Do you think it's presumptuous of me to give out my own Blog Awards? Don't care, it's got to be done. My blog received an award, but only because I stole it from my husband who writes a top-secret blog(don't ask, I won't tell)...and when one of his female fan club bestowed him with the brilliant blog award, I got it by default.
Now, I am inspired on a daily basis by many blogs that I would like to recognize for one reason or another. I will be doing this on a regular basis, because I LOVE giving little gifts, especially to special people. And now that I've realized my blog won't be winning any awards, and I'm sick of waiting, I will CREATE MY OWN awards (borrowed from Google).
*Drum roll please*
Introducing AMAZING AMELIA...and her AMAZING MOM DEBBIE! (Note: the award is yours-copy and paste it, girlfriend! You may choose between the two! And thank you to you and Amelia for teaching me and inspiring me with every post you write...)
I hate the playground
For two years I have been taking Amelia to Bleeker Park, on the corner of Hudson and Bleeker Streets. Two years. And I still only know less than a handful of people. I know Francis and Frank because he is one of Nestor's old buds from his East Village days. I know Tracy and Paul because they used to live downstairs in our building. I know Leona and Max because Nestor and Max are actors. But there are only a couple other Moms I've met in two years. TWO YEARS.
I make a point of taking Amelia there almost everyday -- weather and therapy permitting -- because I know she loves watching all the kids play. If it isn't too crowded I'll get her on a swing or the slide. I'll let her sit or stand on the edge of the sandbox (no hands in the sand because she is still sticking them in her mouth too much for my comfort) and play with the sand in her toes. Recently I've taken up walking her around the playground and jungle gym -- up and down wooden steps and bridges. But so much of the time there's lots of wild kids running around (it is a playground after all) or, believe it or not, clueless Moms on their cellphones barely noticing where they or their toddlers are going. The few times a child has stopped to acknowledge Amelia, it's usually to play with the toys on her stroller or to stare curiously at the little girl leaning forward in her stroller with her head tilted to the side. And moms will acknowledge Amelia and I with that small, polite smile which I have come to loathe.
So many times Amelia and I just park our stroller and sit on a bench and watch the other kids running around. I'll put her on my lap or stand her so she can lean over my legs but mostly, she just watches the others doing what, I'm sure, she wishes she could be doing. It doesn't always get to me, but today it did.
Another Amelia, who we met in the playground awhile ago, turned 2 today. She also has big brown eyes and curly brown hair. Ironically, the first time I spotted her toddling around I thought to myself that this little girl looked like she could be Amelia's sister. When I heard her father call her Amelia, I couldn't believe it! So today was her birthday and as Amelia and I strolled up to the sandbox this evening, they were having her party there. The birthday girl looked adorable in a little pale pink cotton dress. She said hello to my Amelia and then the party left.
What struck me was, all these Moms. They all know each other. I see them everyday striking up easy conversations about eating habits, potty training, how many words their child has, how they run around too much and are always falling down, or climbing up onto everything, can we get together for a playdate? I can't relate! I don't know any of these things.
Ask me how to vent a baby, cauterize a g-tube site, change a g-tube or hook up a g-tube feeding and I'm your gal. How to suction a baby's nose and mouth out so they don't choke on their own saliva. Ask me to show you how to soak all your tubings, syringes and attachments in vinegar and water so you don't have to throw them out after each use. Talk to me about all the specialists your child needs to see because maybe I know an opthamologist, neurologist, ENT, pulminologist, GI, surgeon and of course the pediatrician that you could use. Not to mention a nursing agency, medical supply company and two pharmacies on speed dial because I call them that often. I can show you how to put on AFO's (leg braces), strap a child into a stander, positioning chair or walker. My back is broken from carrying around my 25lb. child and from bending over to support her while trying to let her feel the accomplishments of taking her own steps. When my 2 1/2 yr. old child cries -- I don't even know half of the time if it's a serious internal problem or if I just put the wrong cartoon on because at 2 1/2 -- she still can't tell me!!!! She can't say "Mommy".
So when I see other Moms on the playground, I don't strike up whimsical conversations because there is nothing whimsical about my life right now. And that is why, after two years, I still don't know more than a handful of people at Bleeker Park.