Taking Steps

Sometimes I like to make a “To Do” list and put things on it that I’ve already done, so that I can start my day by crossing a few things off. Keeping a planner book usually makes me more obsessed with these types of lists, and since I’ve lost my planner, I’m completely unconcerned with events that might be coming up. My email is so flooded anyway that I figure, if someone wants me to attend an event badly enough, they’ll send me another email about it. The really important things are either so ingrained because I do them regularly (like pick Seamus up from daycare and teach my classes) or so significant (like giving a final at a different time than the class meets, attending graduation, or taking myself or Seamus to a Dr.’s appointment) that I can generally keep the dates and times in my head. Everything is sifting out.

However, the impetus for this post is Seamus’s looming 12 month (ONE YEAR!) check up. At these appointments they give me a sheet to check off the things that Seamus is doing so they can track milestones and development. I’ve been really wanting to check off some more boxes at this appointment, so I guess it’s ok that the first opening our pediatrician had was a full two weeks after Seamus’s birthday. I knew I was going to get to progress to check off the “standing” box, but as of yesterday, I think I get to check of the “walking” box too! 

I’ve worked really hard over the last 10 years to rein in some of my overly competitive, hyper achiever need to turn benign events into cause for driving myself and others to a respectable finish. But it erupts unbidden sometimes. (This is actually one of the reasons I took up running. I knew I was never in danger of being the best at it, so that knowledge helps me tone down the push to finish first. Don’t worry, I still have goals.) In this case, the competition is not at all with other parents or babies. The competition is with that sheet of paper. Yes, I feel the need to vanquish a checklist of things my baby can do. It’s very good that his appointment is a couple of weeks late. I don’t think that’s cheating. At all.

While Seamus is taking steps toward independence, I need to be taking steps toward getting control over these impulses before I inject this neurosis about checking things off into Seamus. I’ll focus more on the things I need to check off for my own work before I head to Kentucky for a much anticipated visit and vacation.


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