Tuesday, August 26, 2008

[Not So] Light in August

So as it turned out--in case you happened to see me on Sunday, bent over and struggling up Riverside Drive in the August heat--no, it was not a good idea to strap a 40 pound human being onto my back for a half mile walk. It was a very, very bad idea.

But you have to understand: on the days that Rob is at work and I'm alone with Sadie and Tessa, there's really no perfect solution when it comes to modes of transport in this city.

This Sunday--a gorgeous late summer day--I thought it would be fun for the three of us to go see Pete Seeger, who'd be playing an outdoor concert at Lincoln Center, some 40 blocks away. Seeger is about 197 years old. Would he remember whose land this land is? Has he finally figured out where all those flowers have gone? I wanted to know.

But as it happens, those were not the most pressing questions for me that bright Sunday morning. What I needed to figure out was: how the hell do we get there?

Do I:

A) throw S & T in the double stroller and push that behemoth for a good 2 1/2 miles to the concert, by which point I'd be ready to crawl, sweaty and spent, back into bed, and they'd be ready to kill me and/or each other?

B) throw Tessa in the big, fancy single stroller and make Sadie stand on the "standing thing" for 2 1/2 miles while I'm forced to "wide walk" the entire way to accommodate the "standing thing" while Sadie whines that she's exhausted and tired of standing and needs me to carry her for the entire 2 1/2 miles?

C) throw Tessa in the lightweight umbrella stroller and make Sadie walk only a couple of blocks to the subway, and then let the train whisk us right to the concert?

BINGO! the answer would have to be C.

I even take a moment to applaud my ingenuity when I think to bring the baby carrier with me, just so I'll be able to hold Tessa with ease, in the event that Sadie gets really tired and needs to sit down in the stroller.

When we arrive at the concert, we're in great form. We're feeling excited and energetic and I look at the stage and cannot believe that's Pete Seeger and that he's still alive. He looks like Methuselah. But it's clear that this is no Weekend at Bernie's--that really is Pete strumming the first chords of "She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes"!

We find a place for ourselves on the outskirts of the crowd and immediately start dancing our hearts out. I explain to Sadie what it means to "be a legend" (and ignore her when she asks "is Danny Zucko a legend?" No, he's just going to be the template for your ideal man for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.)(Netflixing Grease? A[nother] questionable decision.)

Rather than get right back on the subway to go home, we decided to stay out and make our way gradually, wandering uptown and stopping, wandering and stopping, finding a rhythm that worked for little feet. After meeting up with my friend Lindsay at a diner for lunch, we made our way over to the Hippo playground, where we all played and ate giant M&M cookies for a snack. It was all fine and good, except for the fact that Tessa usually takes a two-hour nap, and on this day, she had not slept a wink. By 4:00 PM, she was cross-eyed with exhaustion, and I finally put her in the stroller and did my best to will her to sleep as we wandered towards home.

Meanwhile, Sadie started whining about not being able to walk anymore, and suddenly I remembered the baby carrier! I could carry her in that for a few minutes, at which point she would surely realize that she doesnt fit in it and that it was ridiculous in any case for a perfectly ambulatory grown up girl to be hauled around like a sack of potatoes and she's demand to be put down so she could walk on her own two legs.

She started snoring before I even clicked the chest strap.

So there I was, pushing a stroller that contained a squealing, wide awake, glassy-eyed petite little baby, while comatose Sadie's four giant, deadwood limbs splayed out around my person, my vertebrae begging for a mercy killing with each step.

The dogwalker heading towards me stared as though about to collide with what might just be a mutant prehistoric land-bound octopus.

I walked like that for what felt like days, but was probably more like minutes. Eventually I collapsed onto a park bench, unfastened Sadie, and slid her sleeping self onto my lap. I sat like that for maybe an hour, defeated and wild-eyed, massaging my screaming vertebrae against the back of the bench, and waited for Rob to ride up on his bike and help me hobble home.

At which point it occurred to me that there had actually been a fourth option, one that didn't involve strollers or baby carriers or riding six white horses.

It's quick and yellow and available to anyone with an outstretched arm. It's called a taxi and I'm pretty sure that's how I'll be getting to the chiropractor tomorrow.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lollipop girl