If you’ve been there you’ll know this, and if you’re not there yet you’ll likely find out – the strange and revealing compulsion which besets you once you become a parent to evaluate how your little prince or princess is fairing in comparison to his or her peers.

The early equivalent to “my son has just graduated from Harvard med” vs. “my daughter flunked a horticulture alternative therapy course at Yuma technical college”, parents’ psychological obligation (and I’m not excluding myself) to compare their little one to the other kids in an age group can be disturbing, amusing or just slightly bizarre if you think about it at length.

What starts “innocuously” enough with sentences like: “did you hear that the  Lowenstein’s daughter already poops solids at 8 weeks” (or in even more extreme cases “…doesn’t excrete miconium at 2 days”) rapidly becomes an overdone semi-obsessive noting of anything that your child may be “behind” on, whether it’s crawling, eating with utensils, teething etc., accompanied with the overanxious fretting whether this indicates any developmental lag or “should we think of getting help”.

Too much of this and you may find yourself at the pediatrician asking whether “it’s a serious developmental lag” that your child doesn’t yet wash his or her hands alone while the neighbors’ has done it when he/she was 13 months(!). Time to take a step back and relax.

Been there? Have similar experiences? Do share…