“Mommy, can we go to the diner?”
It’s all Brian’s fault. Apparently, every time I would go out of town, he would take Abby to the diner for breakfast at least once. Now that I’m the at-home parent, she expects to be taken out for waffles and will not take “no” for an answer.
So we got dressed, bundled up the baby and headed out to the diner. We went inside and I started feeding the baby his bottle. Abby started hanging off the bench in the booth.
“What are you doing, Abby?”
I asked why she didn’t bring in her book, and she told me it was because I was rushing her out of the car. Of course, it took her as long to consider getting out of the car as it took me to get out, unbuckle the baby, grab his diaper bag and close the door again. So, obviously rushing, yes.
I offered to help her be unbored, while wrestling a squirmy, 20-pound person who was way more interested in the trucks whizzing by outside than in the contents of his bottle.
“Find me something you see in the diner and spell it for me.”
Seriously? Are you actually serious, kid? You’re alive and awake, dressed in your private school uniform, sipping on hot chocolate and about to eat a waffle as big as your head and you’re having a fucking bad day at 7:32 in the morning because you forgot to bring in one of your eleventy-jillion books? What would it take to have a good day?
I asked her most of that, without quite as much cursing, but with a few sniffly tears when all of a sudden baby boy decided that formula was for sissies and puked. All over me and all over the booth. It looked like I peed my pants and was also lactating foul, regurgitated formula. My lap began to grow cold and my palms sweaty as I realized that i wasn’t going to have time to go home and change before driving Abby to school. So. Wet pants for the next hour. Great. Wet, smelly pants? Bring it on.
After I got the baby strapped into his booster seat and gave Abby some Cheerios to feed him, I went to the ladies’ room to collect myself. When I came back out, I looked my daughter right in the eye and said, “See, Abby? Someone always has it worse than you.”
Wine. Glorious wine. I ain’t talkin’ no Mad Dog or Boones here. I don’t need anything fancy either. Just a nice glass of Cabernet or Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc chilled just right and poured into a glass, ready for my enjoyment.
Last night’s dinner was popcorn, red wine and some Rolos Minis I bought in a moment of weakness at the grocery store. That should give you some clue as to how yesterday went. With an out-of-town husband, a teething baby and a first grader with the biggest attitude EVER (“Because I miss Daaaaaaaaddy!!”) I had earned that glass. (Or maybe it was two.)
Several people I spoke with on the phone yesterday evening asked me if I’d started drinking yet. Mom assumed I’d be into the scotch. I’m not sure what that says about me.
Today, I am thankful that we had a lovely bottle of CabSav in the fridge and I got to enjoy my dinner of champions before the baby woke up screaming. Which of course he did.
PS I think that I need to stock up on this before Brian’s next trip.
Because of the baby, Brian and I can’t both be out of town at the same time. This week, he’s off on a business trip, and this morning threw into stark relief how much I depend on this man.
Now, I’m a card-carrying feminist. I believe that a woman doesn’t NEED a man (or a woman, depending on who she prefers to sleep with). But I would certainly rather go through this life with Brian than without him. He’s a fabulous dad. He’s my direct opposite and perfect complement in so many ways. And he’s really huggable.
In under 30 minutes, I took care of 4 different tasks that Brian usually covers, as well as getting 2 kids up and dressed. And I wished I had a second adult to deal with the Great Breakfast Crisis or administer amoxicillin or double-check that lunch was made. Specifically, I wished that second adult was Brian.
So today, I’m thankful for my husband, Brian (even though I miss him) and looking forward to his swift return.
It’s almost 10:00 at night and I remembered to post today. And I’m thankful. Peace out.
I have had the privilege of growing up a stone’s throw from Manhattan for most of my life. Close enough to grab a train and arrive at grand Central in under an hour. (Under 40 minutes if all the tracks are open and you catch an express.)
Despite my white-girl, suburban upbringing, I can be quite at home in the city, from the canyons of Manhattan to the brownstones of Brooklyn, the duplexes ringing Citi Field in Queens and the giant housing complexes of the Bronx, I can make my way around. (No, thank you, Staten Island. It’s nothing personal, I just prefer my New Jersey to actually be in New Jersey.)
Maybe it’s because my dad grew up on Brooklyn Heights, and there’s some vestigial city-girl DNA in my blood. (The Brooklyn connection could also explain my occasional whim to pierce my nose and dye my hair pink.)
When I had the opportunity to head down to the Financial District this morning for a meeting, I must admit I got excited. Making my way by train and subway, wandering down Wall Street (and looking back up at Trinity Church), I just loved being there, in the middle of things, and in the middle of history. I know just enough to be dangerous – like that Water Street is so named because that’s where the water used to be (ditto Wall and Canal Streets). I know that much of the lowest part of Manhattan island is built on landfill, which is why it flooded so badly in Superstorm Sandy. I know that George Washington was sworn in at Federal Hall. I know that I like wandering down there, and that I wish I knew even more about the area.
When my meeting was over, I treated myself to the one-block walk down to the water, and a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Spending just a moment by myself, looking at water and the bridge and South Street Seaport, I was reminded how much I just love being a New Yorker and how thankful I am to live so close.
I have a rockin’ pharmacist. Dave works at my local CVS, and he’s a bit… rough around the edges. But in many ways, he’s like a pharmacist out of a Norman Rockwell painting… he knows about 95% of his (very busy pharmacy’s) customers by name, ailment and family members. He knows when I’m picking up scripts for my mom that it will be under her last name, and he asks me how my daughter is doing every time I go in.
