I Miss Strangers

It seems like I took this photo ages ago, but it was just a couple of years. Both my kids were screaming about something on the bus and I was desperately trying to conceal the panic attack that was rising to the surface of my being. This sweet Polish speaking woman looked at me and said, “I have many grandchildren,” then put both of them on her lap before I could say a word. Suddenly they were quiet, little confused smirks on their faces replacing their tears. I could breathe. It was weird, but a good weird. The past couple of weeks have been a bad weird. My heart breaks when I hear one of their friends say, “It’s nice to see you on the phone, but not as nice as it is to see you in real life.” I wonder how different post-corona virus NYC will be than post- 9/11 NYC. I didn’t post this pic the day it happened because I was afraid people would judge me. That seems so silly now.



Are you allowed to hate a poem?


I’m sure you’ve seen that really depressing poem called “The Last Time” that new parents of one child always repost, where one of the lines says, “One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down, and never pick them up that way again.” I read it around the time my daughter was born, and hated it SO MUCH that I still pick up both of my children who are ages 4 and 7 all the time. Sometimes at the same time, just to spite that dumb poem. My back hurts. I don’t care. When their alarm goes off for school I carry one kid on each hip to breakfast. I put my older one down on the couch and say, “When you’re taller than me, can we trade and you carry me to breakfast?” She says she will. My son’s catch phrase has been “pick me up” since he could talk, and now that he’s a little bigger and a little older, the fire of my contempt for this poem has been rekindled. He got tired the other day and asked me to carry him (in all fairness the three of us had just walked all the way from Herald Square to the Chelsea Piers), and I carried him about 14 blocks to the train. I was sweaty and cold at the same time, but my hatred of that poem is what kept me going. While I carry him I kiss his little face because it’s so close to mine, over and over again. Sometimes I say, “Are you going to ask me to carry you to college like this?” and he says, “Yeah!” And if he wants me to, I will. I’m also not sure if the author of this poem ever got around to watching Ghostbusters with their kids when they got old enough to get the jokes, but way better things happen AFTER your kids are too big to pick up anyway. Not that I’m going to stop picking them up, because I never will.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation


This summer when my kids were out of school, I tried to arrange their camp schedules to get some extra special one-on-one time with each of them where I put them in charge of what we did together that day. When my 4 year-old son had a “mommy home day,” our time together went something like this:

8 am- Race on scooters (I don’t have a scooter so I just have to run).
9 am- Go to Dunkin Donuts
9:30 am- Go to a store that has candy and pick out a new kind of candy we’ve never had before for the candy bowl.
10 am- Open all the mail
10:10 am- Play twister
10:55 am- Rolling Stones dance party
11:15 am- Then I have to “pick him up like a baby” and “spin him around way too fast.”
11:20 am- Take a bath
11:22 am- Throw the washcloth to him while he’s in the bath but it can’t be too far away or too close it has to be the perfect distance away and if it’s not we have to keep trying even if we do it 19 times.
12 noon- Read all the books on the bookshelf (unsuccessfully but A+ for ambition).
12:40 pm- Wipe up all the water on the bathroom floor with literally all the towels (my idea).
12:45 pm- Paint fingernails.
1:00 pm- Watch Blaze and eat lunch and mommy almost falls asleep.
1:40 pm- Wrestling & Tickling
2:00 pm- Play “bad food truck” where I pretend to order something then he gives me the total wrong thing and I pretend to get really upset.
2:30 pm- Throw large pieces of cardboard like frisbees
2:35 pm – (Pauses). “Mommy! I want to buy a hula hoop!”
3:00 pm- Play “talking in someone’s ear sounds loud.”
3:15 pm- Build magnatiles and eat a snack.
3:50 pm- Meow and make mommy guess what I’m saying over and over when all he’s saying is “meow.”
4:00 pm- Play monster and kitty cat.
4:30 pm- Ride scooters again but then mommy needs to go inside and drink some coffee.

Days with my 6 year old daughter on the other hand, went something like this:
8 am- Watch a movie
10 am- Draw birds
11 am- Talk about the birds outside
11:30 am- Eat ice cream
12 noon and after- Maybe go to a museum, then go to sleep on mommy’s belly, then watch another movie.

I always knew their energy levels weren’t quite the same, but it’s never so clear as when I reflect on the past couple of months. Will my son grow up to be a high powered salesperson who parties all night and works all day completely unfazed? Will my daughter become an artist? A psychiatrist? The next coming of Buddha? Who knows. Whatever happens, I’m happy to be along for the ride.

It’s A Hard Knock Life


Something I think is really funny is how earlier in the summer my mom gave my daughter this locket she’s had since she was a teenager, but I guess in all these years nobody could figure out how to open the back to put photos in, so it’s always just had the same pictures inside of random strangers that came with it. My kids take turns wearing it all the time, and call these 1950’s stock photo people “their family.” Yesterday I heard my daughter whispering to her little brother, “This is our real family.” They love the musical “Annie,” so maybe that has something to do with it. I keep telling them we don’t know these people, but they refuse to believe me.

