1 week in NYC. 3 and a half to go. We’re not anywhere close to the halfway mark yet, but in alot of ways, I feel like we’re over the proverbial hump. I would definitely say that it has taken me the full week to get adjusted, but I think we’re finally there. And though this is nothing compared to the adjusting we have to do when we get to Bogota, its reassuring for some reason.
I think I’ve figured out the whole grocery thing, although I can’t always find exactly what I need at our little local shops. But we can get by without a problem. And now that I know to take tote bags to carry home the breakables/smushables and have the rest delivered (for free!), it’s pretty easy. Thankfully, we don’t have to ride the subway on a daily basis, but we’ve done it enough that it wouldn’t freak me out to do it alone. And I can hike up 3 flights of subway stairs carrying an umbrella stroller balanced on my hip like you wouldn’t believe. It’s easier to carry the entire stroller with the kid in it than try to fold/unfold it every single time…If I lived in NYC, I’d be ripped! I’ve done some laundry, figured out a meal plan, and learned my way around our little neighborhood. My world feels like it has a little order to it again.
And now, after a week, the boys know the drill. They know they can’t get out of their strollers. They know what happens when we go to “school” in the afternoons, and they don’t complain about having to nap there. They know they can pick 1 toy and 1 snack any time we’re having to leave the apartment for awhile. They know which bed is theirs, where to find their stuff, and how to open the fridge and get their sippy cups. They also know what the “choo choo trains” sound like and when to run to the window to spot them. They are starting to feel like our little apartment is “normal,” and they don’t seem shocked anymore when I accidentally slip up and say we’re going “home” and we end up back here. The first couple of times, I think they literally thought we were going home. But I try not to use that word to describe the apartment anymore, just to keep things straight.
I’ve decided that this is the best age to bring kids to NYC for a month…at least for us. This city has everything a two-year-old boy could want: taxis, trains, planes, helicopters, buses, parks, construction workers, people walking dogs, loud noises, flashing lights, Elmo in Times Square. If they were older, the “newness” of all of this would have worn off by now. But as a two-year-old, every single taxi coming down the street or subway passing by is something worth celebrating. And in the midst of all of the craziness I have ushered into their little worlds lately, I am happy to celebrate any little thing they think is worth celebrating.
I have certainly learned that two-year-olds are flexible. The last 6 months have been brutal on our routine and ability to have a “normal” life. I can’t imagine trying to explain all of this traveling and upheaval to an older child. What do you say? But for a two-year-old, home is wherever mama and daddy are. We are the consistency they need, and as long as we tote them along with us wherever we go and give them the snuggles, smiles, and love they’re used to, they’re okay. They can handle it.
Sometimes I think they can handle it better than I can. They don’t know a thing about this big crazy city, but as long as they can pop their little heads around the side of their stroller and see that I’m the one driving it, they don’t seem to care. They just sit back and enjoy the exciting ride. I wish I could trust God the way my two-year-olds trust me. I could learn alot from my two-year-olds this month, and I’m going to start with celebrating the little things in NYC. So if you see me cheering for a taxi or flipping out over a construction worker jack-hammering a sidewalk, just know that this is me trying to see the world from a two-year-old’s perspective. (: