Friday, July 13, 2007

Why I Love New York

The Park Slope Parent Trap
So do Manhattanites, who roll their eyes at its mention, invariably asking how I cope with those “annoying parent types.” But for those who live here, their love for the neighborhood is like that of an infatuated teenager.
. . .
The horror stories of the “stroller Nazis” and the “mommy mafia” hadn’t escaped me. But until recently, I didn’t have a child, so the world of families was peripheral. I kept childless-person hours, and from this perspective, Park Slope, in some ways, was comparable to Greenwich Village, with its low-rise town houses, leafy streets, cafes and delicatessens.
Yes, Virginia, there is a city where strollers are seen as a sign of a neighborhood gone south - this is what I love about this city. And by the way - I live in Greenwich Village. And your town, ma'am, is no Greenwich Village. (end Benston ripoff)
I wasn’t surprised by the gangs of mothers, but I was shocked by the sheer numbers — they were everywhere.
. . .
I had stumbled upon an assembly of breasts, mine included, as I nursed my own baby. While I struggled to manipulate my son’s head to cover as much of my breast as possible, these women took their comfort with nakedness to a whole new height.

One woman had her shirt completely unbuttoned, her pretty pink, lacey maternity bra on display. Another had one breast lopped over the top of her tank top. The third had twins. She wasn’t wearing a shirt — or a bra for that matter — just a hoodie sweatshirt unzipped with a baby at each breast. She walked around the restaurant with them in her arms, her body swaying in a comforting dance. . . [I] had to admit I was uncomfortable . . .

A couple of weeks later, I was crossing the street. I had pulled my stroller up next to a mother who was carrying her child on her shoulders.

She said to her little girl in a singsong voice, “Look at the beautiful baby,” which her daughter echoed back to her as if they were singing a duet. I puffed up with pride while I crossed the street before the light changed — there were no cars coming.

Then the lady sang in a louder voice — to make sure I really heard her — “Look at the jaywalking mommy,” which her daughter also aped back.

I hated that my neighborhood was living up to its cliché of being chock-full of “annoying parenting types.”
I didn't know they did this to other mothers! I thought the mommy attention-whoring was reserved for us childless women - who always seem to assume we're in the throes of baby rabies and ready to fall to our knees to worship their fecundity. Of course, I still prefer this to their daddy counterpart, who seems to think his infant is an aphrodisiac. "Look how responsible I am. And - you know it works!" Ick. Ick. Ick.

I love that even a mom acknowledges the heinous behavior of parents. Could it be that Turtle-fodder has become mainstream perception?

Technorati Tag:

No comments: