January 9, 2008

Competitive Parenting

Annie is nearing the age where my life is going to get really complicated. She is sitting up regularly and will soon be a Gymboree Level 1 graduate! Have I told you how competitive the other moms are? If not, I will in a moment. Once, she graduates, she moves out to the big kid room and starts throwing blocks and rolling on beach balls every Friday evening. I guess there needs to be teachers for everything, including making a mess of our apartment.

After sitting up comes crawling, and the real fun begins. I am baby proofing the house in my mind while I write this and there are perils everywhere. The one that I am most afraid of is the leaning bookshelves losing their lean all over her head. I know she isn’t strong enough to do this, but you’re reading a man who still worries that she is dead after an extra long night’s sleep. After the bookshelves I worry that she will roll under the couches and suffocate. I don’t think there is a way to baby proof either of these things. The shelves are too big and I can’t put gates in front of the sofa. Can I? Finally, I worry that her streak of fitting all types of objects in her mouth will soon include the dog. I don’t think Zoe will like that very much.

The next thing you know she will be walking and then the worries grow exponentially. What if she puts her finger in an electrical socket? What if she hits her head on a sharp corner of the TV console? What if she damages the TV itself? I can’t have that. Baby/HD. Baby/HD. It’s a tough call, I know. The good news is that once she is walking she can get a job and support this growing family. Baby, be of use!

Okay, the moms at Gymboree. A couple of months ago, when our teacher told us that the criterion for graduation is sitting up unassisted, the competition began. The next week all of these moms were propping their kids up on pillows or spouses thighs and pretending that their babies were accomplishing something special. You never saw so many unprepared babies bouncing their heads off the floor in your life. This doesn’t bode well for school and sports. People are crazy. I pledge to you here to let Annie grow in her own way and for both of us to enjoy the milestones as they come. She will be plenty competitive once we start playing tennis and I take it to her on a daily basis.


Anonymous Art Vandalay said...

It only gets worse. Wait until she starts running full tilt at the corner of things. Sharp corners are like kiddie magnets.

Oh, and they have plastic socket protectors for your outlets.

January 10, 2008 at 6:56 AM  

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