I have a herd of (s)mothers that live in my building.
They are very dangerous. They look like you and me. They dress the same as well, have even learned the lingo, but lurking deep inside are frightening beasts that will turn you into fearful shivering insecure mamas if you're not careful.
Their two favorite subjects? School and Baby No. 2
I do live in Manhattan. Private school is about as expect in most circles as proper shoes and handbags. I have neither. So I believed I was free from the whispers that ignite about this time of year on the playgrounds in the city. The rabbit is going to public school. I am a product of its system as is my husband --- although neither of us grew up in NYC. (Me? California. The Prince? Washington, DC). We both finished school with advanced degrees, can match our socks and use a fork. Done.
Scene 1: I am pushing the rabbit on the swings. A (s)mother asks me innocently, 'So have you applied for schools yet?" I answer, "Oh, I'm doing tours now, but I suspect she'll get into one of the local places for next Fall." A hush seems to linger across the park. A cold wind blows through the trees. "You mean you're going to allow her to be indoctrinated by the public system? What about the others?" I pause. I think, why is she mentioning a bad Nicole Kidman movie. I ask, "The others?" She leans in, mistaking me for a (s)mother too: "The OTHERS." She nods. I nod. I move slowly, very slowly, pick the rabbit off the swings, and walk --don't run -- for the house.
Scene 2: Playground again. (The (s)mother haunting grounds...) First some foreshadowing: After the rabbit was born -- via C-section and a lengthy recovery -- I told the Prince not to discuss Baby 2 for a year. She's having her third birthday in December. Yet, I have to say I am still not without concern and fear about another pregnancy. As for the (s)mothers? I may as well be committing the rabbit to a lifetime of depression and freakdom. "Just do it," crowed one. "They'll have each other." (Like my sister and I did? We hated each other until college...) OR: "What...are you afraid you'll get fat? So what. Who are you going to impress anymore..." (Uh, me? But more importantly -- thanks for thinking I'm so vain that I'm using my waistline as a measurement of whether to have another!) My personal favorite? "Listen, single children are weird. You don't want that for her...do you? (And this explains you--right?)
Truthfully I do miss the fat dimpled thighs that have smoothed and lengthened on my not so chunky toddler. Maybe the two would adore each other? Maybe (s)he would grow up to be Michelangelo Due?
The debate continues....in the meantime, count me proud to be a family of Three! Now if I only could only stand up to the (s)mothers.....