Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A different person

Moms like to compare kids. Yours to mine, mine to yours, mine to mine, yours to yours...endless comparisons: weight, height, talkativeness, physical growth, personality, affection, health, intelligence, aptitudes, interests, musical capability, athletic capability...the list goes on. Sometimes we compare because we want to reassure ourselves that our kid is marching along on the track of age-appropriate growth, and maybe, just maybe, once in a while, because we wonder if our kid is better than yours at one of the things in the list.

Pride. Yep, we moms are prideful.

I thought that having a special needs child would automatically cure me of comparing children. After all, I can't think of a more humbling experience for a mother than having a child who can't even feed herself by mouth...among a long list of other things that the child ranks at the very bottom of most of the comparisons I listed above! First-time moms with healthy kids don't know how easy they have it. I once witnessed a first-time mom discussing how she couldn't believe how small another mother's (healthy) child was...compared to her "too healthy"--she actually used those words--large baby. As I have said before, large babies and large children are overrated...healthy can come in many different sizes.

Pride. I'm proud of each of my kids, in different ways. And I'm still learning to not compare! To not compare to yours and to not compare to mine. I read a blog recently where the mother of more children than I'd like to imagine giving birth to said that people often think that after the first three or four kids, the younger kids are clones of one of the older ones.

Nope, we're all different. And I enjoy seeing that every day as Konrad reminds me that my two sons are very different from each other. So I compare, but I don't compare to judge better or worse, just to enjoy the differences.

Here are some cute comparisons:
Lukas loved stuffed animals as a baby (still does), but didn't particularly like balls. Konrad loves balls and can't be bothered to play with a stuffed animal. I've tried to get him to cuddle with a stuffed animal in the crib (I bought a special one for him before he was born) and he couldn't care less! Now that he's eight months old, maybe I should just take it out of the crib!

Lukas could nurse for hours; Konrad nurses for 15 minutes or less...I can't get him to latch back on when he's done. What a blessing that this trait came with my third child!

Lukas loved the vacuum cleaner from day one. When he was screaming non-stop at the beginning and I figured it didn't matter if I held him or not, he was going to scream anyway, so why don't I just vacuum to drown out the sound (and to clean my house!)...and then he stopped screaming at the sound of the vacuum. Konrad is happy and playful and then cries the entire time I'm vacuuming.

But Lukas and Konrad are a lot alike in at least one important way: they love each other a lot!

And if they were the same, how boring would that be!


Tena said...

How true, how true. It's impossible to avoid, it seems, and special needs don't make you immune. Great post!

Kelly said...

It is so silly...I find myself comparing my precious RTSweetie to other RTSweeties. Always thinking about age and wondering if AnnaKate will live up to the RTS norm. I need to let her be her and not compare...but it is hard!

Rachel said...

Totally true. I was going to mention that Elizabeth loves the vacuum. I was vacuuming today, and she laughed when I turned it on!