Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. Class (part 1)

And by "class", we mean the teaching/learning variety. Not the one meaning style or grace because, by now, we all know Awkward Mom's chances of encountering that kind of class are pretty much slim to none.

So, the class we are taking is essentially an hour and a half of self-lead play, a snack, and circle time with about 10 other kids. I am looking at it as a way to prepare Super Toddler for preschool and hang out with the Awesome family, who are also in the class. As of last Friday, we had been to all of one class. Super Toddler did great; played by himself and with Awesome Toddler. He waited 25 minutes to use the dress-up clothes, which, for him, showed great restraint. He ate his snack in a semi-polite manner and participated in circle time with the slightest prompting. Super Baby refused to be contained in the "younger siblings baby toys section" and mixed it up with the big kids with great aplomb. He even went down a huge slide solo. I was fairly successful at not clinging to Awesome Dad for company, but not terribly successful at talking to any other parents; decently so-so, but it was only the first class. We all have room to grow, except maybe Super Baby, who may be teaching the class in a few weeks.

Well, readers, I warned you. I told you that if I took a class with the Super Boys, it would just be a matter of time before things went spectacularly bad. Well, last Friday, they did. It began joyously enough; this past Friday an unprecedented feat occurred. Awkward Dad had the day off, (You all know how rare this is!) so he decided to join us for class. I had the highest hopes for this family bonding time and was swimming in expectations. Yea, we all know that is a grand idea.

We arrive and the kids tear off to drive pretend cars, feed pretend babies, and make pretend phone calls. (Why is so much play preparation for adulthood? Never mind, that is another post altogether.) Awesome Dad, Awkward Dad, and the other Dad present chit-chat in that natural, infuriating way that Dads have, while the Moms and I pretend we aren't eyeing each other nervously and secretly judging parenting approaches. The first half hour goes off without a hitch. Super Toddler finds the dress-ups a little earlier this time and is clad in fairy wings, an orange hat, and several necklaces. Super Baby wants to play/eat at the sand table, so I leave Awkward Dad in charge of that one. Awesome Toddler is feeding a baby with one hand and making a pizza with the other, while holding a dinosaur, purse, and a toy cup in her right arm pit. Way ahead of her time, that one.

The half hour mark passes and our descent into awkward begins. I am sitting at the play kitchen table, being fed pretend food by Awesome Toddler. Super Toddler is reading the "menu" to me and tempting my palate with promise of pepper pizza and pickled pumpkins. A passing mom happens to overhear and comments, "oh wow, he speaks so well! How old is he?"

(Can't I time-out here to tell you how much I already hate this impending conversation? I hate it because I have had it about 3594 times since Super Toddler opened him mouth and said "cookie" for the first time. You parents out there have also had it 3594 times since your children started nursing/grasping/laughing/blowing kisses/waving/talking/crawling/walking/writing/tumbling/eating whole grapes/counting/juggling/singing/dancing/sharing or refusing to do these things either at all or when What to Expect or Baby Center says they should. It will NOT go well because it never ever goes well when we compare our children on arbitrary milestones without knowing anything else about them. Let me be simpler, it NEVER goes well to compare children, full-stop. OK, off soap-box, back to awkward.)

So, I say, as I always say, "Yes, that Super Toddler, he is a chatterbox." I ignore the age question and hope it and she (I am so not nice today) goes away. She asks me again, "Yes, but how old is he?" I sigh, pretend to eat an entire head of play broccoli, and say "he is 3 years old." Her face registers the surprise I knew was coming and I can see the former "impressive talking" move to "poor tiny thing" in her eyes; "oh really? He is so small! My son here is also 3, but look at him, he is nearly twice as big!" I smile inanely, what else am I supposed to do? But this mom has more to say. "I mean, isn't she also 3?" She points to Awesome Toddler. "She's a full head taller than your son. She is big too." I continue to smile and hope I look polite and not insane. Awesome Toddler glances at this woman like she has just noticed her, laughs, turns to me, and scoffs at this woman's notions; "Nope, I am small. I am really small, Miss Erin." I could kiss Awesome Toddler right now, but instead I smile, for real, and say, "You're right! You are small! Super duper small and fabulous!" (Guess size really is all in how you feel about it.) Awesome Toddler and I start to giggle, chasing off Comparing Mom with our weirdness. Oh well.

So saved by Awesome Toddler, we move over to snack time, which goes remarkably well. Super Toddler eats a handful of goldfish, downs some water, and runs off to play with chalk. Super Baby is much more interestedin the food (big shock there) and has to be restrained from poaching goldfish off unsuspecting or distracted children. Nothing out of the ordinary, but trouble is brewing, readers. Immediately after snack time, Super Toddler goes off in search of more hats, and Super Baby finds a play shopping cart full of toy food in the middle of the room. I am, of course, talking to Awkward Dad and only mildly aware of this development. He grasps the handle and pulls himself into the standing position. He is thrilled with this progress and begins to push the cart toward me, toddling along. Awkward Dad and I turn to watch this unfold (as Super Baby is not walking yet, this is a big move on his part.), and thus, he has our full attention when he slides, crashes down, and is pelted with fake food. Now, despite this, it really doesn't look like a terrible fall. We rush over expecting him to be mad and upset about his tumble. We do not expect the Niagara Falls of blood that is gushing from his mouth.

Oh readers, we are gonna leave you hanging; so sorry! However, the Super Boys are restless today and we have bought as much writing time as we can with "WordWorld." Must dash, but join us later this week for the conclusion of Awkward Mom vs. Class. Massive drama awaits, folks. Circle Time level drama; oh don't miss this one, dear readers! Join us next time on the Adventures of Awkward Mom!

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