October 08, 2009
October 06, 2009
So. Okay.* The Other Story.
*Does anyone remember LonelyGirl15? The really early videos when she was just cute and vlogging and only vaguely ominously in danger, before things went kind of off the rails and involved too many shaky-running-scenes through parking garages? She always started those videos by saying "So. Okay." or some variant and anyway I seem to have caught a touch of that this week. I don't know why either.
First, some background. If you were reading this summer, you may remember a post about a mother I met at Noah's summer camp. Our encounter started with some banter about slings and second babies (she was pregnant) and then we immediately moved on to the business of Crap Ass Preschools and their treatment of even the mildest of special needs. She was feisty and clever and I liked her immediately, but then everything took a turn for the HOLY SHITBALLS AWKWARD when I mentioned our old preschool by name. It turned out to be the very school she was planning to send her son this fall, having been fed the same goddamn lines about their "experience" with sensory and attention issues. It understandably rattled her, and I assured her we'd talk more about it later.
And then the next day she completely, almost willfully ignored me. And the day after that. No eye contact. I would smile and wave and...nothing. So I spent a good amount of the summer fuming and Twittering about it. WHAT THE HELL, SENSITIVE PREGNANT LADY, IT'S NOT MY FAULT THEY SUCK. YOU SHOULD BE THANKFUL THAT YOU KNOW. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BE WANTING MY FRIENDSHIP. AND YES. I AM CAPS LOCK IN REAL LIFE.
Flashforward** to last Thursday: Noah's first day at The Preschool.
**Dude. Was there not a TREMENDOUS drop in quality from the pilot to the second episode? If you were one of the many people who missed the first episode and then watched last week's because I got all breathy and caps-locky on you about OMGWATCHFLASHFORWARD, I apologize. I was possibly mislead. Charlie From Lost is still supposedly going to show up? So? Eh?
The arrival and drop-off routine at The Preschool involves kids and parents all sitting in a designated area off of the lobby until the teachers and aides arrive to escort every one down to the classroom at once, thus minimizing the distraction of students who attend The Elementary School. While I knew we were joining an established class, I didn't realize just HOW established. It's a mixed-age class, going all the way up to six years old. Noah is the youngest by a good six months. Most of the kids and families have known each other for at least a year -- two years in a couple cases. So. Hi, I'm the New Girl. I overheard birthday party discussions and playdate plans and everybody knew everybody and Noah was...really not happy with the waiting room arrangement, since he knew he was at The Camp but we didn't wait in this room at The Camp and why won't I let him go to The Camp gaaaaaaahhhhhhmeltdown. I was caught a little off-guard by how stressful I found it all to be.
And then two little boys became entranced with Ezra and proceeded to take turns kissing him on the mouth. I mentally made up my mind right then and there about the H1N1 vaccine and tried to politely suggest that hey, LET'S NOT DO THAT...and that's when I saw Her.
The Mom From Summer Camp. I was torn between reverting to my WTF IS YOUR PROBLEM LADY stance and immense gratitude that hey, at least it's someone I know and someone Noah knows and I directed Noah's attention to hey look it's Johnny!*
*His name is not Johnny.
Another mother said something like, "Oh, you guys know each other?"
And just as I nodded, the Mom From Summer Camp looked me in the eye and said no.
Y'all, my jaw dropped a good foot and a half and I was overcome with a desire to DIE or MELT TO THE FLOOR or hurl myself at a nearby potted plant, Jon-Gosselin-Girlfriend style.
I think I managed to say something about oh, actually, YES, the boys were at summer camp together. I could tell she was genuinely struggling to place me, but Noah's name finally rang a bell and THANK GOD, the teacher showed up right then to save me from all this "conversing with other grownups" bullshit.
Back in the car, I kind of laughed about it. Here I'd been so worried that by unwittingly bashing the preschool I'd made some kind of crazy faux pas, thus forever earning her scorn and ire and it turned out that the conversation had BARELY registered on her radar, or at least the person she had the conversation with. Who the fuck do I think I am, honestly?
And either way, fresh start! Moving on! Let's make some mom friends! You can do this!
