We all have "those" friends in our lives. The ones that we'd not normally associate with if it weren't for the specific circumstances through which we've met. Maybe its a "work" friend. Someone you exchange gossip with over the coffee maker and with whom you share way to many rotten lunches. One of you leaves that company, however, and your friendship dissipates. Or, perhaps its a "mommy" friend. Someone you meet through your child and see only when there are children around to distract you from actual conversation. I've got one of those. We'll call her Ann only because that's not her real name.
Ann gave birth to perfection roughly two-and-half years ago, only not really. Junior is a normal 30-month old. He does things all two-year olds do. He's built like a two-year old. He talks like a two-year old. He talks back like a two-year old. He's just perfectly two and that is, well, perfect. Its all any child that age needs to be.
But Ann likes to think she, and therefore her child, is better than the rest of us. Its rare a conversation transpires between us that she doesn't give me one of these "So what is Logan up to? Oh, that's nice, well Junior can do this. . ." Its a competitive statement. Its a "yeah well, you think that's great, look what mine can do." Its sad.
I am proud of the things my son can do and I'll happily blog them or share them with people close to us. But I don't go out of my way to alert everyone in our address book the moment he does something for the first time. I'm careful when I speak to people like Ann, not to talk about the things Logan does because it never leads down a good road. We just let it go and, for example, Logan's verbality will sooner or later display itself without me saying a thing.
So the other day we're talking. And of course most of what we ever talk about is child related. She's now expecting her second and so the call she placed to me was to pick my brain on how to prepare Junior. Slowly a talk moved from siblings to preschools.
"Oh, Logan has always been very chatty," she says in regards to some topic related to schooling. Then she paused and added with great flair "Junior is catching up to him, you know. He knows his letters now."
Now normally I'd say with all sincerity "Yay Junior! That's great!" and leave it at that. Not with Ann though, because with Ann this declaration wasn't about your normal Mommy-chat of "My child did something neat and I want to share it with someone that might understand why a simple series of letters is beyond wonderful!" No, with Ann this sort of comment is "My child is better than yours and every where he wasn't better before he's now leveling the playing field leaving your child no place to be special, so there." You think I make this stuff up, but I don't.
So to Ann I said very matter of factly, "Oh, that's terrific! Good job Junior." (insert dramatic pause here.) "Logan is starting to read now."
Silence on the other end.
"Yeah, he's not reading a full book on his own, certainly, but he has several dozen words he can read without our help. It won't be long before he's doing complete sentences and reading simple stories."
"Oh." she says then more silence. "Well Junior is just very into his muscles and being physical. He'd rather ride his bike."
And so I invited her over one day so the boys could ride their bikes together. Yes, I am evil. The thing is if she wasn't always trying to do a "my kid is better than your kid," I wouldn't be so bitchy. But she does, so I am.
In fact, I nearly called her yesterday to tell her that Logan did indeed read a complete sentence all on his own in a book he'd never seen before - "The pig is in the mud."
But I opted out of evil yesterday - yes I know my "pseudo-twin" reading this right now in disbelief that I could opt out of evil. But I did Col. I really did.