1. Matt and I are going to Copenhagen and Stockholm for 9 days in August. Note that I said Matt and I…no kids! Someday, we’ll travel internationally with them, but I can’t imagine doing that at this stage. I mean, I can imagine it, which is exactly why I have no interest in it. To Milo’s credit, he’s actually a great traveler, and if it was just him, it would be different. But throwing two year old Zach into the mess is a whole other story—being held hostage to nap needs and car seat schlepping and time change adjustments…no thanks. Everyone’s happy this way—I get a break from the conversations of children (charming at times, but overall not particularly intellectually compelling), and the boys get to spend a week with their beloved Mimi and Papa.

    We’re staying in a hotel in Copenhagen, but are booking our stay in Stockholm through Airbnb. I’ve been scrolling through the options in Stockholm, and honestly, some of the apartments are just so overwhelmingly Scandinavian minimalist that I can’t even. White everything, nothing on the walls, no books, just a few stark pieces of (well-designed) furniture.

    I’m most amazed at the apartments that are clearly occupied by at least one child most of the time. No toys anywhere, just three books on a tiny shelf, a tiny bed tucked away in a nook. I look around at my kids’ room, with its train table and attendant trains underfoot, books everywhere, wooden blocks piled up on the floor, dresser drawers carelessly left open. I can’t help it as small prayer tumbles from my lips: please god turn me into a Scandinavian woman, teach me to enjoy the beauty of nothingness. And then the universe laughs at me and tells me to keep dreaming. Maybe in the next life?

     
  2. Someone dumped half a new container of salt out all over the living room then proceeded to drive his truck all through it, ensuring maximum mess, all in the space of the five minutes I was in the kitchen doing dishes. I guess if I’d conk out 30 seconds into a stroller walk too if I expended that kind of energy before 10:30am.

     
  3. Oh, just over here being an adult with a washer/dryer in my apartment. This is a big deal in NYC! I’m 38, and this is the first time I’ve ever had a w/d in my own apartment. #livinthedream

     

  4. Is that the way it works?

    1. Me: I need you to listen to me. My patience is all used up for today.
    2. Eleanor: More patience will just float into your head!
    3. I hope Dover doesn't mind that I'm reblogging this, but I really loved this when I read it this morning.
    4. I'm going to think about more patience just floating into my head the next time I feel like I am just.all.out of patience with my maniacs. "Patience floating into me" is going to be my new mantra. Maybe it'll help make my July better than my June was. (Although Milo being at day camp 5 days a week from last week through mid-August has also improved daily life for all of us.)
     
  5. Gettin posi with the kids in the Gorilla Biscuits pit.

    This band kind of changed my life when I first heard them in 1989 (yep, I’m that old). In later years, I got way more into crusty d-beat hardcore, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for youthcrew hardcore in all its dancey, catchy glory.

    Last time I saw them play, I broke my glasses in the pit. This time, I was mostly just conscious of how much my back hurts when I stand around for a few hours. Getting old is rough. (at House of Vans)

     

  6. That’s all it took

    We have a washer/dryer connection at this new apartment. It was definitely a selling point, since I’ve never lived in a NYC apartment with this feature before this. (I thought I was living pretty large in our last building, which had a laundry room downstairs.) It’s just the connection though, so we have to buy our own set. Which is fine, really, but we’ve put it off because we were trying to figure out various pro/cons of stackable units versus the connected kind (there’s limited space in the closet). It seems like every review of every kind I read was like, these all suck none of them work right it broke after 3 months etc etc.

    But today I took two kids and a giant push cart of laundry to the laundromat, and the ensuing three hours were so hellish (eg toddler cried for 35 minutes straight at one point, yanking on my shorts crying out to go home, wrapping himself around my legs as I tried to move around) for various reasons that I think I’m ready to push the purchase button on whatever w/d fits our space and is somewhat reasonably priced, reviews be damned.

    The best (“best”) part of the experience was on the walk home when the toddler lost what remained of his shit, sat down on the sidewalk and refused to move. I’d push the cart 40 feet along the sidewalk, go back for the kid, carry him up to the cart, put him down, repeat. Took us about 15 minutes to do the 5 minute walk.

    It’s not that I think parenting is difficult, per se, like, it doesn’t require an advanced degree in physics or competency in organic chemistry, but parenting (even coddled middle class privileged parenting) is not for the faint of heart.

     

  7. Oh, and also today is my wedding anniversary! Five years (I think? yes.) of marriage. I’ve basically become a wreck of a person in the last five years - lost all ability to cook, terrible at chores, parenting skills leave so much to be desired, forgotten birthdays, total failure on the career front, and in general so mentally disorganized that nothing gets done around our house unless my husband forces me to do it. And yet, he still seems to want to spend time with me. Love is a strange thing, huh? Bless him.

     
  8. Registered this guy for public pre-k today. As many of you know, I’m not particularly sentimental nor do I miss the baby days (except for maybe the brief period of the 14-18 month stage, when he finally started sleeping but before he started throwing tantrums). Still, even cold-hearted old me felt a little catch in my throat over my kid reaching a big milestone. Don’t worry, I got over it pretty quickly. He’s your problem now, NYC DoE!

     

  9. I think I’m reaching my breaking point with feeding my kids. If I have to smell one more box of Barilla Pasta Plus boiling up, knowing that it will be served up plain with small pat of butter (no salt), I’m going to throw up. What are your picky eaters (and non-picky because why not I like to feel bad about myself and my parenting abilities and my inadequacies as a giver of genetic traits) eating these days?

