Before you agree to take on the care and feeding of a child for 18+ years, there’s a lot no one tells you. You have a rough sense of the bottles, the worry, the sleep deprivation, stuff like that. Unfortunately, there’s a certain amount of on the job training that no person can properly prepare for. Until you’re knee deep in tantrums and nap strikes, you can’t fully comprehend why some animals eat their young.
I had no idea about the Mommy Olympics. It’s important to know that I am quite possibly the most competitive person on the planet. Christmas cards are a contest in my house. I have an ongoing competition with another professional in town who doesn’t even know my solitary career goal is to best him. He’s my nemesis who doesn’t know he’s my nemesis. (Thankfully, he doesn’t wear green tights.) But I was silently, unknowingly, unfairly entered into the Mommy Olympics.
The events begin immediately: which baby eats the most, sleeps the most, grows the most? It moves quickly through all the developmental milestones: rolling over, crawling, walking, talking, and now potty training. If you’re child isn’t at least in the middle of the pack in these events, then you can forget any hope of him ever having a meaningful life. He might have some sort of disability, possibly requiring corrective therapy. He may even go to hell. And this is ALL YOUR FAULT, MOMMY! This is at least the wisdom dispensed at day cares, parks, playgrounds and birthday parties.
Monkey Boy does not wish to put his pee or his poop in the potty. He prefers to soil himself and let me or Baby Daddy clean it up. Gross, yes. But until he decides this is what he wants to do, then he’s not going to. Peer pressure may not be so great in some instances, but eventually it will force him to want to keep his personal business, personal.
My good friend, who happens to be a child psychiatrist, told me once that we would all do well to remember that when it comes to kids: there’s a LOT that’s normal that isn’t really comfortable. Translation: he’s fine. He’s going to do this. Leave him alone.
Until then, keep your stares to yourself. Do not offer me any more advice or tell me again how I’m doing it wrong. I know that I lose this round. You win! I didn’t know it was a race when we started, but fine, I concede. I already know your children are smarter, better, faster, and stronger because they poop in the potty, and he doesn’t, and by default you a better mother than me.
Truth be told, you probably are a better mother than me, but I refuse to concede this is why.