DYNAMIC DUO / by Micaela

So now that it's pretty much me and the wee man all day every day I have had to get creative with occupying our time. Being with a toddler all day is deceptively tricky because, while they don't require a lot of work really- they can feed themselves and pretty much entertain themselves with a cardboard box if left to their own devices- they have a way of hijacking your attention back from any task just long enough to ensure that you never accomplish anything. Today, for example, I didn't leave the house until 4:30, and before that only managed to clean the house (repeatedly, since cleaning after Roan is a bit like putting sand back in the ocean) do some laundry, and use my handy new mandolin to slice 5 potatoes into paper thin discs, but didn't even have the time to finish the gratin dish they were meant to become before I ran out of time. Martha Stewart would be horrified.

Yesterday was more of a success, mainly because we left the house. In preparation for Burns Night I had to get 2 dozen small soup bowls so we took the subway to Chinatown. Let me say that every time I go anywhere by subway with a stroller I am horrified that we do not have a fully wheelchair accessible public transportation system. How the hell can his be? What, exactly, was this whole "Americans with Disabilities Act" business all about then? There are a few stops with elevators but, as we discovered at Canal Street, they are often broken and/or don't actually go to all of the train lines. I wound up thumping Roan up 5 flights of stairs with the help of a couple of sympathetic strangers but anyone in a wheelchair would have been screwed.

On to the restaurant supply stores on the Bowery. I had to navigate the stroller through perilously narrow aisles stacked to the fluorescent strip lights with towers of ceramic plates and bowls of every imaginable shape and diameter. There was no way I was going to let my little whirling dervish out of containment so I quickly found my little bowls (perfect! And only about a buck apiece so I bought myself a mandolin- the slicer not the instrument- thus the aforementioned gratin) and booked it for the Village.

Next stop was Myers of Keswick which stocks all manner of both the bizarre and the disgusting in British foodstuffs. It was unseasonably warm so we walked, or rather I walked and Roan napped. I found myself among many a browsing mom in SOHO ogling obscene handbags at Chanel and the like. We even had a celebrity mother and child encounter at Bleecker Playground (which, by the way, has a great special needs swing).

Mainly, I just walked and looked and kept to my own thoughts.

Myers of Keswick was mostly a success. We got Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Readybrek, a scotch egg for Sam, and several bottles of Irn Bru which Sam adores (it tastes like carbonated cough syrup). Roan impressed the hell out of a lady who was holding a jar of Marmite when he said, well, "Marmite".

I was too tired to take the subway home again, and too laden with merchandise, so I hailed a cab. New York has a bizarre exception to car seat laws which allows you to take a cab with any child sans safety seat. Again- can someone please tell me why no one has designed built in, fold down car seats for all cabs? The last time I tried to take a cab with Roan he lept around like a lemur and refused to wear a seatbelt but this time he was so good. I sat him down and put his seatbelt on and he sat there like such a big boy. He looked out the window and watched the trucks and the buildings pass. He just looked and kept to his own thoughts.