Manchild, as we are taking the train to the Natural History Museum last Saturday: “Why is Utah such a silly place?”

Micah: “Why do you think Utah is silly?”

Manchild: “Well, everyone drives cars everywhere.”

I pursued the conversation a little later: “So, why is Utah silly again?”

Manchild: “Well, everyone drives cars and they don’t have trains.”

Me: “But they do have trains, remember?”

Manchild: “Oh, yeah, but their trains don’t go underground. They go on the street and they look like buses with cars.”

*****

Give a toddler his own seat on the train and he’ll turn into an animal. No, seriously. Squish started sticking his tongue out like a giraffe and quacking like a duck the minute I took him out of the carrier and let him sit by himself.

*****

Another train moment: One of my favorite things when riding the train is to realize that a stranger is playing a game with Squish while he is strapped to my back. It is a tricky situation, though because the moment the stranger realizes that I’m in on it, the magic is gone. They may still play, but it’s not as fun. But at the same time, I want to acknowledge them for helping my child have a good time on the train. I find it best to give them a smile and a nod as they get off the train, or as we get off at our stop.

*****

Nearly every time we are out walking around Brooklyn, we’ll see some sort of furniture out on the side of the road. And we have to look. We have to imagine what we could do with that. It does not matter that we have no need for another piece of furniture, it does not matter that it is slightly beat up or kind of ugly. We must imagine the possibilities. What could a paint job do? Could we sand it down a bit and re-stain it? Maybe we could use it as a shelf instead of as whatever it actually is? . . . . But then we move on. We’ve already acquired three pieces of furniture from the streets of Brooklyn and we don’t need any more.

*****

I never ever ever ever ever get picked up on when I’m running on my own. Nobody catcalls, nobody whistles. Nothing. But the second you put a double jogger with a couple of children in front of me, suddenly it’s, “Hey Baby!” or, “Lookin’ good, Mama!”

*****

This article about living in walkable areas really resonated with me. I love living in a place where I don’t need a car, I love being able to walk to the grocery store, the library, parks, museums, or being able to catch a bus or train to where I need to go. I hope that when we leave New York City, we’ll be able to move to a place where walking is doable, safe, and enjoyable.

*****

I hereby relinquish the title “King of Pain” from Billy Blanks (for his work in the advanced Tae-Bo workout video) and bestow it on Baron Baptiste for his work in “The Trainer’s Edge: Long and Lean Yoga” video. I did the workout on Monday and have been sore since then. I’m not sure my entire body has ever been that sore all at once for that long. Naturally, I’m looking forward to doing it again next week. Bring it, Baron.

*****

I taught Manchild how to ride his bike yesterday. He’s not going to be entering the Tour de France any time soon, but he can stay up and pedal forward for quite a ways before he forgets what he’s doing. It makes me really happy that I got to be the one to teach him. I’m really not good at that kind of thing, and the fact that our outing was a success gives me a little bit of confidence that I can teach my kids other skills as well. Like how to cook. And I won’t get frustrated and throw them out of the kitchen before we even get started.

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