I could tell you all the bad parts of our Mother's Day weekend.
Saturday was nuts, I guess. Lilly and I had a jam-packed day, which meant, not even time for a shower for me in the morning; I thought maybe I'd catch up later in the day. Lilly swimming instructor was sick so she didn't want to get in the pool with the substitute.
We didn't have time to come back between swimming and our afternoon plans, so I never did sneak in that shower. We saw Mary Poppins on Broadway (for the second time this year) and Lilly thought the part with Mr Banks at work was boring and shouted down to the stage: "I don't want Mary Poppins." We came home exhausted, and I was able to take a bath with Lilly to finally get clean. Jon was exhausted from working all day, and we both did not communicate very well, and had a little fight. Lilly went to sleep and woke up a half hour later having a croupy cough which lasted a while and she even threw up a little, and we had to sick her head in the freezer for a couple minutes to resolve it (we've found that super cold air reduces the swollenness of her throat when she has a coughing spell - later, we kept the air really cold in her room all night). Since she was so sick, we canceled our plans to go out to my sister's on Mother's day for brunch.
Sunday morning, Lilly greeted me on Mother's Day at 6 am (an hour earlier than normal). I immediately had a migraine, which is still there somewhat now. She was full of energy, and yet sick, if that makes sense (I'm sure it will to most parents). Jon made me coffee before he went to work at 7, and as I took my first sip I noticed some linty looking hairs in it - yuck. I put it down.
By 8, Lilly and I were making progress on our day, bringing the first load (of 4) of laundry that we were doing this morning. We have laundry on our floor (although it's $5 a load!), and when we came back 45 minutes later to put the laundry in the dryer, the laundry smelled horrible, and the machine was still half full of stinky water. Apparently, it broke halfway through. So Lilly and I had to gather the soaking wet dirty laundry and bring it up to the 19th floor to start the load - again- there. Then we managed to do all the other loads on the other floor. Meanwhile, halfway through one of the loads, Lilly put the laundry money card down and we couldn't find it again - right after I put $50 on it. Ugh.
Then, Lilly was playing with Curious George, and decided he needed to go to bed. But first, she needed to teach him how to go to the bathroom. Whatever occured in that bathroom after she shut the door is a mystery to me, but 5 minutes later I opened the door and the entire floor was covered in more peepee than Lilly and the monkey could produce, combined. Seriously?
So then I had to clean up all the urine off all the surfaces of the bathroom, while keeping Lilly from walking with her peepee body all of the apartment. So I put her in the tub to clean her off, and realized that when I cleaned the shower last night with a new cleaner, it hadn't totally washed off the floor, so if I turned the drain on in the bath Lilly would essentially be sitting in bleach. So, I'm simultaneously trying to clean the cleaner off the floor of the tub, while cleaning the pee off of Lilly, while trying not to step in too much pee on the floor of the bathroom... Seriously?
I managed to get both Lilly and the bathroom cleaned up, and got her dressed, before we had to walk up to the 19th floor for the gazillionth time to put laundry in the washer and dryer; having to put money on a new card on the way since we lost the one I had just put $50 on. Meanwhile, Lilly kept getting confused on the 19th floor since she lives on he 18th floor and they look identical and she kept not understanding why we were taking so many stairs...
Mother's Day was turning out to be a disaster. Between Lilly being sick, my migraine, our catastrophies, and a daddy MIA (ok, he's at work saving lives, but still..) it was a little nutty. I ended up having to cancel our afternoon plans with good friends of ours, which I had really looked forward to. :(
But, there's another perspective to this Mother's Day weekend. And, it's the one I'd like to take with me...
I knew in advance that with Jon being on call this weekend, things would be a little nuts. So, I decided to take advantage of the Lilly/mommy time and scheduled a special day for the two of us on Saturday.
