Sunday, February 15, 2009

When I am a Parent, I Will Never.......

It's almost laughable when I think about all the things I could have added to the end of that sentence pre-babies.
Interestingly, I thought of a whole new list between child one and child two.
You know how we all watched other parents before we had our first kid and silently made (judgemental) notes on their behavior.
"I won't ever use pacifiers, formula, let my child play with (suck on) toys then not buy them" etc.
Then there's the classics - I will never say "Because I said so; my house, my rules or when you pay the bills you can make the rules."

So now that I have already blown my first parent resolutions, I have swiftly moved onto the second list.
This one is based around the sage advice that you should never compare your children.
I completely agree.
Why is it then, that I find myself comparing them at least every 10 minutes or so.
At first I used to feel the (mother of all) guilt everytime an involuntary comparison slipped out. Then I thought about it.
I'm not actually comparing them. I'm comparing my experience of parenting them.

For some reason - I'm surprised every time it's different. You may wonder if I am aware that my children are two different people - I am. I just expected them to behave the same way.
You may also wonder why I am still surprised after 9 months.
Well, it may have something to do with my AWOL brain but more likely it's because old habits die hard.
I'm used to the five year old. I know what to expect. The nine month old to quote Forrest Gump's momma - 'is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.'
So what have I learned? Well for one thing - never say never.
I've also learned that it's all very well that I've worked out why I'm comparing but that makes no difference to the kids.
They simply hear the constant comparison.
So, with great difficulty - and if you know me you know how GREAT that difficulty is,
I am learning to keep my comparisons to myself.

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