I can't help it. Whenever I meet up with the other mums at the two coffee groups I attend, it's impossible not to compare their babes with mine. Usually I notice how all the other 8-month-olds are already crawling and standing, or that no-one else looks as haggard from lack of night time sleep. It's entirely possible that Baby is miles ahead of ninety percent of her age group in braininess, but that sort of thing isn't exactly obvious to the naked eye is it?
On this sunny afternoon Baby and I went for a walk through the Botanic Gardens with a friend and her 4-month-old boy. I was already anticipating that at least some of our talk would be about how her boy has started to sleep long stretches from 8pm till 2am, and had mentally rehearsed how I would tell her to shut up already. Fortunately, my friend was kind enough - and perceptive enough - to avoid the subject of sleep, except to assure me that he isn't napping much during the day either.
The advice which experts give us is always that we shouldn't compare our children to others', because "every baby is different" (and if I hear a Plunket nurse utter that phrase one more time I'm going to throw a hissy fit). But isn't that how we work out whether we are normal? By comparing ourselves and our own to the rest of the population?