Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days to Write True: Transit Woes



Today was nice because it was the last day I wasn't excited about before our trip home- the last one I had to check off my list In fact, I was really dreading it. It involved taking Annie to ballet. Which in involves the train and involves a decidedly not child friendly waiting area.

The train isn't a huge deal. There are no transfers and it's actually only two stops. I really couldn't ask for a better situation if I'm going to be taking transit with both kids. But that's just it. Transit with both kids is hard. It's still hard. Not in the I've got to walk two miles with both my kids to get clean water for them to drink hard (Peyton reminds me of that sometimes), but hard in it's own way.

What actually ended up happening is:
1) Annie slipped at the top of the stairs. Thankfully, I was holding her hand and jerked hard and the only casualty was her ballet tights. I was so relieved because it's a LONG way down and concrete is pretty unforgiving.
2) We were doing okay on time because we had hustled, but I swiped my card and "insufficient funds". Okay. I rushed us over to the machine that sometimes takes our cards and sometimes doesn't and dug through my purse and loaded more money on the card.
3) And then I could NOT get my Metrocard to read (I was swiping it too fast like I always do) and the train was coming and this lady behind me goes "Can I help you, Miss?" and got it on one try. We missed our train and so did everyone behind us. I felt so awful and then she goes "It's okay! It takes a while to get used to". I know she thought I'd lived here like seven days instead of seven months. I was just so upset. Frazzled and discouraged and also embarrassed. I know I'll never be a "New Yorker", but I sure wish I could fake it better 

[Sidenote: If you're new here. We live in New York City. We moved from the Mississippi suburbs for a temporary adventure of sorts. It's been a mostly glorious transition. One of the hardest adjustments was transit. It still is.]

The part I was dreading mostly was the waiting area. And it really wasn't bad last week. And then- shocker!- it wasn't bad this week either. I clearly underestimate my child (because I was sure he was going to be loud, and roar like the dinosaur he thinks he is, and generally terrorize everyone in the place). Oh, did I mention that you're supposed to be quiet in the waiting area? So not only is it really crowded with very little space to play, let alone move around it's also an environment where they don't like much noise. Because the dancers are separated by only a curtain and also the people working at desks are actually IN THE WAITING AREA. 

But, that's how things sometimes work here. You pay a big chunk of change for a partition between you and your kids' dance class. You pay a big chunk of change for a one bedroom apartment for four people. You pay a big chunk of change for a box of Oreos.

It evens out, though. There's lots of free stuff activities for kids and tons of great programming that's free (or nearly free) for adults and kids. And we get produce way cheaper (go figure). And honestly, it doesn't all come down to money and convenience. (Because, duh, if it did we'd live in Mississippi). 

Of course I realize could totally just take Graves some place else, but a) I'm still at the point where I'm way more comfortable being in the building with Annie and b) I don't take a stroller on the train, so I have Graves in the carrier and I don't really want to go too far without the stroller and there's not a park or anything close that I know of. 

I also realize I sound so silly that this causes me so much anxiety when ISIS and poverty and Ebola and systemic racism. 

But today is over and I'm proud of this family (mainly me and Graves, in this instance). I had two Cokes today, boxed Marconi for dinner and peanut butter and Nilla Wafers for lunch. (Some of that has to do with clearing out the cabinets before the trip home and some of that has to do with me being an emo eater). Graves fell asleep somehow without underwear after about four trips to the potty, one in which I heard his sister coaching him "If I were you, I'd just sit there real still for a minute and see if any poo poo comes out".

But we made it. And we're one step closer to being back in Mississippi for a few weeks and spending time with so many people we love. 

Also, I promise "Write True" isn't code for "bitch more", but I can't slap smileys on all of these, you know?

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