Audrey had her well-visit at the pediatrician's today. She's healthy (knock on wood) and growing and perfect (her Mommy says so).
She was not pleased at all to get a shot. You'd have thought the nurse hit her with a dart from across the room with the holler she let out. Sigh. Sorry, sugar, it's gotta be done.
I was talking to my pedi, and he asked about how everyone else was doing. I filled him in, and then I made a comment that has been floating around in my head for days.
It went something like this...
You know when you have a baby, and you are constantly looking at them each day, noticing how they change overnight? They reach new milestones, crawling, walking, talking...learning to potty, getting teeth, learning to potty-mouth (!)...and you eagerly await each new thing every day. You check baby books to make sure that they are reaching them with the zeal you used to reserve for other activities--you know, the ones you enjoyed when you could still shower before 5 pm?
And when you get together with your friends that have kids you all sort of compare notes, especially if they are close in age: "Yes, he's sleeping through the night." "Oh, my god, you should have seen her tantrum!" "Does he run around naked too?" Not so much to brag (ok, some people do do it to brag) but rather to remind yourself that things are progressing the way they should be, and you are getting most of it right, no matter your degree of experience.
It kind of levels off once they hit school age, because they all have enough similarities about them that the differences are just quirky spots of individualism and not necessarily signs that something is awry. They stop having that baby-face kindie look, start losing teeth, and just behave like kids...and then you hit 5th grade.
I find myself looking at Nolan everyday, searching for signs that he's changing. It's like he's a baby again, and I'm looking for signs that he's cutting new teeth, or trying to walk. Sometimes, the change is subtle; it's the way he holds himself, or the way he moves. Othertimes, it's a surprise, in-my-face kind of thing; like when he displays his sense of humor, and I crack up until my sides hurt; or outgrows his clothes; or comes up to hug me and I realize as he does it that he's taller.
It's not just limited to Nolan. I've seen a lot of the same kids since they were in kindergarten, or younger. Whenever I'm at the school, I'm always amazed when I see how quickly they are morphing into teenagers. Somebody always looks taller, or more grown-up, and it's fun for me to compare the little kid they were with the big kid they are now.
And the parents, I find, are comparing notes again. We are all in this next gig together, and I think (at least for me) it's reassuring to know that your friends' sweet children sometimes turn into raging hydras too.
They're reaching new milestones, crawling toward adulthood, gaining inches, changing appearances, and learning to potty-mouth (still !). Pushing the boundaries again, just like they did during that amusing adolescent preview known as the "terrible twos" --aw, you know you remember that! <I'm still living it ;p>
I'm so lucky that I have fellow parents-in-the-trenches to help me keep up, and remind me that we're all getting most of it right. Fellow sufferers to hand you a Tylenol, offer you a stiff drink, or just listen as you vent.
Sometimes, it's this support that keeps us from um, locking them up or shipping them off until they turn 18.
Ha, now there's an option.... ;)