Sunday, 18 March 2012

Baby Olympics

We caught up with friends of ours this morning that have a beautiful 14-month-old daughter.  My girlfriend asked me what age my kids were when they started speaking.  She asked because a friend of hers (who also has a baby around 14 months old) had enquired whether their little cherub had started speaking yet.  Her friend then proceeded to tell her how her little one was already speaking.  So talented.  You with me?

Prior to being asked this question, my friend hadn’t even given her 14 month old’s speech development a second thought.  They were sailing along happily, as you should be when you have a 14 month old.  But as can so often happen, once somebody has planted a seed, it takes hold and you become a little worried.  Should she be speaking now?  Is there something we’re meant to be doing to aide this development?

So yes.  Sometimes the question IS innocent enough and people ARE genuinely interested in knowing what your bubba’s doing.   And sometimes people are simply playing a not-so-subtle game of Baby Olympics.  Urban Dictionary defines Baby Olympics as:

“When parents constantly compete so that their children advance more quickly, have more toys, have bigger birthday parties etc. than their "friends".

Oh yes, John and Jane are playing the Baby Olympics, they've invited 125 kids to their son's birthday party.

We were first told about Baby Olympics when I was pregnant with the Polynesian Princess.  It was one of those pieces of information that went in one ear and out the other, as I smiled sweetly at everyone giving me advice and thought “Whatever.  Less talking and more passing-me-chips please”.

The term “Baby Olympics” became relevant for me right about the second I got home from the hospital with Polynesian Princess on boob.

Them: So how often is she feeding?
Me: Every two hours and every hour around 4pm’ish
Them: (sympathetic head tilt) oh you poooor thing, when are you going to start stretching that out?
Me: Ummmm….when I want to?
Them: Well, mine went straight to four hourly feeds, no problems!  She’s SUCH a good little girl (cue the baby talk to their own child) “aren’t you darling…YES you ARE!”…



Them: So is he talking yet? (referring to Little Warrior)
Me: Not really – you get a “mum” or a “dad” out of him…
Them: Mine’s such a little chatterbox – she’s such a good little talker.  She already has 100 words!

That’s great.  Big ups to you guys.  And honestly, I do think it’s awesome when our babies reach any little milestone (I do – hand on my heart), but I just never got (and still don’t get) this almost obsessive need to constantly compare and critique.  I mean, who really cares?

I think you can tell when someone is enquiring out of genuine interest, and when they’re just enquiring so that they can take Gold in the Baby Olympics category you have unwittingly been entered into.  “Oh isn’t she threading yet?”, “mine has been threading for AGES – I told them at daycare that she needs to be moved up to the next room, she’s bored in this one”.  True story.  That was a real conversation.  And no.  I’m not friends with her anymore.

Have you ever competed in Baby Olympics?  Were you a willing or unwilling participant?

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

1 comment:

  1. Buahahahahaha.... My girls are so different. You can't baby olympic them! Half of the medals would go to one, and the other half to the other!
    One talked at 2, the other at 14months, so who can tell?
    XOXO Jade.


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