Sunday, October 11, 2009

Impersonating a Yuppie

The pleasures of a two-year-old are simple, and simply attained. This morning, after a brief stop at the Independence Park farmer's market, I took The Tot on the train. We had no destination; merely got on the train and off the train at various stations (Harlem, Logan Square, Division) until we got tired of riding the train.

At Logan Square, I took him out of the station and up to the Gap Outlet, where he crawled under the racks and shrieked through the dressing room to hear the echo while I tried on clothes. We got a piecemeal lunch of cheese, bread, an apple, and lemonade at a bodega on Milwaukee, then got back on the train. Unfortunately, we got on the southbound train at that point, so we rode the crowded train down to Division before switching trains. At every station, The Tot waved good-bye to the departing train; most people were fairly amused by this and waved back to The Tot. Although the CTA bans eating on the train, we ate our lunch on the train, taking bites out of our hunk of cheese and apple. There was lots of cuddling and basic conversation. These moments are what I miss in returning to work.

When we returned home, we got in the car, picked up The Dad, and ran errands. The Boy had gone off this morning to Legoland with Allison, and with The Girl in Naperville, it was like we were a little family of 3 for today. So we did things that are easy enough with one child, like going to the AT&T store to pick out iPhones. Afterwards, we went to Whole Foods for free-range meats and organic milk. And finally, we cruised through Target for diapers and the obligatory Thomas-branded train (The Dad is such a sucker).

Mama-Boy Playdate

Yesterday, I enjoyed a rare treat: an afternoon out, one-on-one, with The Boy. We drove The Girl out to Oakbrook to meet Grandma-and-Grandpa Naperville for the weekend. And then spent a couple of hours bumming around together.

The Boy is just learning how to read and having some trouble with it. I love to read, and I really want The Boy to discover this joy as well. So I took him to Borders in Oakbrook. We started with a snack (cherry Italian soda and a marshmallow square for The Boy, hot tea and a snickerdoodle for me) and talked about school, Bakugan characters, and how he missed The Girl already.

Then we headed to the children's section, where we looked at picture books and easy readers. The Boy got a Henry and Mudge book as well as a more mature (but more appealing to my sensibilities) chapter book called The Magician's Boy, and a Star Wars Clone Wars comic book. It's funny, but having a challenged reader has changed my perspective on comic books completely. I refused to buy them when The Boy was younger, but I now think that anything that gets him to read is a good thing, even if the lead is "General Grievous," followed by lots of gobbledy-gook, complicated names.

I picked out a Little Golden Book for The Girl in the vintage style of which are both somewhat fond (Little Mommy), and another Max and Ruby book (Bunny Mail) for The Tot. Then we headed over to the literature section for about 5 minutes so that I could pick out books - the new Audrey Niffenegger and two novels by Alice Siddon and Ann Patchett.

The Boy declared that he was hungry and asked if we could go to McDonald's. Where better to go the golden arches than in their hometown? So we went to McDonald's flagship, where we both had chicken McNuggets and largely ignored each other while watching McDonald's TV on large flat screens mounted to the wall. We listened to music and talked a bit on the drive home.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

CPS applications are up. Click here to download "the book," GEAP forms, and the standard application. Applications are due December 18, 2009.