Friday, April 27, 2012

So today I saw E holding hands with his little girlfriend at school...just about broke my heart. I'm thinking of getting her mother's email address so they can still hang out. They are adorable together.

I took E to his playgroup today (usually a babysitter takes him; it's once a week, pretty far downtown). For some reason, I decided walking all the way there was a good idea. E was sleeping in his stroller and I figured he'd get the full nap that way. And he did. BUT it must have been 3 or 4 miles. I was about to fall over when I got there.

On the way back we took the subway. There was an elevator at our starting point, but not at the endpoint. So I took E out of his stroller and was about to lug it up the stairs (with Z in the carrier, strapped to my chest). It was awkward but manageable. Still, I was delighted when two people offered to help and carried the empty stroller up the stairs for me. I love it when people are nice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm reading The Gilly Salt Sisters and enjoying it. I forget who the author is (not as prominent on the Kindle), but I think she also wrote The Little Giant of Aberdeen County...or something like that.

Bittersweet news today...E is going to go to a different school in the fall. It seems like a very nice place. But he might even start sooner, as in, finishing out this school year there. There are some issues with his current school. But I will definitely miss parts of it. One nice thing is, the new school is right near the subway - a station with an elevator. E loves subways and he loves elevators.

Tonight I and some of the other neighborhood moms gathered on the blacktop (a little enclosed area behind my building) so the kids could ride their bikes and bigwheels. E just recently got a bike with training wheels, which he usually likes, but he had an eye for W's bigwheel. I guess he is taking after me in that way because I used to steal the neighbor's bigwheel when I was a kid. Anyway, it was fun.

Monday, April 23, 2012

So I gave Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye another chance, and I'm glad I did. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for it before, because I'm really enjoying it now. She has this knack for creating quirky characters that feel entirely real.

I also finished Carry the One by Carol Anshaw...a little unusual, but I would recommend it to most of you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I just read something that I simultaneously liked and found annoying:

"You don't know what you don't know when you're young. How could you? People who are older nod sagely and say you'll learn - about love, about marriage, about failing and falling down and getting up and trying to stagger on toward success...You're like a cake when you're young. You can't rush it or it will fall, or just turn out wrong. Rising takes patience, and heat." (Anna Quindlen)

I love the last two lines. I think there are a lot of areas where you just ripen, and you can't force it. BUT I think we are all cakes forever, still learning. At least I hope so.
So on the way to school this morning, E wanted to take the bus. We did that yesterday and it went fine, so I humored him (even though it is only about 8 blocks). The bus was under a dark star this morning. There was a big truck parked in front of the bus stop and a number of (wrong) buses whizzed by. Finally a bus stopped and we got on, only to see a number of handicapped people on the bus. Obviously, not their fault, but it meant no seats. A number of people sprang up to give E and me their seats, but it meant we couldn't sit next to each other. We took the seats. Then we sat in traffic. I saw R and W heading to school on the sidewalk...and they got there first.

So I told E no bus tomorrow :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's funny, I look at the blogs on my (private) list and get peeved when they're not updated - but I haven't updated myself. So here I am.

For tax reasons, D was considering living in NH for six months at some point - he asked if I would be interested in this. I thought about it and realized I wasn't. I like seeing my family, and I get some intense nostalgia when I go home to visit, but I don't feel a big pull to live in New England. It was kind of a relief realizing that I am in the right place. Not that NYC is perfect. It's not. But it has a certain energy that is hard to find anywhere else; it folds you into its big sweaty embrace, and there are many things to love about it.

On the reading front, I'm in the middle of A Teeny Bit of Trouble by Michael Lee West (a woman). It had a slow start, but then it became all fun and zany (like most of her books). I recommend it if you are looking for something light and enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All aboard

So D and I took the kids to this mall in my hometown that has been there forever. I used to go there in sixth grade, when there was still an Ann & Hope. Now all the stores are different, except Marshall's, which keeps on hanging in there. We went there primarily to get dinner for E at Panera (mac and cheese and blueberry yogurt) but then E spotted a train with small but usable cars near Claire's. The conductor was a friendly high school or college kid decked out in a classic conductor's uniform with a little red bandanna and pinstriped overalls. He took us and a few other people with children zipping around the mall. When the ride was over, I said in disappointed tones, "Oh, it's over." The conductor said, "I hear that a lot." Then we all got a lollipop.

I got a kick out of this because a) it was something new happening at this comfortable, familiar, yet rather banal mall, and b) because I had actually been there earlier that day to buy some clothes at Old Navy and did not even see the train, and if I had, I might have just thought it was decoration. It is fun to see the world through a child's eyes.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

So I went to Delaware today (yes, Delaware) to visit some relatives of D's. I was a little miffed that this twice-yearly gathering was being held in Delaware instead of Philly (the norm, and it's closer to us). But the people who lived in Delaware made the case that it would be more relaxing to have the kids at home instead of in a restaurant (the Philly gatherings are always in a restaurant). They hadn't told the Philly person, who had made reservations at the Olive Garden. And it would be a shorter drive for the Virginia people. But anyway. D figured out that the Acela (high-speed train) was only an hour and a half. I didn't quite believe it, but it was true. Then in Delaware, things were fine except Z got cranky (her nap got cut short by the arrival announcement on the train). So I took her for a walk around the neighborhood. She was in the carrier, so she was high off the ground. The neighborhood was suburban and seemed nice enough, but it was completely deserted, which can be a little bit eerie when you are used to Manhattan.

Then I passed a house with a small, nasty dog in the fenced-in yard. There must have been an opening in the fence, because suddenly the dog was trying to take a chunk out of my leg (it didn't touch me, but it was snarling a few inches from my leg, with all its teeth exposed). It was not a large dog, but seemed very vicious. Dear reader, I have never wanted to kick a dog, but I wanted to kick this one. My mother-bear instinct was kicking in and I wanted this dog to leave me and Z alone. So I remembered those shows where you have to prove you are the alpha dog, to make the dog respect you. I yelled, "Get away from me! Get out of here!" in a voice that I hoped was low and intimidating. Finally it slunk away, snarling and hissing. What a vicious beast. A couple minutes later, a car with a couple of creepy guys pulled over and they whistled at me. I ignored them and they went away. But still, it was not a nice walk and it made me miss Manhattan. I have never felt unsafe in my neighborhood of artsy bohemians and trendy gay men. Needless to say I will not be going on walks in Delaware again.