If Alicia Silverstone wants to "pre-masticate" solid foods for her baby boy, I want to know about it. January Jones eating her own placenta? Let me have it. Not her placenta, I mean, but the story about it. I will ingest that raw, cooked or ground and desiccated in capsule form.
Moms, I'm in your business, I'm in your diaper bag, I'm scanning your bookshelf and I have an insatiable curiosity for just exactly how you do things. Nothing can quell my hunger for knowledge about the secret lives of other moms, not even the thought of noshing on Betty Draper's afterbirth.
Where you get your nursery decals, your Spiderman t-shirt, your plastic toddler utensils and your organic baby shampoo -- I'd like to know it all. Where your kid goes to daycare, to preschool, to elementary school, to college, to speech therapy, to gymnastics, to swim lessons, to mommy and me anything, I'm taking notes.
My curiosity about the lives of other moms is pretty intense, but from what I can tell, it's not that unusual.
We all seem to want to know everything from Jessica Simpson's pregnancy cravings to Mayim Bialik's breastfeeding habits. We want to know how much weight Snooki is gaining, or whether or not Heidi Klum gives time-outs. We want to see what Alyssa Milano wore to her baby shower. We want the mom details about Jewel and Pink and even Tori, bless her ever-procreating heart.
To me, this is just an extension of my ravenous need to know what the moms all around me are doing, how long they are nursing, how they are sleep training, what toys are in the toy chest, how long the kid naps, where they stay when they go to Santa Barbara for the weekend and whether they let the kid watch videos on an iPad. Your daily personal schedule is basically my soft-core mom porn. Now tell me again, and tell me slowly, what do you usually do between breakfast and lunch? Slow down.
This really dawned on me last week when I went out for drinks with two mom friends of mine, both of whom also have 2-year-olds. At one point, I just flat out said, "Okay, I need to understand an average day. Take me through a Monday."
Surprisingly, I found this conversation riveting. That's right, what time you put dinner on the table, or on the high chair, or on the floor -- I'm on a need to know basis.
Listen, I am just making this up as I go along. I didn't know any babies or moms before I had one and became the other. There weren't lots of kids in my extended family. I didn't babysit. From the first day of my son's life, when I made a video tape of the nurse swaddling my child so I could practice her technique at home, I have been carefully observing other parents in the wild, imitating their ways, studying and, frankly, copy-catting.
In the first few months of my child's life, when I was basically home with him or strolling with him to various neighborhood parks and coffee shops, I asked more questions that a census taker on meth.
When two random dads and one mom all suggested the same daycare, I knew that was the one. When all the moms I saw at the Nursing Moms Support Group used a certain brand of muslin swaddle cloths, I logged onto Diapers.com to do a little monkey see, monkey do, monkey buy.
It's obviously beyond consumerism, although I know I pay attention to whether that sturdy wagon in your garage is Fisher-Price or Little Tikes. It's about taking stock of something more than puzzles and wipes and battery-operated trash trucks. It's about figuring out where we stand. If your child sleeps through the night and mine does not, I might feel a bit badly, but if I talk to enough people, I will probably find that I fall somewhere in the middle. If you nursed six months, but your sister only made it one, I will feel okay about my four. If your kid has a 20-minute tantrum over not getting a lollipop, I can feel fine that mine throws the occasional plastic cow across the room.
If I know what you do all day, how you pass the hours, how you make it to bedtime, how you dispose of a diaper or dispense with a tantrum or store hand-me-downs, I can see where I fit in, which doesn't matter as much as the knowledge that I simply do.
Pre-masticate on that for a while.
Now, excuse me while I read about Lisa Loeb's pregnancy cold, Alyson Hannigan's baby bump (so big everyone thinks it's twins!) and the list of possible baby names Kourtney Kardashian keeps on her phone. And know that when people ask the rhetorical question "how does she do it?" about a mom, it's not rhetorical to me. I actually want to know exactly how she does. So tell me, slowly. Don't skip a thing.
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