We have all been through this, I am sure. I went through it mostly with Sam, since he was my first and then after that I just didn't care one way or the other. But it still interests me, that it really matters to a lot of parents that their kids are the smarter ones.
When Sammy was a baby, I lived around a lot of first time moms or moms that had a baby around the same time as I did. I really enjoyed comparing stories and tips, what mom doesn't, right? But my feathers got a little ruffled when the parents pulled out the "how smart is my kid vs. how smart is yours" card.
It would always start as a question: "Has Sam started crawling yet?" or "Has Sam said his first word yet?" or "Does he count or say the ABCs?"
Then my answer is countered with a statement like this: "Well MY little guy has been saying his ABCs for nearly a month now..." Translation: My kid is so much smarter! Or they will say something like this: "What? He isn't crawling yet? My daughter was crawling at least 2 months ago." Translation: My daughter is way ahead in her milestones. She is so much smarter!
For a while, this made me feel bad. I felt like I wasn't doing enough as a mother to help Sammy reach his growth milestones. Until that is, Sam pulled some fast ones and gave me some awesome ammo to counter these vicious mommy attacks. Instead of feeling bad like before, this is how the conversations started to go:
Snob Mom: What? Sammy isn't crawling! My son was crawling at 5 months!
Me: No, Sammy didn't crawl. He is actually running around now. (at this point, I point out 10 month old Sammy running around with the big kids on the playground, noticing her kid sitting on the blanket watching in envy).
Snob Mom (thinking of a good comeback pulls out this nasty card): Well, that has to be bad for his brain development! All kids need to crawl for as long as they can!
Me: You try stopping a child who wants to get up and run!
Snob Mom at loss for words.
Fast forward, Sammy is now 22 months.
Snob Mom: So, I hear Sammy doesn't talk. Have you had him tested?
Me: Tested for what?
Snob Mom rolls her eyes: Autism or some kind of learning disability.
Me: No, I see no need right now. His doctor tells me that he thinks he is just a late talker.
Snob Mom: Well, my daughter knows all of her ABCs, can count to 20 and knows all her shapes and colors. Isn't she like 3 months younger then Sam? (Translation: My daughter is WAY smarter then Sam...!)
Me: Good for her. (This is where my evil side comes out and I just can't help myself!) How is she on the computer?
Snob Mom: What? The computer? That's just silly, she isn't even 2! Why would she play on the computer?!
Me: Sammy is brilliant on the computer. He works the mouse perfect. He likes to surf the net, download games, and play his math program. Just yesterday he completed the 2nd grade level. We are so proud of him! He sure loves working on the computer! (I could have picked her jaw off the floor... instead I jabbed once more) That's really cool your daughter can count to 20...
After this episode, I stopped playing the "My Kid is Smarter Than Yours" Game. It just wasn't fun. I love children, and I hate that they tend to get caught up in the pride of the parents. Every little child is so different and their growth depends entirely on what interests them, period. They say girls talk sooner because they have that strong desire to talk, to be like the big people. The same goes for potty training. Boys' priorities are so much different! Same for their tastes. While girls love pink, boys love blue (or green... Sam really likes orange). Girls love dolls, boys love cars and trains.
Honestly, Sammy has a really hard time just wanting to talk! Seriously, he could care less! He would much rather be playing than talking. Nephi on the other hand, loves to play, but he really likes to say new words and put them together. He gets a kick out of seeing my happy face when he says something right. Sam doesn't aim to please, unless it is showing us how he can put on his own DVD (20 months old) or VHS (18 months old) or even doing certain programs on the computer. Which got limited when he turned 2. We caught him downloading stuff we really didn't want on the computer.
Am I saying that my kid is the smartest? Heavens no! Sammy is just Sammy, and I love him to pieces. There isn't anything I would trade about him. He may not talk much, and have a really hard time communicating, but I have faith he will grow to be a wonderful kid, young man, and then adult. No, he is not better then anyone else, even if he is good at math. I won't lie though, to me he is one of the best kids -- but I am his mom. He is a part of me... my better part. I see myself and my husband in that little face, and how can I not think that he is perfect? He is my little angel.
There is one thing I wish I had told those moms back then. Having the smartest kid isn't important. In fact, I did some research on this, truly having a gifted kid is a real pain in the butt. They are constantly getting into trouble because their curiosity is never ever satisfied. Just be grateful that your child is healthy. Strive to let them BE children, and love them for all their accomplishments and even more for their failures. Be there for them always, and never ever compare them to others. Each is a precious unique gift from God. Cherish every moment and make it last.