In general, Americans are a very competitive bunch. We turn almost anything into a competition. Even eating has a huge amount of competing, even at the amateur level. Heck, I’ve bragged about my prowess in said arena. What surprised me is how competitive people are about babies. I don’t really mean in the way most people might thing. Sure everyone talks about how early their kids walk and talk and all that. That’s a little more normal. I speak of a more random and odd type of competition.
Once you have a baby no matter what you say someone with an older kid will say something like “wait until they do “. Its like no matter what you’re going through its not as bad as what’s coming. I don’t think people do this in a malicious way usually, its just our nature. What I find odd about it is often its very bizarre stuff. “Wait until they poop and grab it”; things like that just seem weird.
So to provide some order to this mess I am proposing parents of the world create a governing body for this competition with some set of rules. Perhaps we’ll have to keep a log book for each range of ages. In each book there will be different types of stats to keep. Spit-ups per day, dirty diapers per day, diaper blowouts, nights slept through, etc. When you see another parent you break out your log book and compare stats for the equivalent age. This equalizes it for those parents who had kids earlier. Of course it would be honor system for the recording, and you may have to get baby sitters involved for some data collection. I’m not sure if that would cost extra.
The trick comes in deciding who wins. If you kid sleeps 10 hours a night after age 3 months and keeps that up until age 2 and someone else’s kid only sleeps 6 hours a night who wins? I’m inclined to say at least for each night sleep the 10 hour parents definitely one. If you’re looking to complain then the 6 hour parents win. If you’re into the complaining though you have to be careful. Eventually your kid just comes out looking like a brat. That or you look like a whiner. Its definitely something the ruling body would have to decide on.
Anyways, next time you have to one up another parent, and we all do it, just think about how you want to be scored. Maybe challenge that other parent to a contest over time. Just make sure your record your rules and we can get this new game started.