I’m sitting here in Starbucks next to a woman with her 17-month-old (I asked. Yeah, I’m a mom now, so I do cliched stuff like that). Out of the corner of my eye, I stare at her adorably cherubic one-year-old as he lounges comfortably in his stroller, still PJ-clad — footed and all — and gazing around beatifically at the Starbucks patrons like some baby version of Mother Theresa. Ten minutes later, his mom offers him a bagel (exact words: “Would you like your bagel-boo, sweetie pie?”) She unstraps her child and brings him onto her lap, where he proceeds to teethe on aforementioned bagel for a good twenty minutes, making zero noise and, at some point, just to break up the monotony, pointing at one particularly interesting car out the window and shouting “car!” (I say “shout,” but it was more like “used an inside voice.”) Another ten minutes pass, and Mom puts Toddler back in stroller (no protesting — he seems perfectly fine being restrained) and they merrily hop away, lattes in hand.
So, a couple of questions for you, “Mom of Chill, Docile Toddler”:
1) How do you keep your kid in pajamas until 9:30am? Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no philosophical issue with kids wearing pajamas out as clothes; heck, I think it’s a fab idea from both an efficiency and a fashion standpoint. But on an average morning, in spite of the overnight diapers we conscientiously use with total consistency except when we run out, my kid’s pj pants are slightly, how should I put it, damp, when I get him up from his crib in the morning. PJ’s go straight in the laundry hamper, and my kid gets dressed.
2) Is your kid on Benadryl? Just tell me, I won’t judge.
3) Why do you look tired when your little one is so EASY? Don’t say it’s because you stayed up until two paper mache-ing an elf you saw on Pinterest.
4) What did you do while conceiving your child to ensure he never spoke, spit up, or cried unless provoked?
5) This is an act, right? Once you get home, all hell breaks loose, right? RIGHT?
Here’s what happened when I took my one-year-old to Starbucks two days ago: steamed soy milk was ordered as a treat for 1yo. Entire contents of steamed soy milk landed all over Mommy and Toddler, soaking us both in burning hot liquid. Patrons stared. Kind barista came over with mop and assured frazzled Mommy that “this happens twice a day.” (Wait, only twice??) Toddler ran around touching all the germy trash cans and doors and “greeting” the customers. Mommy and Grandmommy let him play with pennies. We all left, thankful no pennies were inhaled.
It’s taken me about 18 months to realize that all kids are different. Of course all kids are different, you say. It’s not like babies are just generic “babies” and then they suddenly grow personalities when they’re seven, and some become bookworms and some become Miley Cyrus. I guess I knew that. It’s just… maybe I didn’t. Not entirely. I think that, before I had a child, a part of me assumed that Person A’s experience of raising their kid would be pretty similar to Person B’s experience of raising their kid, at least in the baby and toddler years. Which is, of course, totally baseless and stupid and, as Ethan would say, “dumbo.” Because our little Curious George of a kid has a totally different take on life than chill, stoner baby at Starbucks. But guess what? They’re both pretty f-ing adorkable.
My kid is saying words now! Like “more” (mo), “night night” and “Elmo.” Totally random but I love him to Lego pieces and just had to brag. Leave a random comment below bragging about your kid, or feel free to actually comment on the contents of the above post, which would be cool, too. xox