Before we became parents, we swore we would never say Ava's age in months once she turned a year. I mean, I've heard parents say, "Oh my son is 37 months" and then I'm sitting there with a puzzled look on my face, attempting to do the math and not look like a complete dummy.
We sure have we made fun of "those kinds of parents" for years now and I'll be honest, we're now "those parents."
Okay, not quite that extreme. But here's why I always say Ava's age in months and I don't even think twice:
When Ava was around 14 months old, we were at the playground and a mom asked me how old Ava was. "She's a year old" to which the mom replied, "Oh he's 14 months!" And in that instant, I felt like a complete idiot. Not that I really care what other moms think about me but in the moment, I felt almost neglectful, as if I really didn't know how many months old my own daughter was. In all honesty, I had no idea and as we quickly parted ways, I did the math in my head and vowed from that day forward to always know how many months old Ava was, down to the half month.
I'm sort of joking but half not because all moms talk about their kids in months. If I say Ava is a year and she turned a year yesterday, she is far younger developmentally then a child who is a year old but is turning two next month. And even a 14 month old is completely different than 17 month old, developmentally.
But this got me thinking...who cares?
I get it, we're just mamas in the wild trying to make conversation but you know what that conversation always turns into?
We're constantly comparing our children and their developments with each other and this whole month thing is only making the problem worse, whether we mean for it to or not.
A couple of weeks back a mom at gymnastics asked me how old Ava was and I told her "16 months." And in typical mom fashion I returned the same question and learned that her daughter was also 16 months, born just a couple of days before Ava. And then I felt terrible. Her mom immediately said, "Man, my daughter is so behind! Your daughter is running around and jumping on the trampoline and hanging by herself on the bar and my daughter is still not walking yet."
Ugh. I had no idea what to respond. "I'm sorry?"
Of course I am proud of Ava for all of her early accomplishments but in the grand scheme of things does that really matter? If you go back and look at Olympic athletes I bet you'll find plenty of early walkers and plenty of them who were late walkers, based on the little check boxes our pediatricians give us. And if you look back at some of the world's top surgeons I'm sure you'd find some early talkers and some later talkers but does that mean that either is less smart than the other? Did that mean they weren't talented and smart and brilliant? Of course not!
So while I totally get the whole age in months thing (and I am totally guilty of it now too), I just feel like the only purpose is for us to compare our children and where they are developmentally. And that's doing us more harm than good. Each and every one of our kids has special talents and gifts and just because my 9-month-old baby girl was an early walker does not mean that your 17-month-old late walker cannot be an Olympic athlete. Not even a little bit.