Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Walk With Luke or Why I Need a Drink Tonight

One of the things you learn early on with children, especially those under three years of age, is that a walk, despite whatever purpose you might think it has, is a purpose unto itself. Unfortunately for the kids I work with I've been a New York walker long before I was an actual New Yorker. I walk fast. I walk fast to work. I walk fast on pleasant Sunday afternoon strolls. It's not uncommon for my friends to physically restrain me in an effort to get me to walk at a normal pace.

When I walk with Luke I know that if I let him out of the stroller to walk along beside me it's quite possible that a 5 minute trip will turn into 55 minutes as he examines every cigarette butt and fire hydrant intensely. These are the times when I call him puppy (and no, his mother doesn't know about that nickname). So, when we left the house to go and pick up Sam & Jill from school today, even though I can push the stroller there in 22 minutes door-to-door, I left an hour and a half early.

It's a very good thing I did.

At the corner of Spring and Greenwich, beside the bar that's beside the The Ear Inn (I can't remember it's name) there was an old foosball table. This thing had seen better days, but I thought Luke might enjoy the little men spinning around on their posts, so I held him up to see. I spun one of the bars to make them spin. I pushed the handles back and forth to show him how each row could move. Then I put him down and thought we'd continue on our merry way, and perhaps we'd have a chance to stop for a little snack at the Chocolate Shop. Luke, however, had other plans.

THIRTY-TWO MINUTES is exactly how long it took me to decide that violence was the only way this situation was going to resolve itself. I pleaded, I cajoled, I pointed out, now that I wasn't holding him up, he couldn't see the little men. None of it mattered. That table had poles that could me moved in and out, they could be twisted, the could be pulled quickly toward one's head (conveniently at the same level as the poles) so that it bashed against one's skull and needed kissing.

Luke had never known greater fun than this old, dirty foosball table and I was the mean ogre who wanted to take him away from it simply because the waiters inside the bar were starting to look at me standing there talking to what they could only assume was myself because Luke, the foosball fanatic, wasn't visible from the other side of the table.

So finally, I grabbed him. He screamed and kicked and generally acted as if I was the scary-abductor person with candy they warn you about in 3rd Grade assemblies. I've gotten pretty good at holding him down in the stroller with one hand while I buckle the straps with the other, so in a few minutes we were finally back on our way, headed towards school. Luke screamed the entire way and I only got him to stop by getting him a lollipop.

I comfort myself by remembering that feeling one is a complete and total failure at one's job is a sign of sanity.

Technorati Tags: , , Temper Tantrums Downtown New York


Blogger Alice said...

"Luke screamed the entire way and I only got him to stop by getting him a lollipop."

Ah, bribery. The Plan B of necessity in parenting.

Poor you. You did great. You did the right thing. You are NOT a failure. All kids (apparently) sometimes do this. Now go have a G&T, and if anyone calls you up on it (I'm guessing its, what, 8:30am over there?), direct 'em over to ME.

*hugs* xxx

8:35 AM  

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