|Bridesmaids the film sums up 'Those' Friends perfectly!|
We all have them, we all know them and we all struggle with them at times. Yes folks, I'm talking about 'Those Friends'. You know who I mean when I say that, the capital 'T' will pretty much spell out who I am referring to in your circle of friends! I also think 'friends' is a label loosely applied to these people we know who fall in to this category!
Now let me begin (are you sitting comfortably?) by saying I am not a bitchy person. I don't think there is any room in todays society for bitchyness in my life. I can't speak for the rest of the female population as I think we are all built with a heat seeking bitchiness radar that none of us can ignore 100% of the time! But for the most part I'm not a cow, I don't talk about people behind their backs and I don't like being mean, rude or nasty for the sake of it. So usually the only bitchiness that I expel is at a certain time of the month when I'm on the sofa in joggers, feeling rubbish, stuffing chocolate in my mouth while ranting on to baby daddy about whoever I feel deserves the rant. Other than that, I'm usually not bitchy. Basically I'm a time of the month bitch-sound familiar? I think if we are all truly honest we know we can have our bitchy moments, but most of us try hard not to make them a regular occurance.
So to summarise I am not a cow or anything else for saying this ok? Good. Glad we cleared that up.
But I have been thinking about 'Those Friends' of mine a little recently and feel more than ever pigeon holed as a bad parent compared to them. These friends are the kind who's child is always miles ahead of yours, more intellegant, better behaved and generally miles 'better' than yours. For example your child is screaming their head off as you rush round tesco's trying to stop them having a full on tantrum while you finish your shopping and your friends child sits there perfectly, smiling angelicly and you can practically see his halo, because of course their child never behaves this badly. And they make sure you know/feel this at every opportunity. We have a particular couple friend whom we have known for about five years, they met just after us and are now married with a child and another on the way. All good on that front, nothing unusual. We used to get on really well with said couple especially as our pregnancies slightly overlapped, it was a lovely time in our friendship. It all went south when the babies were born though.
Their child is about six months or so older than Josh but their child may as well be 20 going on 2. Their child is the perfect sleeper, the perfect eater, he's clever in ways a 2 year old isn't normally and I swear his poop must be gold. In fact his mental abilities apparantly match that of a 18 year old Maths A-Level student. You get the picture!
For some reason (for the life of me, I can't figure out why?!) we don't really socialise together anymore, the men keep in touch occassionally and I see both his and her facebook updates (you all know I'm not a huge facebook fan) but that's about it and I prefer it like that. Does that sound bad? Anyway, facebook it seems can still deliver those blows of feeling parentally inadequate even though direct speaking has gone out of the window. There is no escape!
This week their child (curtosey of facebook) has begun to do something most children don't even do for another year or so and it's all I see when I log on, which trust me is rare. It reminded me of the many times when I was totally frazzled as a new mum with a baby who (like most and is totally normal) wouldn't sleep at night for much of the first few weeks. Said friend would tell me exactly what her child was like at this stage and by the sounds of it he slept through the night from the day he was born. It was like this with everything, any problem/challenge I faced as a new mum when I went to her for advice it often came out patronising and made me feel inadequate as a parent because me and my son were so far away from her and her perfect child's example.
There was never an occassion where the opportunity wasn't taken to rub our noses in it that our son wasn't doing what their child did at that age. But as it's gone on I realise we are not the only ones with this feeling towards said set of friends. Everyone we know jokes about it using metaphors like their child is going to be a rocket scientist by next year and a nobel prize winner the year after. It's unkind to do it behind their backs but you know what, it's true and thats how they choose to live their lives-always making their parenting choices far superior to everyone else's meaning their child is 20 going on 2. Well good luck to them, they seem to have forgotten every child is different. Perhaps they will remember this when their next is born.
While their son has been allowed only a small number of educational toys, mine relishes in being treated to weird, wacky and wonderful toys by everyone who loves him. He loves nothing more than to dance around to their music and squeel with delight when we join in. My son may not have the vocabulary of a dictionary but hey he's 18 months and I get far more joy at listening to him chat to me in his toddler gobbldegook than if he were to be reading the financial times to me. And you know what? My 18 month old son might not currently have the intellect of scientist, he even ate sand yesterday at the park to further prove this point, but he's my child and I love him regardless!
I know they love their child just as much but my son is mine, he's perfect to me as he is. There is nothing I would change about him, not a single thing (except maybe the scent of his filled nappies, but who wouldn't?!) and I would rather my son eat sand, watch mickey mouse and play with noisy toys because in what will seem like no time at all he will be old enough to read the financial times (although with a daddy like his, Joshua is more likely to read the Sun, lets face it!) and read about nobel prize winners (it will probably be my friend's child) so I want him and me to enjoy this short time when he is a toddler and everything that goes with it. So in reference to my 'friend' I say this, up yours *gives birdie*. Hell hath no fury like a mummy scorned and no-one makes me feel like my perfect child is inadequate. You are officially un-friended on facebook!
Ahhh I suddenly feel much better now. Whats that I hear you ask?...Yes, I am on my period.
Love Chloe xx