Apples to Oranges

From the moment you announce your pregnancy, the comparisons begin.  Other moms will ask you all sorts of questions about weight gain, morning sickness, and baby statistics, and then supply you with every nauseating detail of their own.  Apparently these comparisons never end, even when the children have long grown and left home. Consider the traditional Christmas newsletter.  Have you ever seen one where the parents actually discuss their children’s shortcomings?  This past year, Tommy (14) flunked Geometry, Susie (15) got pregnant, and John (16) wrecked our brand new car.  No, the job of parents is to prove how great their children are! 


For every developmental milestone you celebrate with your baby, there will always be someone around to one-up you.  If your baby starts walking at twelve months, so-and-so’s baby walked at nine months.  Hopefully, you will quickly learn to weed out the phonies.  Your baby started talking at seven months? Mine talked at two months!  Try to avoid deflecting with sarcasm.  My other baby actually talked in the womb!  One-upping the One-up is generally considered obnoxious and unacceptable.  Simply nod and smile and try to rejoice in their successes. 


Comparison conversations tend to become extremely ridiculous when boys are involved.  Everyone wants their boy to be the tallest, biggest, and strongest boy of all time – the kid who will be picked first for teams in gym class. Once you have a boy, you will be inundated by other parents with stories of how their son was so strong he could hold his head up as soon as he was born.  Even though this is completely irrelevant in life, it sure sounds impressive! 

Our first son was a fairly large baby at birth (9 pounds, 3 ounces, 22 inches), and his head was only slightly smaller than North Dakota. Despite his size, we always met parents with much smaller sons who would brag about their herculean boys.

Despite the temptation to one-up, one has to just play along and respond politely. 

Davey was 9 pounds at birth! My son’s big toe weighed that much. Big boy!
Davey could throw a football at 6 months. My son could throw a football player. NFL contract!
Davey is the strongest baby EVER! My son could bench press his car seat at birth. Awesome!

The most important thing to remember is to not get wrapped up in The Comparison Game.  After all, you would love your child the same regardless of height, weight, and ability.  Do not stoop to a lower level to make someone else feel inferior.  You need to learn how to humor these people while remaining polite and friendly.  Act impressed, no matter how ridiculous the statement!


One response to “Apples to Oranges

  1. This is so true, Cara. From the cloth diapers or pampers, to the amount of college prep they take in High School , to the jobs and degrees never ends with the comparisons. Each person is an individual and we all are at different places and times.Kudos to oranges and Kudos to apples too!

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