We woke up Saturday morning and Lilly immediately asked if we could go get a bagel. I said "yes" even though we had some in the apartment, because it's such a treat to go out with her in the morning like this. We put on our matching blue dresses with matching black leggings and walked downstairs. Lilly had her pink purse on her arm. We went to Daisy's, the cute cafe down the block from us, and Lilly ordered a bagel with cream cheese (no suprise there) while I got a refreshing cappuccino. It was heaven sitting there with my girl at 8 am on a weekend morning, eating and drinking coffee and sharing small talk. Lilly charmed a family sitting next to us (of course), and she and I talked about our day, and our future plans.
When we were finished, we came back upstairs, and got ready for swim class. At 9:30 we left the apartment for a 2 mile walk down to the Millenium Hotel for Lilly's swimming lesson. It turned out to be a beautiful morning - cold enough for a little jacket but sunny and pretty. Lilly sat in the stroller listening to her Ipod while I got in a good walk.
Lilly was excited about her swimming class, although a little nervous since her normal teacher wasn't there. After a little while, she jumped in and showed off her swimming skills. Her confidence and enthusiasm enhances her swimming efforts; she wants to be a good swimmer and so she is. She eagerly swam from one side of the pool to the other to get a little duck. Motivation.
Towards the end of the lesson, Lilly's daddy showed up which made her so happy. He then suggested that we walk over to Times Square early and get some lunch. Instead of the shower and that I had been hoping for after swimming, I traded it in for some unexpected family time - even better.
We walked over to Times Square and picked up our Mary Poppins tickets for the 2 pm show. Lilly was so excited when we got near the theater; and she posed for pictures outside with me. We still had a couple hours before the show started, so we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. The guacamole was amazing - made at the table in front of us - and it was a relaxing meal, although Jon was answering pages most of the time.
Next, we walked over to the Disney store, where we checked out princess dresses (didn't buy any) and watched a big screen with videos of Lilly's favorite movie clips - Tangled, Princess and the Frog, etc. Jon had to go back to work, and it was almost time for our mommy/daughter afternoon to continue at Mary Poppins!
We arrived at 1:15 for the 2pm show. They let us in the theater, but we weren't able to go to our seats until 1:30. It was nice arriving early though; we had to access our seats through the balcony, so it wasn't crowded yet to go in the elevator to the top floor. Lilly went to the bathroom all by herself (like, in the stall, lock the door and keep mommy out by-herself) but it was fine with me since it was relatively empty (and I made sure before she went in that I could probably crawl under in an emergency). She was proud of herself, as she loves being independent.
We killed the next 10 minutes looking at the merchandise area - they had a Mary Poppins Barbie doll that was so adorable and Lilly loved - especially her purse. And there was also a Mary Poppins kid-sized that Lilly loved as well, and the lady behind the counter was amused by Lilly's fascination with purses. Lilly and I were still wearing our matching blue dresses and got lots of attention.
Finally, the theater doors opened up, and Lilly and I made our way down to our seats. We had, in my opinion, the best seats in the house. We were in a "box" just the two of us. The disclaimer is that there are probably seats that have better views, generally - especially on the orchestra level. And Lilly had to sit on a booster to see, especially with a bar in front of her eye level (because we were high up). But once the show started, we could see perfectly, and it was so amazing to have just the two of us in our own "box" with so much room. No one in front or behind us to worry about the view; no one near us distracting us by getting up or coming in late. No one to worry about if Lilly had to whisper something to me in the middle of the show. And the space itself was amazing (which to a New Yorker - which I now quasi consider myself - having space is priceless) - being able to keep our backpack and stroller in the box with us, having room for Lilly to walk around at intermission, and having our own private staircase to leave at the end so we weren't exiting with the masses - was so nice. Plus, I got the seats on sale for $50/each, which is a great deal.
The show itself was great, just like last time. Lilly was so excited when it started. She loved each song, and was in love with Mary Poppins. She clapped enthusiastically, and just had such an appreciation for the experience. My favorite part was realizing that, sometimes when Lilly was clapping, it wasn't just that she loved it - but you could see in her expression that she was proud of the actors - if that makes sense. Like she didn't just like the song and dancing, but that she was so happy they did a great job singing and dancing. Does that make sense?
