are competitve. It's a simple truth. It begins around the time of
our first awareness of boys, fashion
Up to that point, we were too excited about having a doll, tutu
to worry about whose was prettier, fluffier or faster. But when
that worldly awareness kicks in, up pops the ugly head of competion
and from then on out, we're pretty much gunning for gold. (Pun
intended. Every woman wants to show off gold
e.g., some kind of jewelry,
given to her from a doting husband. It's round two of competition
re: husbands. Round one was to get a husband. The next is to be
loved the MOST.)
I readily admit
that I can be as dogged as anyone in trying to looking 'just
so' for the big party and getting my house all décored
just in time for supper club. But I like to think of these competitve
bursts as normal female neurosis. We all do this. Right? And just
as every man in America will ask, "Why does it matter?",
every woman in America will echo, "It just does."
Now, I consider
myself a laid-back, nonchalant type of new
mom/wife. I don't freak out about germs, I don't write down
the date and time of every single poop and I still haven't started
a baby book. (Don't tell the grandparents.)
However, it has come to my attention (via my ever-observant husband,
when it comes to my cattiness) that my competitiveness has reached
an all-time high. No, it has nothing to do with my usual 'measure'
of choice - weight. The days of competing in goodness of body
are long gone. In fact, I just don't look at mine anymore. Mirrors
are no good for me now. Now, it's all about my bambino.
Questions like, "How is your baby sleeping?", "How
much does he eat?", and "Can he hold his head up?"
cause a stirring in my belly akin to when the bureaucrat at the
DMV asks me how much I weigh. It's wretched and ridiculous, I know,
but I must tell you when it comes to the wee
one, the talons come out.
bothers me, because I don't want to be a catty mom. But what self-respecting
milk cow wouldn't think long and hard about her wee one's outfit
for play group - even while all his/her peers don't know a saddle
a saddlebag. (Thank goodness.) Anyhoo, while
nursing my calf these last weeks, I've done a great deal of thinking
on the matter. And what I've come up with is this: that wee one
is our greatest achievement. What was all about me (how can
I be the skinniest, the best
dressed, the best housed), is now all about my baby (how
can he/she be more perfect than he/she already is?). We don't mean
to be mean. We're just raising the stakes a bit. That baby is our
miracle made real, our one true thing, our joy of all joys. As such,
we take great pride in what we have created, nurtured, fed and kissed-all-over-a-trillion-times.
Of course, we're going to go for gold.
That said, I
really don't want infect my precious prince with my evil competitiveness.
That would be awful. He needs to have a stress-free childhood with
no thought to his feeding schedule and developing neck strength.
After all, I never worried about my tutu
so long as it twirled when I spun. My son should have the same freedom
(though perhaps not with tutus). Fortunately, milking offers up
lots of 'free' hours for contemplation and I was able to make sense
of the whole matter. You see, the reason we could twirl so freely
is because our mothers were competing for us. Now it's our
And so, I leave
you now with these words of encouragement. Let's agree to laugh
at our ridiculous plans for our tots. Let's remember that to have
the best of intentions when it comes to their sleep/feed/growth
schedules and that all our striving is out of love. Let's make
these tots grow up to twirl - obliviously happy to their masterminding
moms. And just for good measure, let's all agree never to look in
full-length mirrors again.