6.27.2006

Because Whichever Baby Walks First Wins a Million Toys a Year for Life

"How old is she?" the tall woman with the reluctant smile asked as I pushed Thalia in the black bucket swing.

"She'll be a year in a couple weeks."

"Oh how nice," she remarked while pushing a smartly dressed boy of roughly the size. "Same here. Is she talking?"

"No. Well, she does say cat. Sometimes. Sometimes it's cad and sometimes it's dat but pretty much she says cat. Is he?"

"Oh yes. Mama, Papa, Go, Up...So, is she walking?"

"Walking!" I said with a chuckle. "No, not walking. Which makes it easier on us, heh, since..."

"Really? Not walking? Is she standing? Crawling?"

"Crawling sure," I said. "She's waving to you by the way." I indicated to my daughter who was furiously bouncing her hand up and down at the wrist in the woman's direction. The woman gave a half-hearted wiggle of her fingers, the bare minimum of anatomical movement needed to constitute a wave.

It takes a special person to ignore a smiling, maniacally waving baby.

I eagerly anticipated a follow-up question on how many signs my daughter had, since this time I was prepared with a clever retort about men at work. (Okay, so clever only to me and maybe my father.) But instead, she silently gathered the little boy and got him settled in his stroller.

In the time it took for me to unscrew the cap off my lukewarm water bottle and take a gulp, she was already through the iron gate that marked the exit. No goodbye, nothing. Just an empty swing and some footprints in the sand where she had been standing.

Here's the kicker: She wasn't the mom.

She was the nanny.

I don't know what "maniacally waving" means, but I really like doing whatever this is called. This here thing with my hand. So fun!


76 Comments:

Blogger Chag said...

Glad I don't have all these people wanting to compete with me all the time. They probably just assume I'm incompetent.

6/27/06, 12:21 AM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

I'd say something here about how ridiculous the whole "judging and comparing kids based on their incremental development" has been but instead, I'm left speechless and can only say...

Holy crap, Thalia is absolutely adorable! Really. The cuteness is overwhelming.

6/27/06, 12:21 AM  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Great picture! You can almost hear her giggle.

Ubernannies can be more fearsome than ubermothers - it's true. Where I live, we have uberdaddies too. A mummy-friend of mine got into a protracted discussion with one at the playground on the topic of breat is best. She found herself having to defend the fact that mastitis and going back to work finished her course of breastfeeding at 4 months. Mr. Man thought this was "a shame."

6/27/06, 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

People talk to my baby. My 10 month old Gigantic baby. And seem disgruntled when he doesn't answer appropriately.

I can't believe the nanny biotch didn't wave at Thalia. The evil cold fishness of it; how could someone resist that sweetness?

6/27/06, 12:45 AM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

Aw jeez. I just don't get it. What kind of dolt (nanny or not) doesn't understand that that is not polite conversation? I really wonder if, with these people, comparison is just a normal thing. I bet she's the type of person that compares everything from diamond ring size to her boyfriend's penis size with all her friends just to see where she stands. Yuck.

Cute Thalia!

6/27/06, 1:15 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

The CompetiMommy strikes again! Why do people always feel the need to compare? Christina at A Mommy Story just posted about a similar situation.

Maybe these people just don't know how to strike up a normal conversation or something.

Anyways, the bottom line is that Thalia is obviously perfect in every way. And who can deny the cuteness of her waving in that picture?

P.S. Tell us what time her party is and we'll be there. I just need to arrange for a flight. *wink*

6/27/06, 1:41 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I think that nanny had to be jealous...Thalia is the CUTEST!!!!!

I hate the " my baby is better then yours" parents.. or nanny..

My hubs and I met a set of those rents at Carvel on Sunday.... Their kid was like a year old and my son is 4 MONTHS.. Give me a break..

IT was like showing off dog tricks!

6/27/06, 4:30 AM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

Talk to the hand!

Yep...a city full of nannies...it's obvious when you see a Mexican pushing a white baby on the upper east side.

6/27/06, 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Onetallmomma said...

How could she ignore your beautiful child waving at her?

My third didn't walk or talk until he was two. Of course, he had no problem telling us exactly what he wanted and was climbing onto the piano at nine months. He's now 8 and never sits down!

The comparing can drive you nuts. Ignore it. They all end up arriving at the same place in their own good time.

6/27/06, 5:04 AM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

OK, the whole bloggy-love thing? That needs to carry over into the real world. Seriously, what is wrong with people!

6/27/06, 6:09 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Ok ... As I was reading, thinking this was she was the MOMMY, I felt a little of myself standing next to you (Except for the crooked finger thing: I would have waved and added a jumping up and down feature). I was wondering if perhaps the woman was shy and just trying to make conversation by listing off what the kidlet was doing these days. ... But then you dropped the bomb. The nanny. I'm perplexed.

And YOU are SO lucky on the not walking stuff. Annabel walked at 10 months (cruised around at 8 months) and crawled for all of 20 minutes. I felt robbed of a baby.

6/27/06, 7:18 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

Shes a competitnanny. I guess she spends enough time with the kid to feel entitled to taking credit that he can walk, talk (whatever else)... Ridiculous. Completely.

MrsMogul said, "Yep...a city full of nannies...it's obvious when you see a Mexican pushing a white baby on the upper east side."

I don't know if it is the Torontonian diversity lover in me, but I'm inclinded to say that sometimes you need to watch your assumptions because that Mexican woman pushing a white baby on the upper east side MIGHT just have a white baby, and NOT be the nanny.

(Don't get defensive, I understand that there must be many Mexican nannies to white babies on the upper east side for you to have said that, but still.... Racial assumptions are never nice)

6/27/06, 7:28 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Sounds like a winner?! Does she think she's responsible for her "super" baby?

I can't stand the comparisons (especially when my little one is on the down side).

6/27/06, 7:36 AM  
Blogger Queen Haline said...

Just goes to show ya... Moms can't do anything right. You need a professional.

6/27/06, 7:43 AM  
Blogger K. said...

The mommy competition is maddening. Babies do things on their own time, period. It INFURIATES me when my husband compares our 11-month old son to his 3-yo daughter.... SHE was walking by now, SHE was doing this, SHE was doing that. Go screw yourself.

My Bean is perfect just as he is and I don't want him to be like anyone else but himself.

6/27/06, 8:02 AM  
Anonymous motherhooduncensored said...

Yeah. Lovely. Q didn't walk until 15 months and didn't talk much until then and after.

And I loathe when people are too busy bragging about their "kid" to even notice what the heck my kid IS actually doing - like singing the ABCs and talking to them in full sentences.

6/27/06, 8:04 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Hally - HA! comment of the day. Maybe she was soliciting for business?

6/27/06, 8:08 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Were you tempted to yell "BIOTCH!"

6/27/06, 8:14 AM  
Blogger Mother Bumper said...

Okay, what kind of human can resist the waving hand of Thalia? I would stand there giggling and waving all the live long day. So that settles it. She was a cyborg.

6/27/06, 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Screw that nanny.

It only gets harder when they can walk anyway. Why hurry?

The same goes for learning colors. I'd say don't teach Thalia colors until right before kindergarten. That way you can give her whatever cup you have that is clean instead of "RED CUP RED CUP" or whatever.

6/27/06, 9:04 AM  
Blogger the mad momma said...

well its a harsh but cruel fact. all of us have dealt with it at some time or the other. my son walked at 9 months and i had another mother tell me that her daughter was running at 9 months (i didnt see her so i couldnt confirm that!!!) and she went on to say, "dont feel bad about it, boys are always slow!!" WTF???!!!!
why the hell do we have to follow a timetable? and which baby do you know who is crawling to school? they will all get there eventually and i dont think it makes a damn of a difference to the kind of person they grow up to be...

6/27/06, 9:31 AM  
Anonymous marti (standing still for once) said...

My son didn't walk until 20 months. Apparently he had something just amazing in mind, and he needed us to be very, very patient.

He chose to wait until a historical moment. He walked in the bedroom of his great gramma who was on her deathbed. Just days before she died. In front of his great grampa. And, he never slowed down after that.

We like to say that he walked so that Great Gramma Gert could launch the next generation, and then peacefully die knowing that she'd done her job well.

Fuck the nanny. Sorry, was that too rough?

6/27/06, 9:55 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

My 9-month old recently learned how to wave bye-bye and clap. Only sometimes she confuses these tricks. I'll say "Bye-Bye Lizzy, Mommy's going to work" and the girl will start clapping with a look of pure joy on her face. . . .Not sure how to take that.

Also, I started walking at 14 months, but all four of my siblings started at 9 mos. Now that we are all fully developed, I like to humor myself by thinking that I am the crown jewel of my parents' children. So there, early walkers!

6/27/06, 10:03 AM  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

[arms flailing]

Here's the thing: when I try to wave back, matching the child's enthusiasm, I look like a total spasm-y ass.

It often scares the child and definitely the attending adult.

But, HI!

6/27/06, 10:10 AM  
Blogger soleclaw said...

Wow. Perhaps she was assuming you, too, were a nanny?

At any rate, I agree. Eff her. Look how cute that wave is! And much more accurate than Baby E's two handed frantic wave during which she almost always ends up slapping me in the face.

6/27/06, 10:10 AM  
Blogger Geek Daddy said...

Let's look atthis in a positive light: Her true motivation was actually to justify a pay raise and she rushed off to tell her employer "Just look how much extra work i have put in to your little bra... angel!"


Of course, you could have always retorted with "And how long were you in labor? How long did you breast feed? How many mother's day cards will you receive from him?" You were, after all, on a play ground. Kick some sand... I mean perspective back in her face!

6/27/06, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Eden said...

Heh. In these situations, my standard answer is, "Damn -- I guess you win." It usually offends them but at the least it shuts them up. ;)

6/27/06, 10:21 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

awww that is too cute of a picture.

i hate women like that.

6/27/06, 10:23 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

My 11 month old doesn't even crawl, she bum scooches. Which of course I love.

Thalia sure looks sweet practicing the art of waving for her adoring fans no doubt.

6/27/06, 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Auntie Fred said...

I could just eat that kid up.....how cute is that picture....

6/27/06, 10:30 AM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

I hate it when people add to the already heavy pressures of motherhood.

My 9-month old son doesn't crawl and probably won't ever crawl. He just doesn't care. Yet he can talk up a storm and has a decent vocabulary. My point in saying that is that every baby has their strengths and then there are the things that come in their own time.

Yucky lady.

Very sweet picture, btw!

6/27/06, 10:31 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Geek Daddy: I LOVE that! If only I had the cajones.

6/27/06, 10:42 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Only a demon could resist that wave-and-smile combo. Seriously. I think I may die of a cuteness overdose now.

Sometimes I feel like sort of a hypocrite when I criticize these people, because it's not like I've never bragged about my own kid (or even kids I was caring for on a regular basis, because when you watch a baby every day it's kind of hard not to fall a little bit in love with him/her if you have anything resembling a soul).

I guess everyone likes to talk about the cuteness/smartness of their own babies.

But interrogating another child's parent about their child's developmental progress, and implying that said progress is in any way an indicator of the parenting skills of the caregiver, or the intelligence of the child, is a different thing entirely. That's just ignorant, offensive behavior. And yet it seems so many people do it without a second thought . . .

6/27/06, 11:06 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Hey, Thalia! I'm waving at you. Through the computer screen. Tell that Nanny that you'll walk and talk when you damn well feel like it and then "accidentally" smack her upside the head while "waving" at her.

6/27/06, 11:08 AM  
Blogger R said...

Whatever. You've got a cute kid, I've got a cute kid. Are you sleeping? Me either. Let's ditch the little darlings at the babysitting service and drink mimosas while Adriano and Fabrizio rub our backs.

6/27/06, 11:09 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

Scary nanny. Our oldest walked at 13 months, and when our youngest started walking a week before his 1st birthday, people treated it like he had just met some deadline. Some woman actually said to me "he's right on time" with walking. Ugh.

6/27/06, 11:47 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

My three-year-old talked very, very early. She speaks clearly and has a great vocabulary. She was my first and I really had no idea about the whole talking/walking competition thing. Complete strangers would come up to me when I was out with her and compare her to their kids. Friends would do that, too -- one of my friend's husband called his daughter "retarded" compared to Julia. It bothered me then and it bothers me now, because it still happens. I wish people would quit comparing kids to other kids and just wave at them when they wave at you. Let kids be kids, for chrissake.

6/27/06, 12:11 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm over here waving back to her! And I look pretty stupid too, because I'm at work.

Well, at least in this case, there's little worry about the boy she was watching having her biotch gene.

6/27/06, 12:23 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Thalia's darling. What a great picture of a beautiful, happy baby.

I hate the competimommy shit. Hate hate hate with a fucking passion. And competinanny shit? Renders me nearly speechless.

6/27/06, 12:37 PM  
Blogger Old MD Girl said...

Maybe you can teach Thalia to give that competinanny biatch the finger. The you can tell her that she knows English words AND sign language.

6/27/06, 1:18 PM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

What a biotch that woman was...
Ughhhhh....
Anyway...
I have been told by many true experts on the back and infant development... it is best for kids to be crawling as long as possible...
it helps with their back and development...
They go at their own pace and not through some chart...
and from the looks of your wee gal pal you are doing great!!!!

6/27/06, 1:37 PM  
Blogger MamaChristy said...

At least your girl was polite and said goodbye... Or was she telling the lunatic to leave? Either way, smart girl.

6/27/06, 2:23 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

Waving? Her kid was probably doing that in utero! Don't you know anything about what a baby's supposed to do and when?

Darling baby, btw. I just waved enthusiastically to my monitor.

6/27/06, 2:59 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Crazy people, I tell ya. I had the same competi-parenting going on this weekend as well and it drove me nuts.

Oh, and my god I got a lot questions about Cordy walking when she was one. She was enormous, with a huge head - there's no way she was going to walk yet! It was hard enough to balance that big head of hers!

And then to ignore the waving? Sheesh. I guess waving isn't an important milestone.

6/27/06, 3:30 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

SHE IS JUST FINE!! And, what the heck is a Nanny doing taking that competitive tone with you? Pa-leeze!

My daughter talked, walked and did everything later than her 2 older brothers. Guess what? She isn't even potty trained yet either!

Your baby is beautiful and right on target - :)

Carrie

6/27/06, 3:36 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Competimommies-by-proxy?

This has just all gotten too fucked up.

6/27/06, 4:01 PM  
Blogger Kell said...

The whole nany thing sounds out of control in America. I dont know anyone with a nanny but then I do live in the sticks in Mid-Wales.

I still cant get to grips with the whole competitive thing either. My 22 mmonth old still takes fluent gibberish but its cute. My other daugher could hold an adult converstion with me by 2years but then she could also answer me back with great gusto. I prefer ha having a few more months without the cheek thankyou very much ;)

6/27/06, 4:02 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Oh. And the cuteness? The hat? The charmingly maniacal smile? Too much.

6/27/06, 4:02 PM  
Blogger KathyB said...

Competiveness. Love it. Wish we could be there when the nanny has her own child. Oh well, we can't all be bitches right?

6/27/06, 4:13 PM  
Blogger Mama Pajama said...

Waving maniacally right back atcha, Thalia!

6/27/06, 4:14 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Most kids dont walk until between 12-18 months. why is there a rush? i certainly didn't care when my girl had her first birthday not being a walker! i was happy!

What a cutie pie Thalia is!

6/27/06, 4:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You can't see me, but I'm totally waving!!

The next time you get caught in the path of a Competimommy or Competinanny...even Competimanny..you need to just ask what their kid's name is. I bet that boy's name was Bob or Billy (maybe that's just here in Texas), you can turn and lower the award-winning-coolest-fucking-name-on-the-planet boom and say, "her name is Thalia." Then you could add, neener neener.

6/27/06, 4:30 PM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

(waving frantically to Thalia!!!!)

You sure have had your fair share of competi-mommies and nannies lately! What kind of a child care provider doesn't succumb to Thalia's cuteness?? Oh and walk first - that aint' no prize sister. The longer they stay in one spot the better :)

6/27/06, 4:40 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I had to come back and comment on what sara of sara and the goon squad said about not teaching them their colors: Where were you a year ago? I could have so totally used that advice. Now I have to kill myself to find the purple binky, the orange cup and the blue shirt before we can even set foot in the green (NO THE ORANGE) car! It's my own damn fault!!!!

6/27/06, 5:42 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

The thing about living in the poorest town in CT is that there are no nannies doing business. They are all a couple towns over, where Renee Zellweger lived briefly during her ill-fated love affair with country music.

6/27/06, 6:01 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Ok, she was a bitch. I would so wave and do by the way at all babies, even when they are not waving at me.

And um...Nata was almost 14 months before she decided to walk. So Thalia has a ton of time. Maya was 9 months. Every kids is different.

6/27/06, 6:32 PM  
Blogger Child Bride said...

Oh my god, that picture! So adorable, it's almost painful.

Child...too...cute... Must...get...help... Ahem.

Thanks for the comment on my blog - some unsolicited advice is worthwhile.

6/27/06, 6:54 PM  
Blogger pixie sticks said...

I told you not to go to the park. My little guy is 14 months and not walking (gasp!). I think we'll just stay inside until he masters that particular life skill.

6/27/06, 6:57 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Bitch. Total bitch. Nannies better back the fuck up. By the way, the waving thing KILLS. Archer isn't walking or talking either, well beside "dog." He can wave too. He can wave like the wind.

6/27/06, 8:29 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Rude...sooooo rude. I can't believe she didn't say goodbye OR wave back. Bitch. totally a bitchy thing to do. Lordy.

6/27/06, 8:58 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

OHHHH, and my Trent walked at 8.5 months, and let me tell ya. It's NOOO fun. Enjoy your time with her still being an adorable. A early walker leads to many gray hairs for the Mommy. It's not a gift, it's not a present, it's a curse. A curse I tell you.

6/27/06, 9:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Look at that sweet little face! Yes, you are RIGHT. IT does take a "special" person to ignore a baby looking that beautiful who's smiling and waving at ya.

6/27/06, 9:11 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Ooooooof. I feel sorry for that little boy. It looks like he'll be getting no lovin' from the nanny if she can't even acknowledge how magical and precious a 1-yr-old wave is.

6/27/06, 9:35 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Death to the competi-(whatever). Glad to see that the waving wasn't slowed any by the snooty-sniffing that surely accompanied the packing-up of the uber-child. You're little girl is irresistable, BTW!

6/27/06, 10:36 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

i think i'd have been tempted to say something like:

"oh, she'd probably be more interested in walking if i didn't keep her chained to the floor when we're at home. but, since i do, there's not a lot of motivation. of course, now that she's got teeth, she's started chewing on her leg, so, y'know... we figured it was time. by the way, is it wrong to keep her in a box at night?"

i hate stupid people.

6/27/06, 10:44 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

ugh why the comparison!!! Pfft to the nanny!!

6/27/06, 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Nila said...

My kids walked late, the first at 14 months. His head was too big for his body so he had issues.

That woman has no heart. How can you ignore that wave.

6/27/06, 11:05 PM  
Blogger ninepounddictator said...

Oh, women who brag and make you feel like something is wrong because your baby isn't speaking at 4 months are the worst! I'm surprised a nanny did that tho..Anyway, you will learn, that even if you don't want too, and you never thought you'd be the type to brag about your babies accomplishments, you kind of have too...It sucks.

6/27/06, 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erma Bombeck wrote about that age when babysitters grow boobs, get a driver's liscense and are suddenly occupied with social schedules too busy for the occasional Friday evenings.

I know this because I read her books when I was twelve. Even then I choose to immerse myself in tales of housewivery. I have never been normal.

By the age of sixteen I had a babysitting empire, spanning three blocks and ever ever expanding.

Gee, that was too much build up. All I meant to comment on was the awkwardness of talking to mothers while I am babysitting someone elses child. Should I admit to knowing anything about child development, or that the pleasant sight of chubby cheeks and tiny fingers is no great novelty to me? Aren't I supposed to be more accustomed to the faces of my peers in the afterschool hours?

That said, you do have a lovely little baby.

6/27/06, 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Y said...

You know, I'd LOVE for someone to pull that crap on me and my daughter only because I would love to answer "NO, She can't" to all of their questions, followed by a "But she can totally fart on command, WATCH!"

6/27/06, 11:57 PM  
Blogger Mom at Work said...

I always thought of it this way. Your child is so secure that she knows you will bring her what you want (using her deceptive weapons of cuteness and waving). She doesn't need to walk.

Aren't encounters like this why we have blogs in the first place?

6/28/06, 8:09 AM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I (truthfully) tell people I'm not looking forward to her walking. She wrecks enough havoc as it is. But bleh. You will get the last laugh when that kid (raised by this stinky nanny) has poor social skills and Thalia turns him down for a date when they are 16.

6/28/06, 11:43 AM  
Blogger kimberly said...

Oh gosh I hate people who ignore my kids while running on about how great theirs are. I'm like, HELLO, say HI to my KID who is WAVING and SAYING HI! :)

Sorry you had to go through that.

BTW holy cute kid!! :)

6/28/06, 3:17 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

She's so cute!!!! She looks like she's having a ball!

I'd say sorry for having to go through that. But I bet that you just shrugged it off and said to yourself. Ya know what? I'm gonna blog about this! LOL

6/29/06, 8:39 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Ugh. I don't care for ladies who do that whole comparison thing. It drives me mental. I don't ever wanna be one of them. I sometimes DON'T talk about my son so that i don't do that and people think I'm stuck up! I need help, don't I? You can say it. I can handle it! ;)

6/30/06, 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a kid that talked all the time -- if you could call it that. Actually, he recited large chunks of dialogue from whatever was on TV> It's called Asperger's syndrome and it's a form of autism. Now, whenever anyone brags on and on about how early their child is reading or how many words he has, I make sure to tell them that that's one of the warning signs of autism. And then picture them worrying their little selves to death and going home and googling it. Somebody else said that whatever they brag about, you should just say: "OH, I heard that was associated with ADD." I like that one too. Along with "You win." I use that one too.

9/28/06, 2:34 PM  

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