Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Competimommy - the elementary years

I'm not sure who coined the phrase Competimommy, but it's a good one.
I encountered many Matthew was younger. One particular playgroup we went to had the rich moms who compared which Louis Vuitton bag was truly the best to use as a diaper bag (seriously), and encounted the moms who were becoming proficient in ASL so that they could better communicate with their babies. I'm not talking baby sign language (I embraced this). I'm talking moms who paid ASL coaches to made videos for them so they could practice advanced words.
And, I laughed at it. Because I was so far out of their league I couldn't compete. At first I was insecure, but I slowly realized that as a mom I had my flaws, and no designer bag could really make up for the fact that I routinely spilled cheerios, lost soothers and forgot to bring diapers in my diaper bag. And, no matter how many languages I became proficient in, my kid would say his first word when he was ready. (though he did sign "milk" at a very young age!)
And then there was tonight.
Matthew and his cousin Kyla had gymnastics together.
This isn't my first session of gymnastics. In fact, we just finished a session in December. But, the afternoon moms of 3-5 year olds are not nearly as competitive as the moms my sister and I encountered tonight.
First there was the mom who, ironically, is a parent in Matt's class. The thing is, at school I barely notice her. At gymnastics it was a whole other story. It was the FIRST class. We were all trying to get a look through the window at our darlings. I'll admit that. But this mom? She pulled up a chair, stood on it, and when her daughter did something she cheered. At first I thought that this kid was doing backflips. Nope. She was skipping right next to Matt and Kyla. As they progressed through the various activities her mom continued right on, lamenting the kid's body shape (she's 5) and insisiting her husband hoist their son on his shoulder so the whole family could observe.
I was unable to enjoy the moment of snark with my sister, because our conversation (yes, we did get a Starbucks and planned to spend the hour chatting while slightly monitoring our kids) was interrupted constantly by a woman in a peach coloured sweater.
In the one hour session we learned her entire life story.
We learned about the time she sold her house.
We learned about her kids.
And, most importantly, we learned about her daughter who is a brilliant gymnast and was asked to be in this particular evening class. Thrilling.
As she talked Becky and I would casually step back at an appropriate break in conversation only to be interrupted again by the same woman. It was funny.
Now, I know this may sound harsh, but she was a plump woman and about my height. Given the fact that she was wearing a peach sweater and was very round, with a round hairstyle, I have to admit that I kept thinking she looked like a Giant Peach.
And the more she spoke the more I thought it.
But, the clincher of the evening was when we were watching the elite gymnasts doing flips. I was amazed at the ability they had to hop into a flip and do 5 or 6 ina row. It was amazing. And, I said so. And as Beck and I were discussing how many flips these girls could do yet again the Peach interrupted us.
"It's Momentum"
Good to know. I continued what I was saying.
"Momentum. It's momentum. It's the floor and it's momentum. That's how they keep going."
"I know this. I was a highschool gymnast."
At this point all I could picture was a giant peach hurdling across the gym floor. Ironically, my sister had the same thought.
I can't wait to go back next week and hear just how well all the off spring did this week.


brittanielovessparky said...

If you really want to be Commpetimommy these are some good videos to watch on baby sign language:http://www.mindbites.com/person/84-MySmartHands

SciFi Dad said...

You should have titled this "Laural and the Giant Peach".

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I've never heard of that specific term before, brilliant! I have been in that boat before, for sure!!! I was also part of a group who only felt it was necessary to talk about all of the designer bags (coach, etc.), shoes and clothing. Just not my thing. I too felt insecure, VERY insecure at first until I realized that once I found a Mommy friend or a group of Mommy friends that were more like me, I would be much happier, so I stopped hanging out with them.
It gets worse with school, however, bunny will be bussed so I won't be subject to the Moms waiting to pick up their kids...except maybe at the bus stop.

Haley-O said...

Oy.... BRUTAL! And, eek! Giant Peach. I'm actually happy Josh wants to take Monkey to dance class -- I'll go once a month when they open the blinds to the classroom -- because it's the perfect breeding ground for competimommying, and I don't have the headspace or tolerance for that!

Donna Papacosta said...

Yikes. I'm glad my kids are older. I don't think I could handle these crazy Moms.