39 minutes until I need to leave for yoga. I want coffee.
“Dylan, do you want to come to the coffee shop with me?” She does. “Ok,” I say, “But we’ve got to hustle.” She nods her head yes. She has committed to the hustling. Then, she immediately wanders off to our computer, climbs up onto the desk chair and begins randomly pecking on the computer board and doodling on birthday invitations. I’ve known a lot of hustle in my day and that is definitely not it.
37 minutes until I need to leave for class. I still want coffee.
To me, “hustle” means, “to hurry, to move rapidly, to take action energetically, to get your groove on.” Dylan has a more avant-garde interpretation. To a 3-year-old like herself, the word appears to have several meanings: (1) Promise to get dressed and then start investigating and dismantling my parent’s stuff until one of them notices (2) Run in circles around the kitchen island until I slip, cry, search for mommy to give kisses to my severe yet invisible, nonexistent injury, then repeat circles (3) Find baby sister, make her laugh, hug her tightly, maybe just pinch her neck a bit, she likes that, oh wait, she’s crying, maybe she doesn’t, I’ll pinch her one more time to see if she likes it now.
None of these definitions is getting me any closer to a large skim cafe mocha.
36 minutes to yoga. “Dylan, get dressed. Come on. Or else I’m leaving without you.” My threat and my full focus has finally got Dylan moving at a rate of thick, heavy syrup. I’ll take it.
Toddlers don’t just move slowly. They move in reverse. You get one sock on and they’ve removed their shirt to wear a different one. You finally get their coat on, turn your back for point 3 seconds to get your own jacket and the coat is off so he or she can put it on themselves.
32 minutes left. Dylan is dressed. We’ve got some real momentum now. We are out the door. Caffeine is within my reach. Just a few blocks.
“We’re walking too fast,” she insists. This immediately jolts me back to walking in the city with my mom years ago. We are late for a broadway show. She’s walking briskly. Cold air is slapping me in the face. With every block, I am trailing farther and farther behind. She’s getting impatient. She wants to use the ladies room before the play starts. We must hurry. I’m trying. Why is she walking so fast?
Fast forward. 24 minutes until yoga. I scoop Dylan up and lug her the last block. We have made it. We make it back. There’s no time to finish my coffee. I’m off to yoga class. I leave Rick and the two girls, all of whom, thankfully, have no where to be.
mama bird notes
I’ve become a real juice lover these days. I’m talking about the juicy website Vital Juice Daily. No Paris and Britney gossip here – just fabulous tips on living a healthier, more organic, greener life. The juice girls will send you a free, daily email with trends and tidbits on nutrition, fitness, healing, beauty, green living and social responsibility. It’s a much more refreshing and inspirational way to start your morning than a glass of OJ. Plus, they are launching a mommies-only weekly edition soon. What could be sweeter than that? You’ll be a juice addict in no time.
Don’t forget to take our mama bird survey on your ideal evening. Just click on “your mama says what?” under the menu bar. The dishy results at the end of the week.
Not long ago, I found myself out with three single women. We were at Norwood, a new British-inspired private club which resides in a lovely townhouse on West 14th Street. I felt like a cool kid in the “in crowd” as I admired the grand staircase and the pristine dining room. Immediately, I tried very very hard to not talk about my children.
I did not want to bore these stylish, career savvy women. One works for Prada. The other two are both marketing executives and internet entrepreneurs. They all wear posh, chic outfits all the time (or at least every time I see them). In full disclosure, this was the first time I met the Prada gal, but PLEASE, she works for PRADA. How bad can she look on a Sunday afternoon?
So even though I spend about 13 hours a day, caring for two very scrumptious, very messy and very unpredictable girls, I barely uttered a word of it. Instead talk turned to movies ( which I rarely watch), working out (which I try to do), ex-boyfriends (definitely have done that) and pets (not doing that anymore). I enjoyed the conversation but it felt very counter-intuitive to ignore a GI-normous part of my life. Still, what single girl wants to hear about weaning, potty training and teething? So tortuously dull. Right?! I’d rather hear about their dating lives.
