Two days ago I took Amélie and Jack to the library. Just taking Jack anywhere in public is always an interesting experience. He is very loud and very busy, which makes for quite the experience when we go to a quiet place like a library. Children’s libraries should be sequestered off from the adult section of libraries with either a floor between them (like in our old town), a large atrium area between them (like in Manhattan), or in a room padded with soundproof walls (like in the children’s section at all major insane asylum libraries…just kidding). He wasn’t naughty at all. He was just being…Jack. He thought that doors were for escaping and that the toys were for flinging. He was also convinced that the toy dinosaurs were going to eat him, and it took much kissing and hugging and talking to the plastic creatures before Jack was convinced that they were benign. Jack, though, was not the most annoying part of my trip. He was exasperating, yes, kind of like a puppy dog is exasperating, but he didn’t incite eye-rolling or teeth-gritting. No, Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby did that.
Ms. Perfect Mom had a brilliant baby girl one month younger than my fella. She was perfect, you see, despite the fact that she pulled Jack’s ears, took away every toy he held, and pushed him. Here’s how my conversation went with Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby:
Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby: So is your son talking yet?
Me: He says a few words, but mostly he just points and grunts.
Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby: Alex knows at least 30 words, and she’s bilingual.
Me: Of course. Oh wow.
Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby: So do you have him enrolled in a gym or music class?
Me: Uh, no. Is she kidding? Does dancing in the living room to Hannah Montana and lying on the floor sacrificing myself as a human jungle gym count?
Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby: So is he interested in potty training?
Me: You have GOT to be kidding me. Uh, no.
Ms. Perfect Mom of Brilliant Baby: Alex does #2 in the potty chair, and she is dry all night and goes to the bathroom when she wakes up.
Me: Oh wow. Is this woman CRAZY?
Matt asked me if I got her name and number. Uh, no. He thinks, though, and he’s right, that somehow I seem to attract those kinds of people as friends. Thankfully I backed out of this conversation emotionally unscathed and w/o a phone number. When Amélie was this age, such a conversation might have bothered me. I probably would have obsessed over her word count, worried that she wasn’t being stimulated enough since I didn’t have her enrolled in some overpriced baby class, or pulled out the potty chair just in case she showed interest. Not anymore. It’s so freeing to just.not.care. So what if Jack speaks his own language, can’t sit still through a story that’s not sung to him, and could care less that his diaper’s full of poop. He’s perfect to me. And I’m a good enough mom. How freeing.