On Track Betting


I don’t like to use the term “crazy” because I think it sounds disrespectful or something, but let’s just say my kids were playing cards on the train and an older lady wearing a lime green tube top and missing several teeth sat next to Oscar and studied his hand very carefully. They were just playing “war” by the way. She said something, but I didn’t understand any of her words. Then when they put down their next card, she said something (again I have no idea what it was) very enthusiastically, and quickly grabbed a snack size bag of sour cream and onion potato chips from the worn plastic bag she was carrying, laid it on top of their cards, threw her hands in the air as you would do if you’d just lost a poker game, and got out at the next stop. A dad and his son sitting across from us burst out laughing. We burst out laughing. Everyone burst out laughing.

Fringe Kimonos: Don’t Believe the Hype


Things that happen when you are a stay at home mom and also wear practical clothing such as a trendy fringe kimono:

1. It gets hung on your wallet zipper while taking out your metrocard, sending the wallet ricocheting behind your head so you have to crawl back under the turnstile to retrieve it and wow I’m glad it wasn’t rush hour.

2. It gets looped over the handrail in the back of the elevator and you get stuck and can’t walk out and your kids already walked out without you, and you get think for a second they’re going to go get on the train without you, which to be honest at this point they might be better off.

3. When you get home and start making mac & cheese you walk by the stove and a couple of the fringes catch on fire for a second.

4. You realize you were just ON FIRE literally and not in the way people say when someone is looking cute.

5. You decide that was the last straw and this fringe kimono is a menace to society, and post it for sale on Poshmark immediately.

Day 2,315


Here I am on day 3 of being a mom. I’m up to day 2,315 and I’ve learned a couple of things. I think if I could go back in time, I would tell the woman in this photo that –
1. You won’t ever use that baby swing.
2. You don’t really need to take your 6 month old baby to Central Park all the time. There is a nice park 2 blocks from your apartment. She won’t remember going to Central Park as an infant, and won’t care that it’s “the best park in the world” for at least 5 more years (if ever).
3. Also unnecessary: Baby Massage Class.
4. Ok and while we’re on the subject, “dry clean only” clothing is not for you anymore. Don’t worry, the athleisure trend is right around the corner! Don’t ask.
5. If you think you’re tired now, wait 2 1/2 years.
6. This is going to be scary, and it’s also going to make you strong and emotional and resilient and goofy in ways you’ve only experienced a fraction of in life so far. You’re about to morph into a fully actualized person. It’s going to be a confusing process. I promise it’s worth it.
7. That purple horse dress hanging in the background is way too big for a baby.
8. When in doubt, hug it out.*

*Also hug it out when you aren’t in doubt. Basically hugs are the most important thing.

The World Champion of Staying Awake


This is a public apology to anyone I’ve been short with and / or asked confusing questions to which I should have already known the answer in the past month or so. But here’s how I’ve been sleeping at night: After my daughter goes to bed at 7:30 pm sharp, my 3.5 year old son reads books and draws* and eats snacks and watches this weird guy named Blippi on YouTube and then plays some songs on his little guitar for about 3 hours, until he finally gets tired enough to start the process of thinking about beginning to fall asleep. Then around 11 pm, he crawls up on my bed where I’ve usually already dozed off a number of times, says, “Sleep is too long for me” or “I’m not tired” or “Remember when that picture fell off the wall?” (that was in our old apartment and I have no idea how he remembers it. But he was 6 months old and kept crawling over and pointing to where it was supposed to be until I hung it back up), or “Do you remember that green car I had when I was a baby?” Then I answer, “Maybe…the wooden one in your room?” And he says, “NOOOOOOO the GREEN one!!” and I say, “That one IS green.” Then we have an argument and I tell him that mommy can be nicer in the morning after she gets some sleep. At that point I’m awake enough to start googling things that have been on my mind, such as:

– How much coffee is too much?”
– How much Febreze is too much?
– Does the show PJ Masks encourage kids to stay up all night?
– Die from lack of sleep
– Die from lack of sleep science
– Can 4 year old safely eat whole bag of dried mango in 2 minutes
– Sugar bad for you science
– Sugar bad for you fake news

Then I text my husband from the other room and tell him I’ve made some horrible discovery from googling things. He tells me to get off the google. Pretty soon after that my son crawls up on the bed and after tossing and turning for around 20 minutes, climbing inside my shirt, giving me 584 zerberts and making me tell him a story (but not one in a book, one I make up on the spot), he finally gets tired enough to fall asleep. I call my husband in to carry him to his bed. My husband is now speaking in tongues. Then around 3 am, our son comes back into our bed, sprawls his tall little body across the entirety of it, and goes to sleep, sort of. Then every 10 minutes or so, his arm spazzes out and he hits me directly in the eye. That goes on until my alarm goes of at 5:50 am. In summary, my child only requires 5 hours of sleep a night in order to be a thriving, energetic little boy and that is way less than a normal adult requires and someone help me.

*Last night he brought me this drawing and said, “Mommy, I made some mermaids for you.” So everything is forgiven.


Moms Under A Microscope


People ask me all the time what I do while my kids are at school. Everyone asks stay at home parents that question, all the time. And for about a year before I had kids, I was a nanny. Someone I knew in the fashion industry needed one for her daughter, plus I knew I wanted to have kids of my own soon so I figured it would be a perfect transition and I would get some good experience. So I quit my 9-5, and would do school pickup every day, then bring her home and do all the after school homework help / take her to karate class / figure out dinner kind of thing. Then her parents came home and took over, and I went home. Anyway, my point is that never once in that year did anyone ever ask what I did with my mornings before I picked up my girl at school. I worked for about 6 hours a day, and the other 18 hours were all mine. But nobody cared. It’s odd.