Notes from the referent baby

11 Jul

We had a chance to visit with Manhattan Baby, whom I think of as our referent baby, this weekend. I don’t mean this at all in the insane mom frenemy sense. On the contrary, MH and parents are awesome precisely because our kids are so close in age, and yet I feel none of the keeping up with the Joneses feelings that seems to infect middle class parents with regards to their babies. (Just a side note: we love love love our New York community of friends with and without kids. Visiting with friends in NYC/environs, and their kids, are almost uniformly energizing without being draining. It’s largely keeping us in NYC). But visiting with MH is a little different than visiting with other friends.

She was born 10 days before Brooklyn Baby, which is as close a baby friend as BB has. We have some dynamite photos of them together already. MB is a bit of the Butch Cassidy to BB’s Sundance Kid, which was poignant given that we ended up climbing on some of the big rocks in Central Park on Sunday. Manhattan Baby is more daring and mobile than BB, while BB is a bit more verbal. There was also a modicum of sharing that happened between the babies, though most of the ‘sharing’ was really an adult telling one or the other baby to quit trying to steal all the toys/books/attention. Piano was played.

We initially went to the Justin Roberts concert at Summerstage, but the Disney Jake and the Pirate warm-up act put a kibosh on the whole thing. Aside from being 90+ degree heat, it was Disney at its worst – cloying, inauthentic, commercial. Yuck. I felt a skosh bad for the woman who introduced this weird Disney act (whose show we don’t really watch or know about, but which is obviously loosely or closely based on Peter Pan, and seemed less pirate than, well, Irish). But she was as much a corporate tool as I have ever seen in public. ‘Hey kids! Do you know Jake’s bird’s name? Watch Disney Jr. to find out! Hey parents, set your iPhones to remind your kids to watch Jake on Disney Jr! Who loves Disney? We all do!! Everyone ready for two dudes and a fake guitar? Yaaayy! Arr!’

We ended up climbing rocks in the park, where MB made us all (but her papa, who was filled with aplomb) gulp with her amazing climbing abilities. BB was enthusiastic but as usual a bit more cautious about the whole endeavor. In the end, it was a spectacularly good time, and we brought a thoroughly exhausted and mildly heat-rashed baby back home.

I know it’s stupid to keep wanting to think about your baby as normal, and generally speaking I resist it quite strongly. But from time to time, it is still a bit nice to see baby stack up within spitting range of our referent baby. So thanks to friends and their little one for providing a little fun, a little crazy-check, and the idea that BB might (and does!) eat tuna fish!

Oh, by the way:

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