    Milo still doesn’t eat meat. Nor will he eat tomato sauce, mashed potatoes or any type of raw vegetable. Once every few weeks, he’ll agree to choke down a few bites of rice. Once every few months, he’ll manage a bite of quinoa. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Zach. Some days he eats salmon and miso soup and ribs, and some days I can’t even get him to eat toast. Toast, for god’s sake!

     

  10. I walk in to the boys’ room. Zach is crying next to the train table amidst a pile of tracks and a bridge, wailing “ma bweeedge!” over and over. Milo is buck naked, spinning in a circle with his arms outstretched, emitting some sound between a ghostly moan and a roar.

    "What’s going on here?" I demand, "why is your brother crying? Why did you destroy his train track?"

    "Oh," says Milo airily, "he is crying because I am a tornado and I broked all the tracks. I AM A TORNADO I WON’T STOP roaroooooooo!"

    "Please don’t be a tornado to his tracks, he’s happy playing, please let him be," I request.

    "Oh but sorry, I can’t.  Tornadoes are weather and you can’t do nothing about weather, it just happens."

    I don’t know where he got that from, but I mean, he’s got a point.

     

  11. Discovered today that my kids won’t eat baked ziti, in all of its deliciouscheesytomatocheesy goodness. Is it too late to trade them in for different models because I have to cook any more plain pasta with broccoli/grilled cheese with broccoli I am going to set this goddamn kitchen on fire.

     

  12. They’re really getting to be such good friends

    Overheard convo between Milo & Zach:

    M: Who do you want to be in this game?

    Z: blah hebrjg egggggs

    M: Oh, you want to be Mr. Fartypants? Ok! Good idea.

    Z: Nawwwwww.

    M: C’mon Mr. Fartypants, let’s be good friends.

    Z: Ok! (stops to howl like a wolf) Where da mao (cat) go? Mao go uhhhh (makes sign for sleep). [He’s obsessed with the neighbor’s cat.]

    M: I don’t know, Mr. Fartypants! Let’s go poop together and find out! Wanna go poop together? Let’s go poop together, Mr. Fartypants.

    Z: (nods vigorously) awight! C’mon!

    Listen, I don’t pretend to understand brotherly bonding and/or male bonding, but I think maybe pooping together is pushing it. What do I know though. Also, if anyone in this house is going to play Mr. Fartypants, I would suggest that it should be Milo, who has a constant stream of “fresh air” coming from his tuchus. But again, what do I know I’m just the mother.

     

  13. In other news, life is going really well at our new place. It’s still pretty disorganized, but all the major stuff has been unpacked and put away. The boys are loving the backyard and the freedom to go in and out back there unsupervised at will. We bought a small grill, we cleaned off the outdoor furniture that the previous tenants had left out there, we bought some plants to do some container gardening in this summer—in short, it’s starting to look like a real home. The boys are fighting less and playing together more, which means I’m less frustrated and feeling less stressed.

    We’re having a good time exploring our new neighborhood. I had an interesting moment yesterday when the boys and I were out for a walk. We were walking behind a woman dressed in an abaya with full niqab who was pushing a cart. She paused to let us pass her at one point, but then caught up to us a minute later because the boys were dithering around in some puddles. I smiled at her, apologized for blocking the sidewalk and pulled the stroller over to let her go by. She stopped and asked in accented English how old the boys were, and asked if Milo was in school. I told her yes, but his school had ended early so he was done for the summer. She commiserated about how hard it could be to keep kids busy when they were out of school, “especially two young boys! Such energy they have!” I told her we got a pre-k spot for next year, and I could see her eyes light up. “Oh!” she exclaimed, “that is so good! Very lucky.”

    I couldn’t tell how old she was because of the niqab, and I wouldn’t be able to recognize her if I ever saw her again, but I thought it was pretty wonderful how two mothers could strike up a casual conversation and commiserate with each other instantly, despite our very obvious cultural differences. I love this neighborhood.

     

  14. Milo was accepted in a public pre-k program for the fall, which in NYC is akin to winning the lottery. Our mayor has made a huge effort to expand the pre-k program (currently not mandatory for students, so they don’t have to give you a spot), but there are definitely not enough seats to go around. For example, there may be 100 kindergarten seats in a school, but only 18 pre-k seats. Obviously, the more popular schools have many more families applying than spots, so the whole process is a bit nerve wracking. (Also obviously, private preschool is prohibitively expensive for most of us, which is why we’re all so desperate to get our kids into public pre-k.) I’m really happy we got a spot. It’s fantastic for us, money-wise. It means we can afford to sign up Zach for a morning program at a preschool, providing we can find one with an open spot at this point.

    The major, major drawback to Milo’s pre-k spot is that the school is really far away from our new neighborhood, like 50 minutes, in another school district, away far. And let me remind you that this isn’t a 50 minutes in a “pop your kid in the car seat and drive,” which is annoying but not the worst. No, this is “walk to the subway and schlep your toddler up and down subway stairs, transfer to another train and oh pick up is at 2:20, so your 2 year old will never have a normal nap schedule again.” But man, getting a public pre-k spot in NYC (especially in a school you like) is like winning the lottery so I can’t really complain. I can, however, hope that we’re lucky enough to be offered a spot in one of the schools that we’re on the waitlist for. Is it too much to hope that we might get into our zoned school, which is 1 block from our apartment? Probably, but a girl can dream.

     

  15. Verizon customer service: we know we said someone would be there by 11am, but actually now it’s going to be 6:30pm.

    At least the rep had the honesty to tell Matt that he should wait to file a complaint until after we’ve gotten our service hooked up.