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.
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.”
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.