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.
Kid: “I used to not really like math that much, but that has changed, all thanks to you.”
Me: “Aw, I love that! You know, comments like that remind me why I do what I—”
Kid: “Now I hate it.”
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?”
I attend a weekly music class with Nora that is legitimately awesome, as we live in New York City, so every person leading a kiddie music class is actually a Broadway star in the making, and their talent blows me away every time. I seriously feel like I get a small personal concert every Thursday morning. Today I was particularly excited because I knew the songs would be holiday themed.
When we arrived, the lead singer greeted us…
Singer (whispering aside): “I know you guys are Jewish. Don’t worry, this is all non-denominational. Just winter songs. We really try to be sensitive to all religions.”
Me: “Wow, that’s very considerate but REALLY not necessary!”
Singer: “No, it’s necessary. It’s the respectful thing to do.”
Me: “Aw, you guys are SO SWEET!”
If you don’t sing “All I Want For Christmas” I will legit murder everyone here.
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.”
7th Grader: “We’re wearing the same jeans I think.”
Me: “Oh, look at that– we are! That’s cool!”
7th Grader: “For you.”
Nora, who is 14 months old, only wants to hang out with older kids, and she is particularly fond of these 3-year-old twin boys at the kiddie gym, Charlie and Nate. These boys are super rambunctious and she always ends up getting trampled on, but she doesn’t mind at all (if this attitude later transfers to dating, we’re fucked.)
So yesterday she was playing with the twins, falling all over the place and laughing her ass off. At one point, I went to the other side of the gym to get my water bottle, leaving her alone with the twins and their mom for a few seconds. Almost as soon as I walked away…
Twins’ Mom (yelling to me): “You need to get back here! It’s not safe to leave Nora alone with the boys!”
Me: “Oh, sorry I was just grabbing water, I’m coming right back. Besides, she’s fine. Honestly, she can handle it if she gets knocked around a bit. She’s tough.”
Twins’ Mom: “No– SHE just hurt Charlie! She’s playing too rough!”
Me (looks at Charlie, who is crying): “Oh my god! I am so so SO sorry!!!”
That your kid’s such a pussy.
The nanny of a kid I barely know in Nora’s music class approaches me.
Nanny: “Hi Nora’s Mom! Spencer is having a birthday party next Thursday at Gymboree. It’s in the afternoon. Can Nora come?”
Me: “Oh– yes, that’s perfect! Nora’s with her nanny in the afternoons, and they’re always looking to meet new people, so that will work out great! I’ll give my nanny the information and I know she’ll be more than happy to bring Nora to the party.”
Nanny: “Great, I’m so glad Nora can come!”
Me: “Of COURSE! She looooooooves parties! Thanks so much for including her!”
Nanny (looking at phone calendar): “Oh wait sorry, I mixed up the time– the party is not in the afternoon, it’s in the morning. So YOU can bring Nora.”
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.