Surprisingly, I learned this lesson from our former dog Martini (for the history of this mutt – lab mixed with kangaroo and a big dash of crazy – see previous posts). When we first adopted her from the shelter, we were OBSESSED. We would go out with other couples and tell endless and I’m sure tedious stories about our dog. We could tell Martini tales from the first martini, right through the main courses, to the last cappuccino. No one could stop us. I’m not doing that again. When it comes to kids, I don’t want to be that mom.
Neither does my friend Laura. When she works out with her personal trainer, she makes no mention of her two little boys – until conversation starts to wane. As silence descends between abdominal crunches, it’s like another being takes over and she can’t help but babble about her brood to this trainer who just can’t relate. She vows to be stronger next session.
When a bunch of us mamas all get together – it can be a child talk off. The other night I think a small group of us clocked 37 minutes alone on potty training. Wow. There’s a balance to be found here.
So let’s go to dinner. We can talk about politics. Maybe then discuss a few celeb sightings. Chat about an article I just read in New York Magazine on air travel. Weigh in on the real estate market. Then just for a moment, I must tell you about Dylan and Summer. Because they did the cutest thing.
mama bird notes
First of all, let’s talk about sex. Finally, we get to find out what’s going on behind closed doors (without prying). Turns out a whopping 66 percent of you have sex a couple times a month. 10 percent do the wild thing once or twice a week. 7 percent of you have sex practically everyday and really, we all salute you. Finally, 17 percent of you are getting no action in the bedroom. Click on “Your mama says what?” under the menu bar to take part in the newest survey. It’s all about your dream evening.
In this week’s “beauty diary,” Alex writes about a holiday gift box that is actually worth giving and receiving this season. Click on the “beauty diary” to read more.
Contributing mama Daphne Biener writes about a naked bird. I can’t say anymore. Click on “contributing mamas” under the menu bar.
In “drooling over this,” I have a book recommendation. Sort of. I explain.
Finally, Project Runway is back. Heidi and Tim: you guys are the cutest couple. Thankfully, the show stuck to its “make it work” format and it worked. Sadly, my fav did not win. But this is the winner, designed by Rami:
And this was my pick, designed by Victorya:
To see all the runway designs, click here.
This is 3 year-old Dylan’s opinion on things she put in her mouth today.
Cheese Quesadilla: “Very Yummy”
Boogers from her nose: “Yummy”
Wedge of Lemon: “Not good”
Pork Chop: “I don’t like it. Too spicy.”
So just to clarify, Dylan believes her boogers are better than a slice of lemon but not quite as delicious as a cheese quesadilla. Recently, Dylan has really committed herself to investigating her inner nostrils and sampling the contents. So far, she has been quite pleased with the findings. Her mother? Well, she’s completely grossed out. Referring to myself in the 3rd person must be a coping mechanism.
Parenthood often veers into territories that are unquestionably disgusting. A few days ago, Dylan pooped in the potty. Well, that’s a reason to celebrate. Oh wait, put away the party hats. Dylan, in her zest for wiping herself, has filled the toilet with heaps of toilet paper. The empty cardboard roll is the only thing that eventually put the brakes on this mad paper chase. So now, in an effort to prevent clogged pipes, I have to scoop the majority of the toilet paper out of the bowl, while trying to avoid floating excrement. Please. Gag me. With a spoon. With anything.
Poop isn’t even my real nemesis. It’s vomit I truly can’t take. The dreadful smell quickly pervades every nook of our apartment. Luckily, there hasn’t been a stomach virus to contend with in ages. So right now, I’m focused on putting a stop to the nose picking. I’m offering tissues at every opportunity. I’m physically removing her finger from her nostril and then trying to divert her attention to other festive, non-nose related activities. But Dylan is rebuffing my overtures. She is content to pick, inspect and ingest. Not cool Dylan. Not cool.
Saturday, November 2000: Rick and I have just started dating. We spend a Saturday at the Planetarium, looking up at the sparkling stars while holding hands in the dark. Gosh, I hope my hands don’t sweat. Afterwards, we emerge into the bright daylight, eyes squinting. He suggests Chinese food. Perfect, I say. I don’t really like Chinese Food (in fact, not at all) but in the swirl of romance, I am suddenly moo goo gah gah for it. After crunchy eggrolls and sticky rice, we meander around the city together, dropping in shops as quick reprieves from the cold weather. The day is intoxicating. Our time together is addictive. Our future is unknown. I wonder where all this will go.
