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?”
When I take Nora to the kiddie gym, she insists on using the water fountain and is somewhat obsessed with it. Early on I had to implement a rule that she can have one sip before class and one sip after class (#thisismylifenow ). She’s been shockingly very compliant until today, when suddenly she whined, flailed, and resisted all my attempts to remove her from the fountain…
Me: “Nora, no. We take ONE sip. You know the rule.”
Random Nanny (sitting by fountain, without looking up from her newspaper): “I think maybe she is confused about the rule.”
Me: “It’s been the rule for months, I’ve been very consistent. I don’t know why she’d suddenly be confused.”
Random Nanny: “Because yesterday she was at the fountain for a VERY long time, until her whole outfit was soaked with water.”
Me: “Wait, what?”
Random Nanny: “SOAKED I tell you. Water EVERYwhere.”
Me: “No no, you’re mistaken– I wasn’t even here yesterday!”
Random Nanny: “Yes but Nora was. With your husband.”
“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.
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.”