Thursday, November 03, 2005

Grow, baby, grow

Remember how I ran into a neighbor baby a few months ago? And she was younger than Vivian, but much advanced developmentally, so I got a little insecure about things?

Well, we ran into them again yesterday. Joanna is still ahead of Vivian developmentally (but I mean, really, who isn't? Vivian is almost 17 months old and barely walking). Thing is, I don't care anymore, and I'll tell you why.

For one thing, her nanny informed me that Joanna is in fact 16 months old, so she is not 3 months younger than Vivian, like I originally thought. Also, I know Vivian can walk, I've seen her do it. She just chooses not to. She will be running before I know it, and I want to cherish her babyness for the few weeks of it I've got left. Plus, she's got a ton of words and can understand most of what I say. I feel confident that she is developing fine, and I don't have to worry. See how calm and rational I am?

One thing the nanny said did throw me for a loop, however: "She's so big! Look-- she's the same size as Joanna."

It's true. Vivian is no longer small for her age. She is suddenly average height.

As a kid, I was always one of the smallest in class. I weighed 42 lbs in 2nd grade. I wasn't 5 feet tall until I was 16. I didn't reach my current height of 5'4" until sometime in college.

When Vivian wore her 0-3 month clothes for 6 months, secretly I found it kind of cute. Honestly, the narcissistic side of me reveled in it, especially since, as a baby, Vivian looked exactly like Lance. In her size, I had finally found some way to connect her to me. Ever since, I've been quietly gloating. "Oh, she's small for her age", I'd respond to another mother at the park, who asks how old she is. Or, apropos of nothing, while waiting with the other moms for pre-school to let out, "Yes, those are still 3-6 month pants. She's 14 months old!".

No more. I'm not sure when this happened, though I would guess sometime in the last 2 months. Vivian has caught up with her peers, leaving the little piece of me in her (that I was clinging to desperately) in the dust.

I know there are other parts of me in her, and as her personality emerges, I can see them shining through. (No, not the whining. Really. Nooo.) Now that her hair is blonder, she looks much more like me than she used to. Still, it's hard to let go of that tiny girl, the one who would face the same sort of challenges I did, by being the smallest kid in school.

Will I be as well-equipped to help her face whatever her different challenges may be?

Now, where did that calm, rational mother go?

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