Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summertime in New York City, It's So Much Better at Age 2

I am in love with summer.  Aside from the dog days when the humidity heats its peak and the temps top 90s, it's my favorite season.
Chicken and I decided to have a picnic in the park last night instead of eating dinner inside.  We got lobster rolls from my favorite shack down the street and couldn't wait to share them with the twins.  Last summer they devoured them.  This summer?  They were both too scared that
the lobsters were going to pinch them!  Oh the fear of the lobster roll!
I had to eat two myself (the tragedy!) while the boys ended up with rice cakes and peanut butter.
Oh well, better for the budget not to get them craving lobster at age two, huh?
At least Luke's gives a 'frequent lobster card' and we got a free roll last night.  Great deal!

While we were picnicing, the boys had decided to park themselves on a gravel path just outside the grassy area.  I allowed them to stay there with their construction toys, playing with the rocks and dirt, as long as they didn't stray too far.
As I watched them immersed in play, I thought back to this time last year.  I was losing my mind!  We were seriously thinking about buying a house in Florida of all places and moving out of the city once and for all.  I suppose it's the hump that many don't make it through and families flee the city at this point.  The hump didn't last forever, a few months of complete craziness but by 18 months I felt like we rounded a new corner and we'd make it.

Remembering how I felt last year made me appreciate this summer even more.  I had a feeling this age was going to be awesome and it really is.  I know many refer to this age as the 'terrible twos' but I'm finding it to be pretty terrific.
Yes, we have tantrums and trials, but overall it's just FUN.  I love their spirit of independence.
And they listen.  They pay attention to the rules and follow directions and don't go running away like maniacs anymore. Eh, most of the time.  I don't get frazzled and freaked out with large open spaces.  We go stroller free short distances and I am fairly confident they are not going to run into the street.

One day W2 had a ball and it got away from him and rolled into the street.  Worst nightmare, right?  He ran to ME and told me his ball was in the street.  Then, I told them--in my no nonsense voice--they both needed to stay right there with their hands on the stroller while I crossed the street and retrieved the ball.  Yes, I could have put them back in the stroller, strapped them in and then gone for the ball.  But I really wanted to trust they could do this, and they didn't fail the test.

There are so many incredible things to do here in the city and they are at a perfect age to take advantage of it.  Last summer they weren't ready for many outings and now I have a hard time deciding what to do as we have a gazillion choices.  I have a feed for Mommy Poppins and Time Out New York Kids and I'm consistently amazed at how many kids activities are offered every single day.

I do wish there were more places I could take them by myself.  Unless it's walkable, a location that has subway elevator access or it's on a weekend where Chicken can come with us--we still can't do everything I want to do.  There's a marvelous Waldorf-based playground that meets once or twice a week in Central Park--but I have no way to get up there with both of them.  Not yet.  I think if it were just Whoop Whoop we could be out and about more because the boy loves to walk and doesn't tire easily.  Grunter on the other hand is slow, slow, slow and wants to be picked up after a few blocks.  He's not there, yet.  Once I feel confident of getting them to and from a bus stop/subway station (and all of those stairs) by myself we are going to be all over this city!

For now, we are having a blast riding scooters, digging in the dirt with sticks, playing in the fountains and sprinklers, having picnics, looking for construction vehicles, exploring all the parks, playing mini golf, taking long strolls, eating pizza, going to the zoo, painting, enjoying ice cream and riding our bikes and playing with all of our friends.
Normal kid stuff--right here in the big, big city.


Rachel said...

I couldn't agree more that it only gets better. Have you tried the Ergo/Maclaren stroller combo as a way to get out and ride the bus/subway? I've found that with enough practice I can carry one kid in the ergo, one on my hip, and even grab the stroller in one hand for our 3 flights of stairs when necessary (although frequently someone else will grab the stroller, neither of mine does subway stairs yet reliably). I also tend to know which neighborhoods have plenty of drug stores, etc. so I don't panic if I have no diaper bag. Today we went from the High Line (no supplies needed) to Tompkins Square Park and both kids went straight into the water even though I had no towels/clean diapers or underwear/water toys with me but we managed to piece everything together on the way home so that neither was wet thanks to a drug store run.

ps - would love to hear more about the Waldorf meet-up.

Next in Line said...

Thank goodness you didn't move to Florida! I remember your posts about trying to get both those boys to the park and back a year ago. You are going to have an awesome summer :)

Pomegranate said...

i read this post and was going to suggest wearing grunter. or a carrier/umbrella stroller combo, but if w2 can walk, ditch the stroller altogether.