On absurd displays of mommy/ baby behaviorSaturday, July 31, 2010
Second City Baby
Last week I was privvy to some ridiculous mommy and baby behavior. I'm usually not a judgmental mother. Really. But some mommy/ baby behavior needs to be called out. Like the mom who brought her baby and her nanny to the nail salon to ... no joke ... get her baby's nails cut and buffed.
At first, I thought the baby was a little girl trying on nail polish for the first time. Fine. Sitting on her nanny's lap with her mom taking pictures right next to her. Ok, I guess they were excited. When I realized that the baby was a boy, and was only there to get his nails cut, I was perplexed. He was no more than 13 months old. Was this his weekly visit to the salon, I thought?
Yes, cutting a baby's nails can be one of the more fear-inducing tasks that parents must do to their children. You have to cut their nails to avoid Edward Scissorhands-like face scratching, but you don't want to cut them too short to the point where you're drawing blood on the digits.
So, you may ask for help. I remember that my sister-in-law first cut my older son's nails when I was too afraid to try. After a few practice runs with her, I was like a regular trained nail tech. Maybe you are lucky enough to have an experienced nanny help and she may be assigned the chore. Or maybe you have no choice but to just suck it up and figure it out yourself like every one of our ancestors who didn't have nail clippers, scissors and filers did before us.
There's outsourcing your baby's hygiene maintenance and then there's OUT-of-your-mind sourcing where you have the hired help to cut the nails but still pay a pro to do it while you just watch on the sidelines idly. I can only hope the edges were a perfect rounded square.
In other absurd mommy and baby news, a bunch of moms in my baby class were chatting about where our older kids were going to preschool. I run in a small, fortunate crowd of people who will be sending our children to a private school next year. My husband and I worked hard to give him that opportunity and I am grateful he will get educated in a place where I think he will do his best. It was a whole, big, stressful process I won't get into here, but didn't even think to worry about it until my son was three-and-a-half.
However, I encountered a mom last week in the class who was already stressing about where her five-month-old child was going to preschool. That she already called the school of her choice and said she would put down a deposit TODAY if that meant her son could get in in 3 years.
I'm working on an article about "hands-off" parenting about how we should back off of our kids and let them learn, grow and make mistakes on their own. Not guide them into what we "think" they should do, but what they "want" to do. We all want the best for our kids' education, but how do you know at five months what kind of child yours will be at preschool age? I don't fault that mom for being nervous, but I would warn her to not let her nervous energy be transposed onto her innocent baby already. There's plenty of time to be worried about school and grades and "getting in."
Let's leave our kids' nails and schooling up to nature a little, shall we?