, he is not potty-trained. no, he's not reading words yet. no, he's afraid of other children.

when distilling the life and progress of a child down to a single page of single-spaced 10-pt arial, we grasp at the obvious. is he developing the way that he should? based on charts and studies and books and experts, is he doing all the things a three-year-old should be doing? i get insecure. i make jokes. i paint less-than-flattering pictures. i don't want to be the gushy mommy, talking about my son's latest habit of drawing on the wall and isn't that cute, he's a pint-sized picasso. huh. i veer to the other side. (leave the heavy praise to my mom -- it's her right as a grandmother.) i mock my mothering skills. if he's not hitting those high notes, it's because i've failed him.

he's a normal kid, i say. he runs, he jumps, he scores! he whines, he fights bedtime, he throws tinkertoys!

yes, i know your tot has been helping you put away the silverware since he was a year and a half. yes, i know that my son's inability to understand what goes where in the kitchen reflects poorly on me. give me a break.

talking to another friend, the dejection sets in. "i have a really great core relationship with my kids, so i'm not worried about what they'll be like when they're teenagers," she chirps. can i hang up on you now? this doesn't make me want to talk to other parents (aside from cam, of course).

i will just have to try again next week. maybe something will happen over the weekend to put me in the communicating mood.



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