Have you ever listened when a parent talks about their young child and they mention their age? Have you ever read a letter to the editor in a baby magazine? Have you ever seen a question about a child in an online forum? When it comes to mentioning the child’s age, some parents just seem to be so specific.
“My 11 month old doesn’t show signs of crawling…”
Parent 1 “Your child looks so young (little) to be running around…”
Parent 2 “Well she’s always been pretty advanced for a 13 month old…”
And again… But then you get these…
“My child is 23 months old and…”
Say, almost two…
“My child is 31 months old old and…”
That’s two-and-a-half really…
I think that once you get to 2-years-old you really need to stop counting the months, and start looking at the years…. and a half(s).
I know why they do it. I know why some parents have to spell out the exact age. It’s competition. It’s reassurance. It’s the embarrassment of having a child who is somewhat delayed. It’s the fear of having to defend the “at three years old your child should really be…” (interjection from parents) “he’s really only 35 months old…”
Look, sometimes I’ve found myself doing this so I know the psyche behind it. And I have witnessed it from friends and family who I know need to have their child keep ahead of the game, or justify why their child is not even at the starting blocks yet. In the end, kids get there when they do, and whether it takes one 15 months or two years to reach a development milestone, so be it.
One thing that I have been doing in the last couple of weeks is asking questions about our children on a parenting forum but changing up the way I refer to their ages. The ages I have used are;
- Master Four-and-a-half and Master Almost-Two
- Master 4.66 and Master 1.998 (yes, if you do the math, that’s pretty accurate)
- Master Five-in-November and Master 23 months
Based on the last one I really should have used the Master 56 months and Master 23 months.
It is funny but when one of my questions got posted, the one where I mentioned “Master 4.66 and Master 1.998…” my wife was sitting on the lounge reading through the same forum and said “did you see the mum that gave those precise ages of her kids? That’s going a bit too far…” And she’s right…