Ellie, my newborn daughter, has in her short time on this planet demonstrated a predilection for the car seat: put her in it and she sleeps like even more of a cherub. Thank you, Graco, for your Snugride! First rule of babies sleeping in car seats: don’t wake babies sleeping in car seats. Yes, I know it’s considered bad form to let children get too used to napping in a car seat—bad habits, poor sleep scheduling, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, I like it when the little whippersnapper snoozes. What child doesn‘t seem cuter while unconscious?
JP couldn’t have been more different. Prolonged exposure (fifteen minutes or greater) to my fine example of European auto-machinery and he’d be wailing at full volume, thrashing like an electro-stimulated schizophrenic, and generally wrecking my driving buzz (figurative, not literal).
He’s more the train type. His obsession with Thomas and his ilk has cooled somewhat in recent months, but New York’s MTA still holds a special place in his heart: he knows the lines, has a sense of the map, likes to count stops, and insists on a window seat for any train that goes outside.
When I was still single and had nothing for us to do at night, I used to just take JP on the train and ride, nowhere in particular, but usually toward Coney Island, which is elevated most of the way. He’d point and ask questions as we wandered through Brooklyn to the beach, and we’d pass an otherwise lonely evening this way.
I enjoy having a car in Brooklyn, and not just as a symbol of middle-class privilege (although that’s certainly part of it). I use it to grocery-shop at Fairway and visit my father on the wrong side of the Hudson (that’s Manhattan), and the parking in my neighborhood isn’t too bad. But spending time on the subway with the children is nice, particularly as I don’t have to—I don’t commute by subway, but by bike; we ride, at off-hours, for the pleasure of it. Those rides with JP on the subway were some of the most private and quiet moments I’ve shared with him. I hold them close.
FULL, THOROUGH, AND SEARING DISCLOSURE: Many thanks to Kinect Joy Ride for sponsoring this post, and thus contributing the first-ever tidbit of revenue to DadWagon. I like Kinect Joy Ride a great deal, and not just because I like people who pay me. Please check out Kinect Joy Ride’s contest running now in the dooce.com community (and while you’re at it, tell me what a “dooce.com community” is). You might WIN (!) an Xbox Kinect and Joy Ride, and thereby contribute both to Xbox’s bottom line, and indirectly, to my own. Money, money, money!