Monday, August 21, 2006

"Nakish" at the Strand

My venture into the city was nice, but it wasn't quite carefree. It had been a long time since I had been underground in the NYC subway in the dead of summer...and I can't say I'm sorry. It was stifling. I don't know if it was hotter than Hell, but it was certainly more humid.

Baby AM is less intense than Miss M, which was relaxing, although he is not as good a conversationalist! And then there are the poops. By four months old, Miss M was pretty much a once-a-week pooper. Not so much with him. So by the time I had reached Grand Central (25 minutes), I had already had to change him once. On a moving train. (I knew there would be more; I just hoped it would wait until we were safely home.)

I went to the Strand. Stupidly, I did not have a list of books I wanted. It's a difficult place to browse, because it is completely overwhelming. Books to the ceiling, crammed in every nook and cranny, and not quite logically organized. But AM was happily sleeping, so I began to wander. I had half-filled a basket with books for Miss M (James and the Giant Peach for $2.95! A beautiful picture book by Faith Ringgold for 66% off!) and thrown in a new Moosewood cookbook for myself (less than half the list price!) when he awoke, screaming. Oh, dear.

I unlaced the mei tai he was in and tried to comfort him. And then he had the loudest and smelliest poop I've experienced in many weeks. In the middle of the Classics. My backpack/diaper bag was at the front of the store with the security guard. The bathrooms were upstairs, and, of course, had no baby changing tables. The elevator was the slowest in Manhattan. A small orangey-brown stain appeared on the back of AM's outfit while I was trying to get us to a slightly less populated area.

I commandeered the unisex handicapped restroom, laid my carrier (I had a second one, naturally) on the floor, and stripped him. Yes, my son, n@ked at a New York landmark.

His mood improved immediately, which was good because it took me a while to extract us, both from the potty and from the store. We then walked quite a bit, got an ice cream (me, not him), and bought gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the Tompkins Square farmers' market.

As I was hustling through Grand Central to make the 3:20 train home, hauling $60 worth of books, $14 worth of tomatoes and organic greens, and 15+ pounds of baby AM, part of me thought I should have gotten my act together to pump a few bottles so I could have been truly alone. But when would I have had the time to do that?!?

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