PARENTS

Couples' Competitive Parenting: Recognise These Scenes?

06/12/2013 11:07 | Updated 22 May 2015

Baby held by parentsRex

You and your partner might not compete in squash tournaments or have nightly Scrabble battles but if you don't think you're competitive, just you wait until you have a baby.

Prior to this time the mother has the top trump of "well I'm carrying the baby" and "I'm the one pushing a melon out" but as soon as you squeeze it out, the real one-upmanship begins.

I got MINUS-THREE hours sleep

If, as we have, you take it in turns to get up for the baby in the night, you will have to go through the inevitable morning pantomime of demonstrating who got the least sleep. Even if you secretly think you may have been asleep long enough to act out a full-length Ashton Kutcher movie and two sequels, you will still be required to make like you were laying awake listening for grunts and murmurs.

She ALWAYS smiles at me in the morning, but that's probably because I wake her up gently

If, once any night-time ordeals are dealt with, you fight over who gets to go and wake the baby up first, there will be competition over who she smiles at most. More experienced parents will well remember the feeling of walking in on their baby to be greeted with a passive stare or, worse, a frown, only for the Other Parent to breeze in to a broad toothless grin.

"It's probably because you woke her up too suddenly," one of you (naming no names - her dad) will smugly say, before "rescuing" her from your over-excitable cuddle and taking her downstairs.

She usually goes down OK when she's with me

Ah, the afternoon nap. Whether it's your turn to be aggrieved or boastful, the afternoon nap will enter proceedings. If you've been run ragged all day and you feel like you haven't had time to go on the Ashton Kutcher forum at all, the afternoon nap will be used as a sympathy tool.

"I haven't had a MOMENT to myself ALL day," you will say, "she would NOT settle."

If, however, your other half hasn't had a moment to himself on the following day, it'll be because he doesn't put her down properly or do the requisite preambles (stroking head, insertion of dummy, wedging of dummy, etc).

She likes The Gruffalo better if you do the owl's voice actually LIKE an owl

As soon as The Gruffalo enters the equation you're done for. If it becomes your baby's favourite thing ever, the competition to do the best voices hots up. Perhaps your partner feels that he should read the whole story in an exaggerated GR-U-FFALOOOO voice, rendering the baby in fits of giggles.

And perhaps you feel a more subtle approach is required, whereby the snake enuncccccciatessssssss everything with a hissssss and the owl hoooooots his way through his threats, in order to teach the baby to distinguish between the different characters.

Either way, ONE of you will be doing it wrong.

Well she's BOUND to pull a face like that if you don't steam the carrot properly

If you have decided to go down the baby-led weaning route, you will be familiar with the following scenario:

Me: Just let her take it out of your hand and taste it.

Him: But it's enormous, she'll choke.

Me: It's fine. She'll just stick it in her mouth and if it's too big her gag reflex will kick in.

Him: She's thrown it on the floor. She doesn't want it. You prefer the banana Daddy gave you yesterday didn't you.

And so on.....

Does this sound familiar? What do you do most baby or child one-upmanship over?

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