Twins Not Any Easier in Brooklyn

But life is. Somewhat.

So far we love Brooklyn; we love our home, the greenery, uncrowded streets, food, views, parks, and the much calmer, more laid back vibe of almost everyone and everything; except me.

With the move on July 3rd, we basically “threw” our stuff in our new place and drove out to Long Island for the 4th holiday. Back to Brooklyn on Sunday for a 90 plus degree week alone with the kids and NO school or camp, as Mark headed to Cannes for the week (when will they send him to Nebraska?)  Next, we were all driving up to Lake George to drop Luca at sleep away camp and then, another weekend out East sandwiched between our drive back to Lake George for pick up. You get the picture . .

Labor Day weekend, when things were supposed to settle down, I got the casual “reminder” email that Seedlings, our new Brooklyn Heights preschool, starts on September 17th!  WHAT! ‘When did you tell me this the first time? I NEVER agreed to this?’ Don’t kids in Texas go back in July?

Three more weeks with two active toddlers and no plan during the hottest NY summer of record. And, when I needed them the most, The Children’s Museum of Brooklyn and Staten Island closed from September 3rd to September 14th for the annual cleaning. Does it really take two weeks to clean a museum? I knew I couldn’t manage them both, alone, at the Coney Island Aquarium, fearing I could find one trying to swim in the new Ocean Wonder shark tanks.

Does anyone really know what its like to raise twins without “help”?  I don’t think there are many east of the Mississippi doing it without a nanny.  Or, at least with family helping on a weekly basis.  I thought I was out of the woods but now, at three and a half, they are wiser and skilled at ganging up and manipulating me.  And demanding! “I want pancakes and I want to put my own butter on them with the purple knife and I want them in a plastic bag, not a plate, and I want to wear my purple princess underwear and I want to go the yoga room after school and I want to eat pasta for dinner and I don’t want that kind of pasta and I want candy and I don’t want to wear those pajamas and I want to color now and I have to go pee and I need you to turn on the light and I want to have my other book in bed and I need you to find my other book, the one with the words, and its NOT that one its the other one with the ripped sticker on it .  .  .” And, that’s just Maxine.

Today, at least I can say all three are in school for some portion of the day.

On that note, one amazing feature of our our new home – a crucial selling point – is a footbridge that connects our building directly to Brooklyn Heights which, as implied, sits  high up on bedrock overlooking Manhattan.  The Squib Park Footbridge, was going to make my walk to Luca’s bus stop and the girls’ new Brooklyn Heights preschool, stress free and downright pleasant.  It was all part of a wonderful dream.

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Then, JUST LIKE THAT, for seemingly no reason the bridge CLOSED.  And my daily routine is nightmarish.  Sorry for the inconvenience?  It’s way more than that. And temporary? The most recent update referred to a multi-month closure. The sign should  read “Attention, Mom of Twins, this bridge will not reopen until the day your kids are old enough to drive themselves to school.”

We were supposed to be like the happy people  you see walking across an already built bridge. Now we have to cross a busy street, with no crosswalk, to walk up a very very long and steep hill. No scooting happily over the bridge, avoiding traffic and enjoying the Manhattan skyline.  Instead I trek carrying my bag, two backpacks, two scooters, and a potty while dragging both unwilling girls up that brutally long hill. Midway, a water bottle usually drops from their backpacks, swinging on my sore arms, rolling downhill faster than I can grab it. Upon arrival, as everyone else is happily dropping off their one child at school and chatting it up, I usually show up like I worked the overnight in the ER.  I cant’ imagine what winter will be like.

At least at the very moment I gently push them into the doorway of their class, I can enjoy a beautiful walk back to my new home, knowing I have a couple of hours to catch up. That’s assuming I don’t go flying down the hill and wind up (back) in the ER.

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It’s Not Me; It’s You

brooklyn-bridge-painting-vojirWell Manhattan, I am finally doing it. I’ve finally worked up the nerve and guts to say it out loud. You and me are OVER. DONE. Yes, you heard me correctly. No more threats and ultimatums; the gig is up.

Come on! Don’t look so surprised. This is hardly the first girl you’ve sent packing. I should have known all those years of moving around from block to block, less than a mile from each, I was just buying time. You can’t really look me in the eye and say that things have been the same between us lately.

Perhaps your busloads of tourists and clogged streets drove me to the edge, or that lately Luca can’t walk anywhere on your streets without stepping in dog poop. Since when did everyone in the city get a dog? And, no matter how overpriced and overhyped it may be, you still want me to call 6 weeks in advance to get a dinner reservation? Ok, I know I’m sounding bitter; I guess I just never expected it to end this way. We had such a good run for so long. It used to be so easy.

And, just this year we had that long and brutal winter. How about that day in March! Desperate to avoid the frigid temperatures, with an hour to kill before I could take the girls to Kidville, I dragged all three (Luca home for a 3rd snow day), underground from the Fulton Street Transit Center to your new (I’ll admit, stunning) Oculus, heading for Joe & The Juice. Figuring, it would be empty (who the hell wants a $10 smoothie when its ten degrees outside), at least we could sit somewhere warm and have a nice healthy, albeit freezing, snack before heading over to Kidville.

But no. Backing my double wide umbrella stroller through the ridiculously crowded venue, holding three winter coats and music blaring, I was desperate to find a table. Before I knew it, Laurel had already hopped out, wanting to touch all the lit candles on each table while Maxine made her way around the counter where the teenage employees, using machetes, chop large pineapples and exotic fruit. After stalking a tourist couple who looked like they should have been done (you taught me so well Big Apple), I finally shoved all three in a tiny corner table, put Luca in charge of an iPad and set out to wait on a line for 20 minutes, glancing over every second hoping they didn’t get kidnapped. Thirty dollars later, just as I arrived back at the table with 3 smoothies in tow, Laurel said she had to go pee. . .

Now don’t get so sentimental on me. I know we had a good run. There were some very special times. That day I arrived at my new rental apartment on Houston and Mulberry with all those roommates. When I was able to own my first apartment.  Meeting Mark for drinks that first time. God, I will never forget our glorious wedding day at the Kitano Hotel! Or, Mark and I racing in a cab, me screaming with contractions, to NYU Hospital for Luca’s birth. And what about the twins coming in the middle of the night in January, five weeks early! So many memories; plenty blurred from back in the day. How can I possibly begin to sum up our 21 years together?

We’ve had more than a good thing. It was L. O. V.  E. And, while I am not one to kiss and tell – you’ll find out soon enough. I’m just ready for something more wholesome, less gritty, maybe a little less raw. I know. I was the one laughing all those years ago when the hipsters started moving out en mass to make their artisanal cheeses, beer and whisky. Turns out I actually like all those things. So here we are too. Headed for the County of Kings where at least I can still keep a very close eye on you.

Do you think we can still be friends?