Sometimes, when winter just begins to outstay its welcome and the entire city feels like an endless ocean of filthy slush, smoggy drizzle, and icy sidewalks, you look out of your window and want nothing more than to hibernate until the arrival of the spring equinox. But instead, you lace up your boots, strap the babies in the stroller, and begin digging your way through Brooklyn, in search of fun and friends, and... donuts.
We met our favorite gang of BrooklynMama's at the absurdly delicious Dough. The kids were more interested in looking out the window and counting passing umbrellas than in the actual donuts, which was okay with us because that meant more pastries for us and less sugar for their little teeth. The things we do in the name of playdates.. :) They found one particular spot just beneath the coffee creamers where they could all squeeze side by side under the counter and get a good look out the window- a makeshift toddler fort. We stood back, eating their donuts (dulce de leche, creme brûlée, and salted chocolate caramel for us me... next time I'm trying the hibiscus!) and watching them carry out their little date without us.
Lately, when I've taken Biet on her playdates, I've felt more like an observer, a third wheel of sorts, standing against the wall and watching my kid hang with her friends. My own interactive position as activity-leader has morphed into quiet sometimes-referee, and I find myself lingering in the shadows in case the kids need me to help with a game or to resolve a dispute. She laughs, and creates, and fights, and makes up with her friends, and it blows me away every time. I stand back watching this little firecracker of a girl who've I've known for nearly three years really begin to show the rest of the world who she is. Soon, I imagine, she won't need me there at all on her playdates. It's such a bittersweet stage to be going through, but then again, aren't they all?
We left Dough and made our way, a brigade of stroller-pushing city Mamas, through the ultra-slushy sidewalks and puddles of BedStuy to meet more friends for "naked toddler artfest". At one point, after nearly tipping my double stroller (or "minivan" as my lovely friends like to call it.. very funny, ladies!) over, we ended up having to walk in the middle of the street because the snowbanks were too ridiculous (this cascade of snowstorms we've been experiencing is no joke). Finally we arrived to the warm apartment for our much anticipated artfest. We stripped the kids down to their diapers and underwear, taped some butcher paper to the floor, and let them go to town with a rainbow palette of paints. I don't know why we never tried this before.. it was a huge success! Naked artfests are definitely our new go-to rainy/snowy day activity!
So if you ask me, springtime still can't come fast enough, but we're definitely making do in the meantime. :)