When I arrived to pick Noah up a few hours later, she pulled into the parking lot at the same time. I suddenly wondered if she'd had her baby -- she was still wearing the same long baggy clothing but certainly didn't look pregnant, though she didn't have a baby with her now.
We started walking together.
"I'm sorry," she said, "Did we really meet each other this summer?"
"Yessssss," I said, smiling as hard as I possibly could, resisting the urge to reveal the fact that I remembered every word of our singular conversation like it was yesterday. So there.
"Wow, I was really in such a fog. Drop off, pick up. You know."
"Mm-hmmmmmmm," And then I couldn't help myself. I asked about whether her son attended a preschool in the morning. NO REASON. JUST CURIOUS.
And then what followed suddenly got...confusing. Yes, her son does go somewhere in the morning, but certainly not our old school, and then there were other details that just didn't jibe with our old preschool even being a possibility for him.
And I suddenly had a flash of clarity. I could suddenly see the face of the mom I had the preschool conversation with.
And it wasn't her. It wasn't HER.
All summer. ALL SUMMER YOU GUYS. I have been obsessing over the WRONG WOMAN. I have gone out of my way to engage the wrong woman in eye contact, smiling, finally giving up and flat-out glaring, because WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM WITH ME?
Oh, I don't know. Maybe something do with all the bug-eyed crazy faces I made at someone whom I never actually said a single word too? Someone who actually seems very shy and soft-spoken and OH YEAH, completely not even a little bit pregnant?
At this point I am wondering whether I had some kind of Fourth-of-July fireworks-induced stroke, because I cannot even BEGIN to understand how I ever got them mixed up. They both had...brown hair? Kind of...tall? I THINK the first woman, the Real One, either stopped sending her son to the camp or someone else took over drop-off and pick-up duties because now I don't remember seeing her again after the first day, and thus I inexplicably pinned all my hopes and dreams of Mom Friendship on the next tallish brunette in a flowy top that I laid my eyes on.
Basically: Amy, this is why you can't have nice things. Or friends. Or permission to leave the house unsupervised.
/dying of shame, paranoia, & plans to delete this post before an updated class list is distributed with last names and I achieve the Social Pariah status that I so clearly and justly deserve
October 05, 2009
So, okay. On Friday I had this whole story to tell you -- one of those Classic Blog Fodder stories, in which someone (SPOILER: ME) basically ends up looking like a complete moron, start to finish. Even I'm still shaking my head at myself, trying to figure out how I manage to get through life on a daily basis without setting myself on fire or get to the grocery store without ending up in Newark.
But then Evidence To Support The Dumbass Hypothesis Exhibit 456 happened and derailed my entire day and writing process, since oh, I was a little too busy trying to explain to our pediatrician how my baby managed to accidentally burn himself with a curling iron.
Is there anything that sounds quite so inherently abusive and neglectful than a curling iron burn? Sure, knees get skinned, heads get bruised, fingers get pinched, but a curling iron burn? That's a damned Law & Order episode, right there.
It's all Noah's fault, really, as he ruined us forever by being such a SENSIBLE TODDLER. We had a couple collisions with furniture and one fall down the stairs, but he never, ever exhibited Ezra's hellbent determination to injure himself on a daily basis. The curling iron was off (but still hot, OBVIOUSLY), it was pushed a good six inches away from the edge of the bathroom sink counter, and the cord had been carefully piled on top, out of the reach of small, grabby beings.
But then a small, grabby being got up on his damn tiptoes and -- using a hairbrush I'd unwittingly traded in exchange for a moment's peace -- managed to hook the cord in the brush bristles and pull the whole thing down on himself, with the still-hot barrel of the iron scalding the crook of his elbow.
Where was his mother, you might ask? Oh, you know, she was right there, in the same room, less than a foot and a half away, even. She'd even brought him into the room with her on purpose, so he would not be free to wreak havoc elsewhere.
In other words, yes, I was peeing.
I do have to give Ez props for his good timing, as we were headed to the pediatrician ANYWAY for Noah's four-year checkup. (Which is why the curling iron had been taken out of deep storage in the first place; I only get that fancy for people with at LEAST three framed diplomas.) And that was really fun, being all, heeeeeeyyyyy yeah can we forget about the four-year-old (yeah, the one with no skin on his knees, uh-huh) for a sec and talk about whether the little one will be requiring skin grafts? Maybe some donor tissue from MY NEGLECTFUL ASS?
