At the kiddie gym this morning, Nora was being particularly social and adorable, walking up to kids and giving high fives, sharing her blocks, hugging all the nannies, and giggling at everything. I sat in the corner with a random dad, both of us watching her make her rounds, when the dad turned to me:
Random Dad: “Ok, so I have to know– what’s your secret?!”
Me (laughing): “Honestly, I don’t have one! I don’t know how she got this amazing, friendly, adorable personality. It’s certainly not from me! She takes after my husband more, I think. He’s very outgoing. But I’ll take some credit because she’s with me most of the day, so I guess I must be doing something right?”
Random Dad: “Oh. I meant how’d you get that coffee in here? They never let me bring mine in.”
Rushing to kiddie class this morning, I’m pushing Nora’s stroller down the street when I get stuck behind the world’s slowest stroller-pushing woman on the world’s narrowest sidewalk. At one point, thank god, the sidewalk widens, and so I take this opportunity to speed up and bypass the woman and her stroller. I guess she didn’t appreciate this maneuver, as she then yelled, “Excuse me– don’t think you’re better than me just because you have a bigger, fancier stroller!”
Which is absurd.
Your stroller is carrying a 30-pound cat.
THAT is why I’m better than you.
After class at the kiddie gym:
Other Mom (to me): “Well that was a fun class!”
Me: “I know, I agree! And I’m so glad that [your kid] and Nora are really becoming friends now.”
Other Mom: “Me too! And speaking of, I think it’s time we actually learn each other’s names!”
Me: “Oh! Ha, yes, we should– I’m Emily.”
Other Mom: “Nice to ACTUALLY meet you! I’m Cheryl.”
I fucking know, Cheryl. That’s why I’ve greeted you with “Good morning Cheryl!” every day for the past 3 months.
During class at the kiddie gym…
Instructor (about Nora): “You know, you’re really good with her. Like, REALLY good.”
Me: “Oh my gosh thank you so much! I appreciate you saying that.”
Instructor: “Yeah and trust me I’ve seen a LOT of nannies. I hope they’re paying you well.”
In Union Square, a standard pamphlet-waving, presumably Jesus-preaching weirdo approaches me…
Weirdo: “Oh, honey. I really think I can help you.”
Me: “Um, yeah no thanks, I don’t need to be saved by Jesus today .”
Weirdo: “Oh no no– I’m a stylist.”
At the kiddie gym, Nora is playing at the chalk board with another boy.
Nora (picks up yellow piece of chalk, shows it to boy): “It’s yellow!”
Boy’s Mom: “Oh my god, she knows her colors?! That’s amazing!”
Me: “Yeah I know it’s crazy.”
Boy’s Mom: “She’s a genius!”
Me: “Haha I like to think so!”
Nora: (picks up pink chalk): “It’s yellow!”
Nora: (picks up green chalk) “It’s yellow!”
Nora: (picks up blue chalk) “It’s yellow!”
Me: “Haha ok maybe she doesn’t know ALL the colors….”
Nora: (picks up bug off the floor) “It’s yellow!”
Me: “No no Nora that’s a bu—”
Nora: (eats bug)
Me: “Nora, no!”
Nora (mouth full of bug): “It’s yellow!”
Boy’s Mom: <Picks up kid. Leaves.>
Almost every day, Nora and I go into the same corner store as part of our morning routine. Everyone knows us there. And every single time we go in, the guy working the deli counter smiles at Nora and says “Ah, hermoso!”
Now, I’m no Spanish expert (despite having taken Spanish in middle school, high school, and part of college…) but I’m pretty sure “hermoso” means beautiful for a boy, whereas if you were to call a girl beautiful, you would say “hermosa.”
So either the deli guy thinks Nora is a boy, and has thought this for 9 months now, or he is simply using the word “hermoso” as a gender-neutral term. Since my Spanish knowledge is spotty (#ivyleagueeducation ), I really couldn’t be sure.
So today we conducted an experiment. I put Nora in the girliest, most unmistakably feminine outfit she owns:
We enter the store:
Deli Guy: “Ahhhh! Hermoso! Is very nice dress! Pretty butterflies!”
Me (relieved that he is obviously using ‘hermoso’ interchangeably, and has known all along Nora is a girl): “Aww gracias! That’s very nice!”
Deli Guy: “Ah de nada! You very welcome.”
(I smile and begin to walk towards dairy section)
Deli Guy: “But why he wear dress?”
I meet a girl in the lobby who is also a new mom in the building. She has a 10-month-old son and when she finds out I’m around in the mornings and on Fridays, she asks for my number so we can get together with our kids. We exchange numbers and begin commiserating.
Girl: “Isn’t being a mom like a million times better than being pregnant?”
Me: “Oh my god YES. I say that all the time! I was a MISERABLE pregnant person.”
Girl: “Me TOO! The worst! I was SO tired the entire 9 months.”
Me: “Yup. And achy and short of breath…
Me: “And couldn’t sleep, totally nauseated, so irritable…”
Girl: “Oh my god YES. SO irritable…”
Me: “Hot flashes…”
Girl: “ALL the time!”
Me: “And like the bedwetting– what’s THAT about?!”
Girl: “Yes, totall– wait what?”
Me: “Oh. I wet the bed once…”
She hasn’t called.
Thank you to all the strangers constantly stopping me in public to compliment Nora.
I agree that she is the world’s most handsome little boy.
I get into the elevator with Nora and a (presumably married) man and woman are there.
Woman: “Oh my goodness look at this baby! She is SO cute! How old is she?”
Me: “Aw thank you. 7 months.”
Woman: “Look at that face! Ugh this makes me wish I had had more babies.”
Man: “It’s never too late!”
Woman: “It literally is too late.”
Man: “No it’s not! Why do you say that?”
Woman: “Because I’m fucking 50 and going through menopause, Larry! Jesus Christ!”