Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 1 and an open apology...

Well, we've made it through one whole week without television.  Sort of.  It turns out that my husband is, in fact, a sucker.  Claire knew this far before I did.  I'll get back to that after a few rants and at least one tangent.

Last week we did the usual things: Claire went to Bear Care (daycare for those of you not familiar with raising a Claire Bear); Zora ate and slept; Rob worked and I cooked, cleaned, taught, advised, etc.  Friday, Claire, Miss Z and I hit the local library's story hour.  It's actually only a half hour, but that's not very catchy.  It was great.  Claire seemed to have fun.  Zora fell asleep in the front carrier thingie.  I was amused by the grown adults singing along with the children's songs, but of course I was singing, too.

When the stories and singing ceased we all headed out into the library's children's area.  I guess libraries have changed because I remember them being places where children were supposed to quietly select a Clifford book and move along.  In this library there is an entire area devoted to children being anything but quiet.  While Claire was playing with the other children one of the moms actually complimented me on how well behaved she was.  I nearly choked.  My child?  Another mother joined in with the complimenting.  What is this?  Why are you people lying to me? 

Sidebar:  I'm used to the park moms.  They're a really special brand of bitch.  Sorry for the language and label, but they are.  They only hand out snarky, jabby "compliments."  Things like, "Wow, isn't she cute when she goes all catatonic on you like that."  "She must never get lost, yelling so loudly like that."  These comments make me want to say things like, "She's probably tired because she's been curing cancer all morning...Doesn't your son do that?  Well, I'm sure he will some day."  "Yes, her opera instructor often compliments her on her vocal range and volume."  These are competimoms as one blogger labeled them.  They will ruin your day.  Most of the time these moms won't even look our direction, which is fine by me.  They stand around in their yoga pants (the mom uniform, I have mine on currently) clutching their Starbucks, completely ignoring their child who just threw sand at my child, and talk about vacations or some shit.  I try to block them out.  They are everything bad you remember about high school, but with several children and nicer stroller than you would ever spend money on.

Back to the library moms.  These moms were really nice!  They even encouraged us to come back next week.  They were not only paying attention to their own child, but mine, too.  I heart these moms.  Then, up walks green glass dad.  If you read my mid-week post from last week you're familiar with this guy.  I don't know why it surprised me to see him there.  Of course he's at story hour.  He's like the perfect parent in his hipster glasses and camel blazer (the dad uniform...hipster dad uniform).  So Green Glass and I got to talking.  He was super nice, too.  This library is a parallel universe or something where parents are supportive and friendly.  I'm not used to this.  His precious 27 month old daughter dances over with an alphabet book and identifies every.single.letter.  Yep, there's those damn periods again.  Instead of being all self-congratulating about the fact that his child is clearly quite intelligent, he offered a few tips for how she got that way.  Most importantly, he never once said, "Oh, your child doesn't do that?"

This whole exchange got me thinking about what has soured me on the whole playdate business.  I started to wonder if I had ever taken that competimom tone with any of my friends.  So here's the open apology part.  If at any point I have said the words, "Is he/she doing ______ yet?" or "Just wait until he/she does ____." I am sorry.  These may be the most annoying phrases ever spoken by a parent.  I heard the first one a lot when I was pregnant.  It completely devalues whatever you're experiencing at the time and implies you basically don't know what you're talking about.   So, if I have uttered these words to you or something similar, I sincerely apologize.  What can I say?  Parenting can make you an asshole, or a bigger asshole if you were already one.  My sister told me this is what happens when you take ambitious women, remove their career and insert children.  Who knows. 

Oh yeah, so back to TV.  That's what this blog is about.  Saturday Claire not only got to stay up way past her bedtime, but she ate too much cake.  This equation apparently equals inconsolable child at 2:00 a.m. in our family.  Awesome.  I love having snot smeared on me in the middle of the night by my screaming toddler while simultaneously feeding a ravenous baby. (She's like a freaking vampire people, or a super cute, cuddly tape worm.  I don't know.  I've never encountered either.)  Since I can only play super mom for so long, eventually I handed Claire off to Daddy.  What does he do?  He flips on Sprout.  What was on, you ask: Caillou.  Of course it's Caillou, it's always Caillou.  The good news is that Claire fell asleep shortly thereafter.  I guess the bad news is that she watched TV?  Seeing as how her brain didn't rot and fall out, I'm calling this one even.  Yep, a sucker is born everyday, they say.  Apparently toddlers have sucker-radar.

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