This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me: I am a mom-petitor. That’s right I admit it. I grew up in a competitive household. Hell, my older brother still calls me up when he accomplishes something big, not because he wants to share happiness with me, but because he wants to make sure it’s bigger than anything I’ve done lately. But he doesn’t live near me and our lives have taken different paths, so nowadays I mostly compete with random strangers.
Once, when Wildling was about a year old, I was talking to another parent of a child the same age. The dad said something about needing to change his daughter’s diaper. I looked at him, raised my eyebrows and said “She’s not potty trained yet?” then I sighed and gave him a sympathetic look and said “Well, I guess we all have different parenting styles,” and I just walked away. I thought it was pretty funny, and I assume he knew I was joking. But he might not have. Mom-petition. I am either better at potty training or better at comedy than that other parent.
A few weeks ago when I picked Wildling up from daycare we had to walk past a woman and child in the lobby area. The child was a boy from the pre-k class, so he was at least a year and a half older than her. As we walked by, the mom was pointing to letters on the bulletin board. She asked him to find ‘A,’ which he did, then she asked him what word starts with A. “Airplane starts with A!” he exclaimed proudly, and she looked at me and I saw some snarky triumph in her eyes. Her kid knew airplane started with A. Obviously, he must have been brilliant. Wildling then said “Mama, airplane starts with A!” “I know, Wildling. What else starts with A?” She thought for a second. “Ants. Ants start with A. Oh, and alligator, alligator starts with A, and . . . ” and she named off several more words. I turned back, made eye contact with the other mom, and gave her a sort of half smile. And we left. I declare Wildling the winner of Battle A, and myself the winner of the pettiest mom-petition ever.