Saturday, November 2007: It’s another Saturday, seven years later. Rick and I grab the girls and head to Bed, Bath and Beer. Well, that’s what it should be called. Beer would give it that extra boost of fun. We are in need of sexy things like a new trash can, a dust buster, a shower liner and curtains. Can’t you just feel the erotic energy?!
As soon as we arrive, we realize our list is way too limited. I mean, there is so much to buy. We didn’t even know. A Pedicure Spa Salon Foot Bath beckons from the right. Wow, that must feel like a personal foot massage. What a steal at $49.99! Then a Lint Wizard Self Cleaning Lint Brush calls out from the left. A lint brush that cleans ITSELF. It’s genius. Absolutely genius. What about this Hollywood Fashion Tape just ahead. That would be perfect for when I’m in Hollywood and jonesin to tape fabric to my body. And look, they sell art. We are definitely going to need a bigger cart. Honey, find us a bigger cart!
Suddenly, the prospect of buying a piece of art at Bed, Bath and Beyond has jarred me back to my rational self. My god, we aren’t NYU college students. What the heck is going on? We’ve got to stick to the list. Just the essentials. You take Summer and get the dust buster. I’ve got Dylan. Meet us by the trash cans. Break. Within an hour, we have extricated ourselves from the winding maze of aisles and shiny, sleek products. We have safely made it to lunch. The City Bakery on 18th street is a frenzy of people, strollers and bags. We secure a high chair and spot to eat. Yum. Food. No eggrolls. We are happy.
I’m feeling a bit emotional and off balance right now. I’m trying to wean my 11 month-old baby Summer. I feel ready to do it but I’m completely unready to do it. I want to let go but I don’t want to lose our thing. Because you know, it’s what we do. She nurses. I watch “Gossip Girl.” We’re connected. We’re happy. And I fear the moment she stops nursing, she will transform from this sweet, magical, butter cream cupcake into a ranting, irrational toddler. Tell me it’s not true. I probably won’t believe you.
As a result, everything is unsettling me. Summer climbed onto Dylan’s activity table, fell off and whacked the back of head. She recovered and quickly refocused on trying to capture a piece of Dylan’s Halloween candy that was just out of her grasp. But I was still rattled. And I could not believe my husband Rick was so calm about the whole thing. I mean, shouldn’t he join my hysteria?! SHE FELL OFF THE TABLE. I KNOW SHE’S FINE NOW BUT I’M STILL WORRIED.
This past weekend, I unintentionally insulted someone that I admire and my upset continued long after my apology was accepted. I’m bothered by Abby’s descent into an alcoholic tailspin. Um.. that’s Abby from “ER.” That’s right – the fictional television show. Really, I gotta buck up. What is my problem? 3 year-old Dylan is starting to have some competition for the title of “craziest person in the house.”
I guess it’s always hard to see the baby fade away. And Summer is not exactly championing this weaning thing. The girl hates milk – any milk that doesn’t come from my breast. I even went against every organic bone in my being and added artificially flavored strawberry syrup to the whole milk. It was DE-lish. I could drink a pint of it. It tasted about 10 thousand times, actually make that 40 thousand times, better than breast milk. Summer? Speak to the hand. Not going there sista. Thanks for trying. Maybe she’s holding out for a chocolate milkshake.
I remember when I stopped nursing Dylan at a year-old, I was melancholy for a few days and then I just felt so free. My body was wholly and completely my own again. So a little freedom will feel good. Won’t it? Tell me it’s true. I promise to believe you.
By the way, if you’re counting…
3 days til Wednesday’s Project Runway debut. My obsession for this show is deep. Every season, I’m convinced that I can be the next Cynthia Rowley despite the fact that I’m A) not on the show, B) don’t know how to sew and C) have never designed anything. Of course, I’m still hoping to be an Olympic ice skater too, so big dreams die hard.
7 days since the writer’s strike started. Oh people, just hammer something out. And then the writers can scribe a riveting movie of the week on all the drama in the back room negotiations. Or just go back to writing smart, clever commentary for Jon Stewart. Oh, I miss that man. He’s just not the same in repeats.
and 17 days since I ordered the Pilates core work-out DVD. Still unopened.