Baby: J.B.
a baby blog by S. Sarino
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New Skill: Sipping through a straw.

Toys everywhere. Kids climbing over kids like monster trucks, smashing little buicks to pieces. Mommies swap complaints and tips. Jeranda is crying. Edgar has just his Aidan with a rabbit. A woman in the center is holding up a pie chart. I'm look frantically for J.B. who has snagged someone's car keys like I taught her. Welcome to "Mommy and Me."

The topic: How TV causes short attention spans.

I once heard that mothers are better than anyone at multi-tasking. Part of it is somewhere in that ability to learn dietary lessons, entertain their child with plastic balls in one hand, while making the split second save of the toppling toddler with the other hand.

I felt like I was stoned. Good old California surfer dude stoned amidst a bunch of Yuppy types, except these women weren't pursuing material goods, they were their children's mothers, as the good Dr. calls it.

Although let me take that pack about material goods.

So there I was, listening to the talk and the topic of jogging strollers came up. My wife had just performed a feat of outrageous budgetary acumen by finding us a jogging stroller at half price. We didn't have to lease it add I had planned. So I decide to tell my story of this magnificent second hand store.

The mothers smiled, thin lipped smiles. The moderator, or momerator, encouraged me for having spoken after a half hour of staring in wonder like the one year old beside me. But I had misread the audience all together. It would soon become clear.

"I'm looking for a jungle gym for my backyard, you know, the wooden kind," a mom said. "Does anyone know," she looked at me, "of a place where I could find one?"

I smiled and blinked, witlessly.

Then spoke Rirdon's mom, a down to earth looking, cotton-drawstring no makeup kind of mom. "Well, we JUST bought one, the cutest one, at Costco."

Cool. I'm a member, no prob. Plenty of savings and bulk diapers and wipes. Very Sarino.

"It was 9.99." Correction $999. "Oh, well, the one at Costco is actually $899, but we had the extra jungle put in for another $100."

I take it this was not a second hand jungle, not some vomited-on, snot-covered, bitten, beaten, battered model like I might by for my child. No, not for that bling-bling baby.

So I sat. And I watched. And I fed little JB the generic brand Os, the kind that are just a little less tastey and are a WIC item.

But then there was the moment. Little Rirdan, the child king of the thousand dollar jungle gym, had been toddling towards a traffic jam of little crawlers and before they could scatter in terror, he took a header, a pratfall that couldn't have been better performed by Jim Carey himself, and down came the kids beneath him. Tears flowed. Mommies grabbed. And for some strange reason, JB clapped.

"Now, JB it's not nice to clap when others fall," I said, and snuck in a baby high five. Now give Rirdan's mom back her keys.

Ventriloquism 101

Sometimes when the happy stranger comes along to poke and prod JB, instead of talking to her, or to me for that matter, they talk for her. It goes a little something like this, usually delivered in a ooshe-gooshe-goo voice that's always a hit with the kids: