Author: Alison Cohen
For the latest on my Pad please visit bigalspad.com. Pretty cool, right?
Last weekend we had the pleasure of going to the Israel Day Parade. I love the parade. I marched in it with my elementary school starting in 4th grade. It was like the biggest deal. Each year after winter break, every single art class was devoted to working on our props. I remember one year, the school decided that everyone was going to wear white bottoms. My grandma went to the fabric store and hand-sewed a white skirt for me (that I totally never wore again), and I’m sure there were kids wearing pillow cases that year. The weeks leading up to “Parade Day” we’d have line-up rehearsals with assigned positions and strings to keep us all aligned. Supposedly our school won every year. I didn’t realize it was actually contest; maybe they just told us that to get us into the spirit? High school took the parade less seriously. It was still mandatory but not as hardcore. I marched a few years after high school and then retired to become a spectator.
This year was great. The weather was perfect and we even had good spots along the barricades. The kids did pretty well — we went down with friends and brought plenty of snacks. There were several floats that were throwing out necklaces and stress balls so that helped. As expected, though, an 11-month-old child doesn’t really care. She was pretty good for a while but then just wanted to crawl around. Fair. So I let her do it. I put her on the ground, on the sidewalk on 5th avenue right out of Central Park. I’m fully aware that dogs poop there but I’m sure she’s played in worse. Lisi fact: not only is she bald, but she’s also VERY petite. She can easily pass for a 6 month old. As she was playing in the dirt having the time of her life, some lady walked by, stared and gave a disapproving nod. Was she judging me? She totally was. Hey lady, why don’t you MIND YOUR BUSINESS?
But seriously, don’t judge my parenting. Same goes for the time(s):
You saw my kid peeing in one of those travel potties (or on a tree). Better than the alternative.
Judah was running around with no pants on. He has a narrow waist!
I was nursing my baby in public. Babies need to eat too.
My 2 year old was playing with an iPad on the train. It must have been a long day for both of us.
You heard that I let my 4 year old watch TV in the morning — y’know, so I can sleep an extra hour.
I brought each of my babies on the subway at 10 days old.
I told my daughter it’s ok to pee in the sprinkler.
My kids eat fries for dinner — on a GOOD night.
My kids pick their noses and I don’t stop them.
You saw me throwing my garbage into the wrong bin. What happened to just having a trash can? Why are there 5 different garbages but not one is labeled “dirty diapers”?
Oh, and hey, customer service rep, I heard you snickering last night when someone in the room passed gas. Did you judge me for that too? You’ve never done it? Exactly.
Am I airing too much dirty laundry? I probably am. We all have our things. Please don’t report me.
Now that winter is over can we talk about how rough it was? Sure, it’s totally worse in other parts of the world, but it was so cold it just hurt. And I told myself it was fine and that’s just a part of winter but winter is NOT supposed to hurt!
Lisi was born at the end of last June and while she is my happiest little bundle of joy (she’s actually the happiest baby I’ve ever met), she kind of messed up my summer last year. Before she was born I had to plan our days around places that had easily accessible restrooms. Anyone who’s known me for a while would know that I was always the kid that had to pee every 5 minutes. I would dread school trips that were longer than 30 minutes away. I’m that person who makes a jitney in Costa Rica pull over for a sec to pee behind a tree, or may or may not have fought the urge to use Annie’s travel potty, or may have once used a diaper in a fitting room at Joe Fresh. Or not. Whatever, it happens and we all do it. What was I talking about?
So I went from planning my day around bathrooms before Lisi was born to just getting around town with a newborn in the 90+ degree heat. I couldn’t take her to the pool, I didn’t want to wear her and it was hot! Like one of those heats where you’re (well, I’m) sweating from all sorts of places, like my ankles. I didn’t even know one could sweat from their ankles. Still not complaining. I don’t want to say that she ruined my summer but the fact that she was born in the summer held me back from doing lots of summer things. This year we don’t have that problem. And considering the crappy winter we just had I’m totally ready for it.
Memorial Day Weekend is the summer kickoff. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous weekend here in New York. Pause. Is it awkward that I’m talking about weather? Am I making small talk with myself? Verdict is: it’s totally fine. Unpause. Memorial Day usually means that it’s time for the sprinklers to go on but the City has a mind of its own. Apparently it has to be over 80 degrees for 3 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day for them to turn on the sprinklers, and since Memorial Day was only a couple of days ago, it would seem that we’d have to wait. But some sprinklers were on. I don’t get it, I just go with the flow (hehe, flow. sprinklers).
|That’s her “the sun is really bright face” or really just her camera face these days. Little did she know she was about to be whacked with a shovel.|
|Can we note that Padma Laksmi is over there with her daughter? Can we pretend that we’re friends and she planned to match with Craig and Judah? Ok.|
For the most part all of the playgrounds we frequent are “Judah friendly”, meaning I can usually let him run off and explore because most of the equipment is relatively safe. There’s padding everywhere, lots of fences and nothing too high. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities for him to hurt himself — like tripping on his shoelace or spinning til he’s too dizzy to walk straight — but those things are out of my control. While all these new parks are pretty awesome, I think they take away some of the adventure that I used to find in playgrounds growing up.
So if you’re ever looking for an old school playground, with slides that practically reach the sky, mile-high monkey bars and more splinter opportunities than I’ve seen in decades, I’ve found the park for you! Check out Diana Ross Playground. It’s part of Central Park on the corner of 81st and Central Park West.
|Bad angle but trust me, those monkey bars were high!|
|That slide isn’t just long, it’s fast too! And the drop at the bottom is about 2 feet!|
I found that this place was actually a pretty good test for Judah. He would start climbing, look up and down and then realize that it might not be the best idea. He stopped to think and showed some restraint. I think he learned a lot that day.