This past weekend I went up to New York for my best friend's big surprise birthday bash, which was an absolute blast and I am so happy I went. It was a quick drive in and out with the kids but Grandma and Grandpa decided that we had to squeeze in a trip to the American Girl store to get the girls their Christmas presents. Da Man bowed out with a convenient illness and so the rest of us braved the freezing cold weather that day to go midtown.
Anyone can tell you that the Rockefeller Center area on any given weekend is usually extremely crowded, but in December it is a mob scene. There was no getting anywhere near the Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas windows and people were packed in like sardines around the tree. Meanwhile just trying to get into the American Girl store is like trying to see the Pope. After waiting on a block long line to get into the madhouse of a ridiculously overpriced store that clearly shows no signs of understanding what the word recession means, we stumbled out dazed and exhausted. As badly as the girls wanted to take a cab home, there were no cabs to be had. We struggled like salmon during spawning season against the tide of wall to wall tourists and finally wriggled our way to the nearest train station.
The D train was as crowded as if it was rush hour. It reminded me of those Japanese commuter trains where the train conductors come up and push people onto the train. My Mom dives on to the train in true New York fashion, dragging Oldest behind her while me and my Dad with Angus and Youngest barely squeeze on. I can hear my Dad complaining that my Mom would rather ditch us than miss the train. He may be right. She can be very one track minded. That's a train pun. he he.
I can hear Angus moaning and groaning about the press of people around her but at least she and my Dad are by a pole. Oldest keeps asking me anxiously if their American Girl presents are ok while I'm holding Youngest's hand while also carrying a very large American Girl Store shopping bag and extending my other arm out as far as I can to hold on to something, anything!, even while being held up by 8 different strangers around me.
I ask Youngest if she is ok and the next thing I hear is:
"All I can see is butts, Mommy. Butts, butts, butts! But it's ok, cause I'm holding my bweath!"
Over the eruption of laughter, I reach over and slap a hand over Angus's mouth before she can say the inappropriateness that her gleaming mischievous eyes are brimming over with. Luckily we get off at the next stop before my kids say anything more alarming.