One or two of you may wish to know what Baba is doing with the kids all day long these long days. Well I’ll tell you. For starters, Baba is forgetting, from time to time, to pack the backstock clothing when she goes out with them, and when one of them, let’s say the little guy, pees through their diaper (since I can’t underscore enough how it is that they are BOTH in diapers right now), Baba and the pee-er-through-the-diapers are both up pee creek without a paddle.
Then I got this bright idea about how to dry the wet garment whilst we were out driving: pinch ’em up into the top of the the lil’ peanut’s window and get a twofer! Shade him (kinda), plus dry off his solitary pair of pants. It provided the lil’ monkey boundless thrills as I insisted she keep me updated as to when and to what degree the pants were flapping in the breeze.
Flappity flap flap.
If there is an ordinance against this, or if I committed some moving violation, thank the goddess no one in authority espied us and put a stop to our hi-jinx. Because people it worked GREAT! I see only one downside to this scheme, which is that when we are in buggy (which is more often than in vehicle), I will have to run really fast for quite a while to get the same effect.
Another thing we’ve been doing is having field trips daily. This is largely to make up for my sense, when I’ve worked half the day and cared for them half the day, that we never had enough time to hunker down and really sink our teeth into a full adventure. Also, some of my mates told me that Getting Out of the House would be of paramount importance to all of our sanities. Or, failing that, to mine. And since I’m the one operating heavy machinery, my sanity (or lack thereof) counts double.
I’ve taken this advice to heart, and so far, a week-and-a-half into Babarama, we’ve been to the zoo, to a coulpla city parks we hadn’t been to before, and to a kiddie supply store for copious free reading in their book section before we actually purchased a little toilet seat jobbie (ha! she SAYS she’s going to use it! that’s what they all say!). Needless to say we also went to Little Farm, the fantastic, well, little farm in nearby Tilden Park. The pigs, by the way, are still mysteriously “on vacation.” Yeah, mmm hmm. Rhymes with “fakin’.”
And of course no spree of mini-adventures would be complete without a trip to the Merry-Go-Round (also located in adventure-rich Tilden Park). Though I have to refer to it as the “Mary Go Around,” since that’s what the lil’ monkey calls it.
While there at the Mary Go Around, we loitered at length in the grassy picnic area surrounding it. I got to chat with a nice couple, the gal half of which nursed her three month old while I plugged the lil’ peanut with his midafternoon snack bottle. Nearby the lil’ monkey played with their other two girlies.
I had that interesting interlude when they were talking with me and kinda figuring I must have birthed the kids? Kinda? Only this is Berkeley and I do have that odd feel about me? I made reference to “my partner” at one point, and how she birthed the two kids. Also how the donor chum is a dear friend, partners with one of my oldest and dearest friends and so on. How expanded our families are, in the best of ways, how much more love and cousiness our kids all have, all this. The gal remarked on the get-up with a sweet mixture of surprise and warmth. Honestly, I forget the novelty of this from time to time. And every time I am so dang happy to be the bearer of good news.
She shared about their family, which was atypical in a different way. Her husband is Polynesian, and she said that even though as a Latina she was accustomed to big families, she had to brace herself for how all his siblings started off producing five kids and only then started counting. Said how one time she paused and looked around and realized that there were fifteen kids running around their apartment at the same time. Yow! I will hark back to this whenever the cousins with whom we share a yard playfully explore the edges of the sound barrier, which they are wont to do from time to time. It could be so much noisier! It could be times seven!
Visits to Mama on her lunch break at the theater are de rigeur, needless to say. So that’s a daily treat. She’s directing a youth production of Cabaret, and both our kiddles are already intoxicated by the smell of greasepaint and mesmerized by the glare of the footlights. So long as the Kit Kat girls aren’t engaged in any NC-17 dance numbers, we’ve got gobs of entertainment value right there. Which means that we mostly confine our visits to the lunch hour. Because the one time our little girlie glimpsed the Kit Kat girls’ “Mein Herr” routine, for the rest of the day she kept draping her self backwards over chairs and kicking her one leg up in the air in a provocative fashion, saying “I’m dancing like the Kit Kat girls,” in case it wasn’t obvious to the casual observer. She’d also add, through a wince, “But it’s not quite working.” To which all I can say is Thank heavens.
Still, even when no one’s draping themselves on café chairs, the lil’ monkey is entranced. Note, for example, in the image above, where she is working really hard not to levitate with euphoria as no less than a half a dozen impossibly cool (and uncommonly kind) high school kids surround her and engage her in conversation. This production can’t be over any sooner, though, wonderful as these young people are. The other morning our little girlie drew a picture, and when I said “Shall we bring this to Mama at lunch?” she said, “No. I want to give it to [name of impossibly cool and uncommonly kind H.S. girl with magenta hair].” When we got to the theater and presented the gift to its proper recipient, Mama took the blow quite gracefully. I myself, having never occupied quite so lofty a pedestal as Mama, don’t know what it feels like to be knocked off of it by a sixteen year old gal. But I could offer the beloved a great deal of sympathy, and the honest assurance that these things wax and wane, and there’ll be a day — some day soon — when her daughter will go back to drawing abstract images of fairies for Mama again.
Finally, while I still have a veritable cornucopia of fun adventures yet to be pulled out of my sleeve, or hat, or whatever, I am not above turning right around and repeating anything that looks to have been a success. So yesterday we were back at the Mary Go Around, simply because the lil’ monkey weathered a skinned knee like a champ and I asked her what kind of fun she wanted to get up to. (If she weren’t planning to become a face painter when she grows up, or a Kit Kat girl, I’d think: for sure, EMT. She shakes off the injury in the blink of an eye, and then is transfixed by the application of first aid, which of course she takes a very active hand in. It’s not just a lingering P.T.S.D. that has inspired me to keep first aid kits in every conveyance and kiddle care bag.)
So we were back for more carousel fun for the second time in a week, and wouldn’t you know it, the thrills were as just as plentiful as they were a few days before. As we swirled around in a Spirograph of color to a serenade of drippy organ music, I hugged tight onto these little kiddles, stealing peeks at the wonder in their faces. Thinking what scores of parents have thought before me: I know right now they will tire of this long before I do. If ever I do.