Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fitting In

I've started taking R to Storytime at Barnes & Noble. It's nice for her to see the other kids and start getting involved in structured group activities. At 12 months old, though, she is at least eight months behind the other kids. I would like to would like to talk more with the other moms, but it's hard to strike up a conversation when you're herding toddlers just before lunch. Why does Storytime have to be at 11?

Train Table at Barnes & Noble

I took R over to the train table on the other side of the room when the kids began coloring. Another mom and her little boy soon came over and we started talking about allergies. Soon enough the other mothers and kids came over, and then I found it hard to get a word in edgewise. The mother of a twenty month old was saying, "She was on the potty at 16 months. We still have her in pull-ups at night..." R uses the potty... The mother of a three year old was saying, "So I ask her, 'Why don't you want to use the potty and wear your underwear like a big girl?' She answers, 'Because there are still diapers left, Mommy!'" [Cue group laughter] We use cloth diapers...

I don't know. R is so much younger than the other kids, and her milestones don't exactly line up with theirs, even if it's the same milestone, like potty training. I could add my two cents to the conversation, but I'd have to preface whatever I say with "I read somewhere, and I thought it was worth a try, to..." because I don't want to seem like I'm trying to be better than them. We do things differently, not to try to be better than the general population, but because it made sense to us. We use cloth diapers because we wanted to pay for our diapers all at once and reuse them. We started potty training early because we wanted to get her used to the idea of using the toilet before toddler rebelliousness kicked in. You (other mothers) chose disposable diapers for your own reasons. You potty train at the time you do and the way you do for your own reasons.

What does it really matter that we use cloth diapers or started potty training early? It's just different. But when I run the situations in my head-- of my possibly mentioning cloth diapers or early potty training-- it really does seem like I'm trying to be better than them. I don't want to be better than them. I want to be friends with them. I want R to have friends. Being more than half a year younger than those other little girls won't matter in a couple of years, but right now it does. We're different, trying to fit in at Storytime. I hope we manage it eventually.



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