This past week my parents came over from Maui to visit. They came for Emily's birthday, but honestly it was a gift to me. For the first time in months I was able to do things without Emily. I went to the eye doctor, I got my hair done, I went dress shopping and actually got to try something on. Most of all I got a ton of time at home to not chase the baby around. My parents chased her around instead.
In addition to all this mommy-time I am heading back to full-time parenting with a brand-new baby. This past week Emily has leaped from charming baby to full-blown toddler with new words, expressions, games, skills and personality. This always happens when we visit with my parents - I call it the "Grandma Effect." I don't know what it is, but Emily always saves all her new skills for when my parents are around. I often say "Oh, she doesn't know how to do that yet" and then, right then, she'll do it.
Part of me worries this is a reflection on my mothering skills. Maybe my parents are better. I know that I often don't talk as much as my mother does. I want to, I try to, but then the exhaustion sets in and I find myself changing a diaper silently. Emily doesn't seem to mind, I still smile and interact with her, but the words disappear. I also may not push her as hard. Since noticing how she reacted to other family members pressing her to crawl I made up my mind to let her lead the way when it comes to milestones. But that also means sometimes I forget to put the crayon in her hand. Grandma does it all the time.
Grandma and Grandpa also let her do lots of things Mama does not. Like play with their phones and computers and glasses. I try not to use "no" a lot with Emily - only for certain things that could get her killed or break something really valuable - but for some reason when Grandma and Grandpa say "no" she listens much more than she does to me.
In general, Emily loves her grandparents. They left yesterday and this morning she ran into their room over and over looking for them. If she hadn't decided to get her hug from me instead I might have gotten really jealous.
The rational part of me knows that the new people and interaction is what spurs Emily to grow, not anything lacking in me. My brother has even said his children do the same thing. But it's hard not to watch my Mom and think she does everything better than me. I'm lucky I have a wonderful mother who knows so much. I want to be just like her and am never sure if I will.