(He's completely fine, obviously. Neosporin, bandage, tape, long sleeves to keep him from messing with the bandage and tape, no Cone of Shame required. Except maybe a small one, for me.)
(You may be happy to hear that Jason took the news of this injury a little better than usual. I chickened out and emailed him. Like, way after the fact. His response: Damn, he is determined.)
(I should probably mention that Ezra is not yet officially walking unassisted yet, so his range of destruction is limited to cruising along the furniture and walls and scaling over various barricades that I construct in front of stairs and reachable surfaces, and I can still easily beat his top crawling speed. I am, without a doubt, utterly terrified of what this child will be able to accomplish once he is walking.)
(Hmm. It appears that I do not have a clever finish to this entry, and am simply floundering in an endless string of parentheticals. So perhaps I should just stop typing and let you all move on with your lives, instead of forcing you to hear about another ultimately minor injury sustained by the Storch children while their mother stood helplessly by, like GOD, maybe if she actually stopped blogging about them for five minutes a day she might actually try parenting them, and this stuff wouldn't happen.)
(Eh, that sounds kind of too hard. I think I'll just wrap them up in some bubble wrap and keep them in a pen. I have pretty good Cheerio-tossing aim from over the top of my laptop.)
October 01, 2009
Oh my God, you guys. I have a FOUR-YEAR-OLD. And in less than two weeks I will have a ONE-YEAR-OLD. I should have planned things better, because this double whammy of birthdays is turning out to be hard on the liver.
At this rate I will have hardly any babies left at all. Damn you January and your mysteriously fertile properties!
PLUS I have to do a whole other stupid video montage every year, like, five minutes after I finish the first one. That's not QUITE so terrible, as I do really enjoy making you guys cry. Suckers!
Speaking of the upcoming Ezra edition, based on our gobs of footage and photos, it appears we have not actually taken that poor baby out of his high chair since he was about six months old. I'd say a good 75% of it involves him eating. Rolling over? First steps? First words? Eh, sorry Ez, I don't quite recall. But holy shit, check out this 20-minute clip of you eating corn on the cob. So glad we didn't miss THAT tremendous milestone.
So now Noah is four, fully four, and can officially start attending The Preschool this afternoon. Right now, the only thing I am stressing about it that no one told me the code for the front door, meaning I'm in for one mildly inconvenient and awkward moment of waiting for some to notice us and buzz us in. Oh noes! I think this is progress on the neurotic mess front, as I could easily be wigging out about the logistics of getting Noah off the school bus, into the house, eat lunch eat lunch eat lunch, pack his backpack a second time with a different set of classroom requests and requirements, get everyone in the car and drive up there and then drive back and still somehow keep Ezra's nap schedule intact so I can get work done before driving back up there to pick Noah up and also I haven't been away from him that long in years oh my God, STOP TALKING, SELF. YOU SHUT UP NOW.
Noah is excited about the second school, which we've dubbed "Camp School" around here (not to be confused with "School Bus School"). School Bus School is, of course, The One With The School Bus School Bus School Bus, while Camp School is the one with the motherfucking BALL PIT, motherfuckers. As far as Noah is concerned, that right there is a well-rounded education.
Okay. So. I would love to KEEP TALKING, but I seem to have a window to take a shower here. First day of school: I shower. Second day of school: Not so much, or ever again after that. So today I will uphold that proud tradition. Clean hair! Makeup! Actual non-elastic-waisted-pants! I am simultaneously excited and utterly exhausted.
Here, Noah (WHO IS FOUR), with your feel-good up-with-people message of the day.
Make your own kind of music. No matter what. Even if nobody else sings anarrrrg.
PS Hey, so Mamapop is up for an award, if you'd like to vote for us. We're up for Best Pop Culture Blog...in Maryland. Can you really argue with that? I mean, FINE. TAKE PENNSYLVANIA. AND VIRGINIA. MARYLAND IS OURS.