The Questions

When you have a serious boyfriend everyone asks when you’re going to get married. When you get married everyone asks when you’re going to have kids. In the first few months of having your first kid, no one asks when you’re going to have your next one. They assume that you will and say, “When you have your next kid…” When you say, “Oh, I’m not sure that we will. We’re happy with one,” they respond, “You never know…just wait and see.” The more detailed questions asked of women in those first few months of caring for their newborn are not as widely known.

“Is your baby sleeping through the night?”

“Are you doing tummy time?”

“Are you nursing?”

“Is your baby grabbing her feet?”

The list goes on.

The questions are usually unsolicited and not open for any old answer. The askee usually has a very strong opinion about how you should answer (you know this because it’s palpable), which makes me wonder why it was even phrased as a question. You start to wonder, why doesn’t this person just cut to the chase and tell me how I should raise my kid?

Then they start telling you what kind of vaccines the baby should get and how much she should be eating. So, when this happened the other day, I finally just broke down and shot back, “Doctor, I know you have your child rearing beliefs, since after all, you are the Dumpling’s pediatrician. But, but, but…well, ok, maybe you’re right.”

So, maybe sometimes the views are warranted.

But, there are times when every mom has to deal with the unwarranted views of others. What’s even worse are the claims by some moms that their baby could practically walk at birth and began speaking before leaving the hospital. That’s fine for them. But, it’s not the point in life I want my child to peak.

Just think about it; if the Dumpling were to roll over, grab her feet, learn to put her pacifier back in her mouth way ahead of schedule, what is there to aspire to next? She’d coast through the rest of her first year, too high on the adrenaline of above average motor skills. She’d try to keep riding the wave her second year. “Oh, so you’re talking already. Big whoop! I was rolling over at one month.” It might be somewhat impressive among her two year old set. But, by the time she starts preschool, all the other kids except the Dumpling will have forgotten when they rolled over. Everyone will have moved on to the alphabet and building blocks. But, the Dumpling will still be living in her glory days of early rolls and foot grabs. She’ll never be able to regain what she once had.

She’ll be like Laverne and Shirley when they moved to Los Angeles.  Or pennies.  Or people who still make Laverne and Shirley references. She’ll be like the Godfather III. Or MySpace. Or paper receipts. Or paper books. Or paper anything. She’ll jump the shark on her life. Point is, it’s fine with me if the Dumpling takes her time with things.

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