Resisting the Douchebaggery of Parenthood

Posted on Monday, March 07, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

"Little Timmy just took his first steps!"

"Oooooh, that's so wonderful! He's gonna get in all sorts of trouble now! Better keep an eye out! How old is he now? 15 months? Oh good. Billy took his first steps at 10 months."

This sort of thing is exactly the kind of person I do not want to become now that I'm a parent. It's pretty easy to not say stupid things like that out loud, but thinking them is a different story.

I guess it's not inherently snobbish to compare your child's development to other kids close to them in age, but I still feel a little guilty when I do it. I guess as parents we're just always looking for some kind of point of reference we can use to make sure our kids are growing and learning properly. It sure would suck to have to go to school for the first time and discover they know significantly less than all of their classmates, because at that point you've gotta play catch up.

I've been trying my best for three years now to teach Emmy an assortment of things. Last night I explained the concept of opposites to her, which is actually pretty hard to do if you really think about it. Go ahead, try to think of an explanation of what "opposite" means without actually using the word opposite. Hard, aye? But after a little bit she'd gotten a good idea of it.

Now, the next time I see one of the kids my sister babysits for, or one of Emmy's cousins, I'm not going to start grilling them on opposites, but if the topic comes up I will certainly be listening closely. It's some form of validation that I'm doing a good job as a parent. I really want to give her a jump start on learning so that she'll have an easier time in school, because I'm not sure what areas she'll take to quickly and which she won't. I often had a difficult time learning certain subjects at the pace with which they were taught in school, and I'd love for her to fall behind like I did.

Of course, I still feel like a douchebag for comparing her to the other children she meets. I just like knowing that I'm doing a good job at this whole parenting thing, because it certainly took some getting used to.

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