So there's this group of us that goes to the playground just about everyday. I'm starting to realize— especially as I am facing the reality of moving away—just how important this group has become to me. Seeing them at the park is the highlight of my day. Bunny's, too. They are the reason why I can be a stay-at-home parent without losing my sanity.
We get to the park in the morning and hang for a couple hours until naptime. I have permanent "raccoon eyes" from hanging out in the sun chatting. Yesterday I wore a tank top and today my shoulders are red and sunburned. Good times.
I love how we all take turns watching each other's kids as we go to the bathroom or run off to feed the parking meter.
I love how protective we all our of our brood, and how we'll glare at any parent (OK, I'll admit—or child) that appears to be messing with our kids.
I love how we all bring snacks for our own children, but none of our children eat what we bring.
B. always has something delicious from the bagel shop which she doesn't ever get to eat because she's too busy fending off the swarm of toddlers around her, all fighting each other for pieces of knish or bagel. If the children could talk (better) they'd tell you that Auntie B. always brings the best snacks. Drinkable yogurt, pre-washed and cut up organic fruits, crackers, cheese—all packed in a ziploc bag covered with cartoon animals. The woman is armed. And my kid knows it so she's always first in line at the Auntie B. Chuck Wagon. To see the way that Bunny acts, you'd think that we were starving her.
When we arrive, usually around 11:00am, R. is usually polishing off some sort of McBreakfast sandwich, proud that he received the very last one of the morning. He doesn't share that with the kids. And I wouldn't either. But he is quick to share his assortment of dried fruit, cheese, and other snacks.
The Other R. is armed with Veggie Booty and is greeted by Bunny chanting, "BOODOO! BOODOO! BOODOO!" (like the undead) until the Booty bag is opened.
I'm usually packing sandwiches and fruit. The sandwich is promptly disassembled by Bunny. She'll eat the bread, but the innards of the sandwich are nonchalantly dropped behind her and quickly become a bird buffet. She's like the Pied Piper but instead of rats, Bunny has a trail of pigeons drafting behind her. I'm also the bad parent that gives my kid juice boxes. If the other parents can't walk down the juice aisle at Whole Foods without their kids screaming for "Elmo and Rosita juice," then it's all my fault.
Various and sundry parents join us at the park each day, but we are the core group. We eschew conversations about parenting in favor of more inspiring topics like getting your crack waxed, how much reggae sucks, the difference between North and South Indian cuisine, and the nuances of Jewish culture.
I'm really going to miss my posse. A lot.