We’re quarantining here at my parents’ house, having decided it was best to escape the dangers and claustrophobia of Corona-ridden NYC. We’ve finally gotten Nora to the point where she can toddle around here and not kill herself on the huge iron-rimmed coffee table, multiple stairs, and stacked shelves of glass.
Then my mom gave her a huge box of miscellaneous toys to play with. Nora was super excited when she dug through the legos and found these:
“Mama I eat it? Yes?”
“I see Momma! Momma doing poopies!”
— Nora, excitedly, to her teacher, while pointing at me sitting on a stool in the corner of the classroom, scrolling through my phone.
Therapist: “How’s Nora doing?”
Me: “She’s good! She’s a very busy lady, running around everywhere, excited about everything. But also very headstrong. Like today at the kid gym she just lost it. She ended up accidentally kicking a little girl in the face because she was throwing so much of a fit, just totally losing her shit, screaming and crying.”
Therapist: “Is she ok?”
Me: “Yeah, yeah. She’s fine. She was over it in 10 seconds. She was just upset that she had to wait her turn to go on the swing. She really doesn’t get that concept of turn taking, and she just gets herself really worked up. But she’s totally fine, it’s all normal toddler stuff. Thank you for asking, though.”
Therapist: “I meant the kid she kicked in the face.”
Therapist: “The little girl Nora kicked in the face– is she ok?”
I don’t know….
Nora: (hits my arm)
Me: “Nora, we do NOT hit. If you do it again, it’s time out. You want a time out?”
Nora: “Yes.” (hits me again) “Now I go time out, Mama.”
(gets up off couch, run-waddles to nursery, slams door)
What. The fuck. Just happened.
(Continuation of Accurate, But Still )
“It’s Dada! It’s DADA!!!!!!! I see Dada!”
— Nora, every time she sees Charlie Brown.
“It’s Mama! It’s MAMA!!!!!!! I see Mama!”
— Nora, every time she sees Eeyore.
Me: “How sweet is this? I was on the bus with Nora, just like snuggling with her and she was pointing to things and talking, and this old lady was sitting next to us watching the whole time. Then when she got up to get off the bus she turned to me and said, ‘I just want you to know, your baby has a really beautiful aura.'”
Eric: “Aw, that’s a really sweet thing to say! She does have a beautiful aura. What a nice woman to tell you that.”
Me: “I know! And when I thanked her she goes ‘You know, she gets that aura from you.'”
Eric: “Oh. So she was crazy.”
Eric: “You took our baby on the public bus and sat down next to a crazy lady.”
There is a mom at the kiddie gym who is always at open play with us. She has a 4 year old boy and she constantly hovers over him like he will break at any moment.
Hovering Mom (glancing at Nora): “How old is your daughter?”
Me: “16 months.”
Hovering Mom: “She’s getting so big!”
Me: “I know! I feel like it happened overnight! This morning she grabbed the monitor camera off the wall in her room– I didn’t even realize she could reach it!”
Hovering Mom: “Oh, yeah, I learned that lesson with my daughter. You have to put the camera in a hidden place so they don’t even know it’s there.”
Me: “Oh, I didn’t know you had a daughter! I’ve never seen her here.”
Hovering Mom: “Right, that’s because she’s 16.”
Me: “Oh, wow! So…wait– she’s 16 and you have hidden cameras in her room?”
Hovering Mom: “Yes.”
Hovering Mom: “You’ll understand when your kid is a teenager. It seems extreme but it’s necessary. You can’t trust anything anymore, especially with all the filth that’s on the internet.”
Me: “I guess…I just…I don’t know, I hope I don’t feel the need to put cameras in Nora’s room when she’s a teen.”
Hovering Mom: “Well it’s important to have as much control as possible over our kids, isn’t it?”
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.