Posts Tagged ‘milestones’

Beach, Bisque and Bathrooms

Yang Mommy

Imagine a lovely mom n’ pop restaurant on a beachy island. Perfect ambiance, honest food, good service.  It’s also the last day of your family vacation, so you’re looking forward to a little celebrating at the dinner table.   The tomatoes on the salad are ruby-red and farm-fresh, the newly baked brown bread steams with delight,  the shrimp are gianormous and cooked perfectly and the crab bisque….ahh, that sensuous, mouth-watering, swooningly-delicious fresh soup.  All is peaceful and serene, right?

Well you know I’m going to say “no.”  See, my toddler is in the midst of potty training.  And just as I’m about to crunch on the crispy lettuce, she flashes her bright blue eyes at me and says, “Mommy, I have to go potty.”  OK, this is great, I think.  I praise her effusively and off we go to the ladies’ room as I spare a parting shot at my dinner.

We can do this quickly and efficiently, I tell myself.  Shouldn’t be a problem.  So immediately my bossy mantra starts of “don’t touch anything” followed by “stand still” and “wait one more second.”  All of which are answered by “why” in a Smurfette voice as she dances on her toes, trying to twirl in the little coral and seashell decorated stall. 

I can feel my own adrenaline start to pound, so I quickly cover the toilet seat in toilet paper for her to sit on.  Oops!  It falls to the floor. Try again.  Dang, it falls off again!  This can’t be happening, I think.  I mean, it’s just toilet paper! I rush to replace it and cover the seat again while my daughter tries not to wet herself.  Finally, I get her on the seat and she does her business. 

My mantra continues of “don’t touch” while I clean her up and get another pull-up on (“why??!” she croons, just itching to disobey).  In my haste to return to my to-die-for bisque, I rip the pull-up in half! OMG, I’m such an idiot, I think!  I frantically search my purse (for I’m without my diaper bag) for another one and thank the beach gods, I find one. 

Bless her little toddler heart, she needs to hold onto me to balance while we put each foot in.  But instead of resting her wee hands on my shoulders, she believes that sticking her fingers in my ears would be better.  Uh…not for mom!  Of course, I lose my own balance and summarily fall backwards, slamming into the stall door.  She giggles, I groan.  At last, after what was probably only 10 minutes but felt like ten years, we wash up and return to our seafood feast.

Now I was very glad that my tot went to the bathroom without any messy incidents.  Even if she needed to go before every course that was laid before me.  Which was three, for the record (I was too pooped for dessert).  The praises ceased to be so effusive, too.  After the 3rd time, I chugged what wine was left, stared my husband in the eye and clearly enunciated that if there was a 4th time, he could take it on.  With that, I tuned everyone out and dug into my ahi tuna.  Bliss…..

A Nod to Mommy Groups

A few years ago, in another lifetime and lifestyle, I guffawed at the idea of “mommy groups.” I mean, really, the label doesn’t even sound very exciting, does it? Who would want to sit around with a bunch of moms?  What, would they swap formula stories and talk about diaper rash? How boring (and gross)! You’d never find me at one unless I was dragged tooth and nail.

My, my, how things have changed. Why, as soon as I could escape the confines of my house for longer than one hour, I swaddled up my baby and went to various Mommy Meet-Ups. (www.meetup.com is a great site to find all kinds of clubs in your area, not just for parents).

I admit, at first I was rather desperate to meet other moms with children of the same age and to have actual conversations elevated above “goo goo, ga ga.” And yes, the conversations tended to revolve around whose baby ate what, how long they slept and what milestones they’ve hit.  Frankly, it was great to meet and talk with other moms going through the same trials and tribulations that I was. What a relief to know I wasn’t all alone! And once we got through the introductions and baby stats, it was actually quite interesting from a social-experiment-kind-of-way to watch moms try to out-do each other in relating their baby’s latest achievements. Creepy too, but to compare is part of the female nature.

Now that my girl’s a toddler, I’ve enrolled her in various “mommy and me” classes like art and dancing. Both to learn new things and to play with other little people.  She’s got to learn to share somewhere, right? But to be honest, the classes aren’t all just for her. They’re for me too. Rather like the majority of the toys I buy her are because I want to play with them.

The topics of conversation between toddler parents have changed somewhat ( from what vaccinations you have to who knows their ABCs and can count to 3).  There’s still the one-uptoddlership going on, as moms either glow with pride on their tot conquering the toilet to those who turn away because they haven’t treaded those dangerous waters yet. Fascinating to watch parents preen themselves with toddler milestones.  The whole potty-training thing often leads into mom cliques, just like in high school–the cans, the cants but trying and the haven’t even tried yets. But I digress.

What I really enjoy now is that since the kids are that bit older, we parents can actually converse about non-child-centric issues. Once we’ve strutted their stats first, of course. (I swear it would be easier if I just created a card ala a baseball card, with all my girl’s achievements, including age, likes and dislikes and her nap schedule. ) I mean, where else can you treat yourself to ice cream and pseudo-intellectual conversation while your child engages in fun activities under the tutelage of someone else?  Or dish about celebs & politics while spending quality time with your wee one? Mommy groups and classes rule.

So while non-parents may boo-hoo mommy groups and think they are duller than a grain of sand, to moms and dads alike, they are a lifeline.  There a place where people of like-lifestyles can get together and  just hang out, knowing everyone else is in the same boat. And they can be quite fun, too!

Besides, what new parent would want to sit in a room with a bunch of singles talking about the latest dance club and how many shots they downed Friday night?  How passe.