Today, I went in because the baby has a bilateral ear infection (ugh!) and I needed to fill a prescription for amoxicillin. Dave was short-handed (two pharmacy techs had called in sick), backed up (Monday is always a busy day) and just behind the eight-ball. So when I walked in with a brand-new patient, who needed all of his info entered into the computer, as well as a hand-mixed script that only the pharmacist could fill, Dave had every right to tell me to buzz off.
In fact, because the baby is on state health insurance, we weren’t even sure that we’d be able to fill his prescription, and had prayed in the car that Dave would be there. Because Dave always knows how to fix everything.
Long story short, Dave got Mr. C’s paperwork entered, his prescription filled and got us in and out as fast as he could. Something about sick, sniffly babies tugging at his heartstrings. Thank goodness for Dave and his superhuman patience (gruff though it often appears), and amazing ability to get his customers taken care of!
We’ve spent much of this weekend moving the baby into his own room. It’s not that we haven’t loved sharing a space with him for 5 months or so. It’s just that we’ll all sleep a bit better with a little more space.
Friday, Brian took apart the bed that had been in what is affectionately called “The Little Room”. Then we disassembled the crib schlepped it down the hall and reassembled it. Grandpa’s antique rocker got a new set of pillow-sham cushions, we moved the bookcase around and then we added a changing table.
Suddenly, the little guy has a room that’s cozy, warm and all his own. He seems to like it in there so far. Now I just have to get used to the quiet in our room again.
Today, I’m thankful for clearing out old stuff and the ability and means to make space for everyone here.
Abby had a sleepover with our next door neighbor cum best friend, Taylor. After a rough patch last night (let’s just say, boots were on, bags in hand, ready to go home at an inappropriate time of night), I made the girls waffles for breakfast. Not just any waffles. Grandma Grace’s homemade waffles. These ain’t no Eggos, y’all.
Not that all my thankful posts will be about breakfast, but today, I’m thankful for my Grandma’s waffle recipe. It’s from her 1934 edition of the Settlement Cookbook, which was a present she received when she got engaged to my Grandpa. The poor book is literally falling apart, but we cherish not only the artifact of my Grandma Grace’s history, but the fabulous recipes she made which are preserved inside.
I’ve written about the kuchen recipe before (and all the sinful, wonderful things you can do with it) – that’s a Settlement recipe. And although Grandma Grace died when I was a teenager, I still feel connected to her through these recipes. Even better, I can connect Abby to her memory. Gracie would have loved Abby, I just know it.
So today, I’m thankful for those memories I do have of my Grandma, the recipes we share and the ability to pass on the love that comes out of a beaten-up, 1934 Settlement Cookbook.
This morning, since Abby had no school (thanks, All Saint’s Day!) we took her and Jan out to breakfast at the diner after dropping the baby off at daycare. After we placed our order, a group of Army soldiers walked in and sat down. We knew they were Army because they had their full digital cammo uniforms on, with big ol’ Army patches on. Abby tried to tell us they were Navy, but we told her you could see their patches and know which branch they were serving in.
I dug around in my purse and found a pen and an old CVS receipt. I scribbled a note to Brian, “Can we pick up their check and just leave a note saying ‘thanks for your service?’” Because I married a wonderful man, he nodded. When the waiter brought me more coffee, I asked him in a low voice to bring the check for their table when he brought ours.
Abby, of course, wanted to know what the big secret was, and eventually I had to walk her outside so I could tell her. I explained that when someone joins the Army, or the Navy or any other part of the military they give up a lot of stuff. They give up time with their families, they volunteer to go to dangerous places, and they’re willing to even get hurt if need be, all to serve our country. Daddy and I just wanted to say “thank you” in a small way to the men in the diner.
We tried desperately to get the checks, pay and head out in an anonymous fashion. I really, really wanted them to just get a bill that said “Thanks for your service.” In a really good turn of fortune, we got busted. The waiter told them that our family had covered their check and three large Army NCO’s came barreling through the diner to talk to us before we could escape.
(Let me interject that I wasn’t being overly noble in wanting to remain anonymous. I just know that I cry like an overtired baby at Hallmark commercials. Thanking a member of the armed services face to face always makes me choke up. I just didn’t want to embarrass myself by blubbering.)
The staff sergeant hugged Jan and I, hugged Abby and shook Brian’s hand. He said, “Thank you so much, you didn’t have to do that.” I replied, “We absolutely did. Thank you for your service. We really appreciate it.” I didn’t even cry!
Then he ran out to his car to get goodies for Abby – a keychain and some pens because he was out of water bottles. He hugged us and thanked us again.
I have to say that starting my 30 days of thankfulness with an actual gift of thanks to someone was wonderful. It turns out that my new Army buddies are local recruiters, and I’m sure that I’ll be able to call on them when my Girl Scout troop needs to do service with service members and/or local veterans. And it was just nice to start someone else’s day right.
So today I’m thankful that I got the opportunity to make some new friends at breakfast, and to tell them “thank you” for all they do for our country.
This isn’t a real post. That would be like a commitment. It’s a test, like seeing if an old pair of shoes you found in the back of your closet still fit. (For what it’s worth, I cleaned out the shoes in my closet this weekend and reduced the number of pairs of shoes I own by half.)
I’m hoping there will be more posts coming. I don’t want to promise, given my track record. There’s been big changes afoot. (Almost all good.) I’ll update… soon. But in the meantime, it’s nice to know the shoe still fits.