Afterwards, Lilly gave me a few huge hugs and kisses and "I love you"s and it was so worth it to plan this special event with my girl. The two elderly ladies in the box above us chatted with Lilly about her favorite part. Lilly said it was when Mary Poppins flew by us at the end.
We left the theater and made our way back uptown in a taxi. When we got inside, we immediately went to the bath. I still hadn't had a shower, so I put on my swim suit and hopped in the bath with Lilly. My girl even washed my hair, which was kind of relaxing - I don't think someone's washed my hair in a bath since I was Lilly's age! All in all, I had a great afternoon with my girl.
The next morning, as stated above, was a little nuts. But the positives: Lilly was in a great mood, even for being sick and being forced to do so much laundry with me. (It's hard in an apartment to do laundry because we have to keep leaving, so each time I have to bring Lilly with me outside our apartment down the hall or up to another floor - it's not like in a house where I can just run upstairs and put in the load.) But she was a trooper and was very helpful.
Jon came home finally and took Lilly to the park so that I could focus on getting the rest of the laundry done and cleaning the house. At 2:30, I met up with them at Central Park and we went in a horse and carriage ride - just like in the movies. Lilly felt so special, she was so excited to do something like this that she'd seen so many times when we walk through the park. Plus, there's a princess factor to the experience. For a few minutes, she waved to everyone we passed by (as princesses do in parades, of course) and then she got her camera out and took pictures the rest of the way.
Afterwards, we walked to the zoo and since we have an annual pass, went in and walked around for a few minutes. We went to the petting zoo as well and Lilly tried feeding the sheep, although she was nervous - so mostly Jon and I fed the sheep.
Afterwards it was time for an early dinner. I was still sad that we had to cancel our earlier plans with friends because Jon's pager was going off nonstop and Lilly being sick and the pure chaos of our day; but we decided to make the most of it and went to our favorite local Italian restaurant, a couple blocks from the house.
The food was great, and Lilly was exhausted which meant she was laid back during dinner. We beat the rush (at 4:45, dinner is not that busy yet!) so the restaurant was half-full. Lilly loved her pasta and I loved my fettuccini alfredo and Jon loved his chicken marsala.
When Lilly was finished eating, she started looking around to see whether she wanted to be mischievous or not. She started to get up, and the chef came over. Then he said: "Do you want to make a pizza?" Are you kidding me, we were thinking, of course she wants to help make a pizza. The chef took Lilly's hand, and brought her into the kitchen. The owner came over and told us we could go take pictures. We went back to the kitchen as Lilly is standing on a chair, being taught how to toss pizza dough. Holy moly, what an experience. Then she put on the sauce, cheese, etc. He showed her how to put it in the oven, and then the owner said to us: "It'll be ready in 5 minutes, and she can take it home."
What a super cool experience for Lilly! She was so happy, and we were thrilled to watch. The owners were so cool for letting Lilly do this, and it was something we'll always remember. It's hard to put words on the experience - maybe magical would be a good one though. It's like they knew Lilly would love it as much as they would love showing her, if that makes sense.
It was just the perfect end to a perfect day and a perfect weekend.
It's funny how perspective can be. This weekend was half crazy chaotic and half wonderful amazingness. I guess that's how life is. Half empty, or half full. With Lilly, we always seem to notice the great more than anything else.
As Jon and I were walking home from dinner last night, still on a "high" from watching Lilly's cool pizza making experience, I said to him, it's like when Lilly was born, we were handed "rose colored glasses." Seeing things through her eyes, seeing all she appreciates and experiences, we don't notice anything else. Jon, of course, added his two cents: "It's like beer goggles?"
Either way, when we get to do fun things like catch a Broadway show or have an unexpected personal pizza making experience for Lilly, it's like the magic in Lilly merges with the magic of the experience and creates a feeling of pure joy for Jon and I to witness. It almost makes us forget that Lilly's favorite monkey was peed on and that I had a migraine and that our plans were canceled and changed.
It is so worth it to just be in the moment with our girl. She makes me so proud to be her mommy. Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all the moms out there. And to the little girl who made me a mom - I love you, Lilly.