Tag Archives: toys

Alllllll The Mom Points

When COVID quarantine first started, Nora was only 18 months old, and, given concerns about preexisting conditions in our family, we stayed extremely isolated for the next 1.5 years. So basically, Nora saw no one. Ever.

I for one reveled in couch life, fully embracing hibernation like the marmot I’m certain god intended me to be, but I worried about Nora’s lack of socialization and zero exposure to different types of people. Or, you know, ANY people. She started talking to our living room electrical outlet because I guess it sort of has a face.

I became concerned.

It was very important to me that Nora have SOME type of exposure to people who were not in our family (and who were not a wall socket), as well as an understanding that people come in all types of shapes, sizes, colors, ages, abilities, etc– and that we should respect and celebrate those differences. Her babysitter at the time, Sesame Street, was doing an ok job teaching these concepts, but I yearned for her to have some off-screen experiences that would build her social intelligence.

Cue my brilliant idea to order her a slew of multicultural dolls. Nora was in a major dramatic play phase, so I thought it would be great to get her dolls of mixed races, ethnicities, ages, genders, and abilities, thereby normalizing cultural variation for her sheltered, isolated, impressionable soul.

It warmed my heart when her very favorite toy became this basketball-playing young man using a wheelchair.

We had many discussions about disabilities, and I felt proud that she had an understanding of why people might need accommodations or certain tools to help them live their lives comfortably and to the fullest. I felt relieved that once quarantine life was over and we DID go out into the world where Nora would encounter all different types of people, she wouldn’t be confused (or, worse– RUDE) about it. She wouldn’t stare, or point, or doing anything else to make someone feel uncomfortable or marginalized. She would understand and appreciate that we are all unique, and that that is a beautiful thing.

Honestly, I awarded myself alllllll the mom points.

Fast forward a year, when I took Nora into a store for the first time in essentially forever. She was about 3 years old. As we were waiting on a long line at the Walgreen’s pharmacy to pick up my prescription, a kind-looking woman came up behind us. She was in a wheelchair. She smiled at Nora.

Woman: “Hello, little girl, aren’t you cute!”

Nora (screaming, inexplicably, at a rave-level decibel):

“YOU’RE IN A WHEELCHAIR!!”

The entire population of the store– staff, customers, emotional support animals– turned to look at us.

Nora took that as her cue to continue.

“MOM DO YOU SEE THIS LADY IS IN A REAL-LIFE WHEELCHAIR???!!!!”

Me (to the woman, mortified and bead-sweating): “I’m so sorry– it’s just, her favorite doll uses a wheelchair, and I guess she’s really excited to see one in person. We don’t get out much…”

“It’s ok,” the woman replied, while somehow, bless her heart, still smiling at Nora.

I thanked her for her understanding.

“YOU LOVE TO PLAY BASKETBALL BECAUSE YOU’RE IN A WHEELCHAIR!!”

She stopped smiling.

So if anyone is looking for some mom points, I forfeited mine and left them over there at the Westport Walgreens. Said points are waiting to be claimed by a mother whose child would have done literally anything other than what my child did that day. So if that’s you, congrats, go ahead and collect.

Oh and please pick up my prescription from 2021. I ran away and can never return.

Already Proud of My Kid’s Choices

Most little girls are obsessed with the conventionally beautiful, super-feminine, fairly one-dimensional Elsa character in Frozen, and few prefer Anna– the tougher, funnier, more dynamic and quirky character with the much stronger personality.

So I think it really says something special about Nora that she always chooses to play with her Anna doll. She obviously identifies more with Anna and chooses her because she sees the value in her strong personality, and not because I refused to buy her any of the Elsa merchandise she desperately wanted and cried for, shoved the Anna doll in her face and yelled MOM IS ONLY BUYING YOU THIS ONE AND YOU WILL PLAY WITH IT AND YOU WILL LOVE THE AWKWARD GIRL MORE THAN THAT PRETTY VAPID ONE SO HELP ME GOD DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!

Anyway I’m really proud of her.

200w

Right Now, Please

The exasperating thing about tutoring young children for a living is that I now have an extensive collection of games and toys for teaching, and they all come with lots of parts and gadgets, so I constantly find myself having to say, “Ok, it’s time to refocus, please stop fiddling¬†with the toys now. Right now, please.”

And then Eric puts down the toy and I can finally place it in my work bag.

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