I was taking the kids to a birthday party in Chelsea. Our train had all kinds of weird weekend advisory switches and my mom was so sick. She insisted on helping us get to Chelsea from Brooklyn, and then finally listened when I said go home.
The party was a theater party. All the children were invited to go on stage and try on costumes, play theater games, and in the end, rehearse and put on a show. My kids hated this. First Son is pretty shy, the Wonder Twins were young. Boy Wonder Twin insisted on being carried everywhere that day. I think the kids were age 5 and 3 at the time.
When it was finally time to go home, I had Wonder Twin clinging even more insistently (turned out he had an ear infection). I got us to the nearest F station where I finally understood there were no downtown trains, so we walked up to Penn Station, walked up an down stairs, ramps, til we found the right escalator going down to our platform. First Son went, followed by Girl Wonder Twin, with me and Boy Wonder Twin in a stroller. As I watched Wonder Twin Girl’s legs begin to splay, I yelped at First Son for help. He dutifully climbed back up and took her hand. Phew. We get down there. Girl Wonder Twin says she has to go to the bathroom. I offer to her hold her over the trash can, the way I heard that peasant children go in China. She says no, so we schlep up back to the hot day and search for a bathroom. Nothing in the mall, but we hit jackpot at the Gap in that area. After we all empty our bladders, I tell the kids we deserve a goddamn treat and by $6 gelatos for each of us (tourist prices). We head back to the subway. Girl Wonder Twin’s balloon hits the woman in front of us. She is so nice, she helps her cross the street. We head back to the subway. First Son helps Girl Wonder Twin. New emergency: the heat of the day is so intense that our gelato turns instantly into liquid. One of the twins spills it all over the waiting bench and his/her pants, but finally, finally, finally, we catch a subway home.
I’m tired just thinking about that day.