So, I survive the afternoon with the Christmas Spectacular Superfan.
We get on the train to return home…sweet home. It’s past Micah’s naptime and he’s had an extra active day: school in the morning, followed by the subway ride, running through Rock Center and all that energy crying through Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular.
I’m relishing my cuddle time with him on the train especially after his getting so upset at the show that I hardly worry about what may happen if he falls asleep on the train. He’s so happy, back to his usual self. We admire a cool dude’s bright gold Nikes. Micah puts his little red Nikes next to his, remarking, “WOW!”
Soon, Micah becomes more subdued, putting his head down on my lap. The motion of the train lulls him into the heavy-lidded phase before slumber hits. “Micah, we’re almost there. Just wait a little longer and then you can sleep at home, sweetheart! C’mon, my Micah, don’t fall asleep please!”
It was useless. He fell into a sound sleep at 4:10 pm, when we had just three more subway stops to go.
I hate to wake him from a nap. For so many reasons. Primarily, I want him to get his rest on and be himself when he wakes up, the Micah who is not going to whine and scream and carry on about being carried. When he wakes up prematurely while we are out, he cannot be consoled.
And like I stated in the last post, I HAD DECIDED TO LEAVE MY STROLLER IN THE CAR. I wanted to take a risk and not bother, remember? Frontin’ like I was free as the howling wind outside, not like the mama of a young boy who should be prepared for any combination of scenarios.
Sound familiar? Just like when I hadn’t wanted to “bother” with peeing before my drive from Long Island with the boys.
We exit the train and I try to wake him up gently. “Micah, Micah? We have to walk home now. We’re almost there. We can go see Daddy and Baby. Mommy can’t carry you. Mommy has big AHH-yah from carrying you in and out of the show. I can’t walk home carrying you because Micah’s my big boy.”
Dude slumps down on the cold subway platform to continue sleeping! Even with the loud subway sounds and low temps (30s outside). I scan the premises and realize that there are no benches on this end of the platform. There is only a blue metal contraption, maybe housing some electrical units that the MTA uses?
I hoist myself onto it, with Micah sound asleep in my arms, sharing the space with a young couple gazing into each others’ eyes. It’s about 4:15 pm. I decide that this world rushes too much these days. I’mma sit on this blue steel thingamajiggie and let Micah complete his nap, at least a catnap for the next 30 minutes. He hadn’t asked to come to no show so I will not rob him of his nap.
Plus, if he got woken up right then and started screaming for me to carry him all the way home, I wouldn’t know what to do. I just could not do that again after that last time that hero named Bruce tried to rescue me.
I mean, it was 30 degrees outside, maybe even colder now that it was dark, and the subway was so very loud like multiple car accidents to my supersonic ears, screeching and clanking in and out of the platform every few minutes on both sides since it was peak hours (commuting hour). But hey, I wanted to let my boy sleep.
So I sat there. I asked the couple to take a picture of us before they can start making out. I was using our jackets as blankets for Micah.
I realized I was really cold. My lady bits and butt were actually numb from the cold. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
People watched me. Some were obvious about staring. Some may have wondered if I was hard up. Where was my sign? That thing I was sitting on was NOT for made for sitting so I stood out to onlookers. Cold and uncomfy to sit on so I must be desperate. It became obvious that I was staying for a while. One man watched me, perplexed, trying to figure out why I was just sitting there in a weird spot with my sleeping child.
“You not taking the E OR F trains?” he asked, shaking his head while I let train after train loudly pass by without us on them. (Writing this, I’m wondering what HE was doing there, missing train after train, watching me!)
I couldn’t call Kevin because there was no reception underground, and my phone had died shortly thereafter. I didn’t seriously think about enlisting his help. Maybe because it was really cold out and I didn’t want him and Ellis to get involved when we’d soon be on our merry way. I was the one choosing to let Micah continue to nap.
Also, I felt like I was caving in to too much damsel in distress syndrome lately. So many scenarios where Kevin comes to my assistance because it’s just too hard or overwhelming while he is so capable, able to handle so much more than me. If I can’t fix something around the house, Micah immediately says, “Maybe Daddy will fix for us, Mommy? Ask Daddy!”
Maybe God was trying to teach me to work on cultivating gratitude once again. My rebellious spirit had been having a hard time being TRULY thankful for our NYC co-op this year. While once so thankful for it, I now only see its flaws, lacking the space and amenities I desperately crave, even encroaching upon my emotional health this postpartum year. And yeah yeah, I knew that others have it exponentially worse all around the world but I didn’t care.
But sitting there with my frozen butt and labia, I sure was missing home. Though small, it was toasty and it kept us safe from the elements. Together. Fine, Lord, I repent. Can Micah wake up now?
Forget 30 minutes later. Micah was sleeping a delicious sound sleep, even making sounds like he was enjoying food, it was so yummy. So deep he was grinding his teeth. I was staring at him and giving him butterfly kisses all over his face. A handsome Latino Yankee fan tried to help me. He may have been the only one to ask if I need help.
“So uh, where’s your person? Do you have uh, your person you should be able to call up for help? How can I help? You want me to carry him for you?”
(I couldn’t take him up on his offer because he was going to miss his train and Micah would wake up if I transported him into someone else’s arms. What would I do then after this man left?)
“Do you need to borrow my phone to call anyone? How far do you live?”
And later, after I told him that Micah should be waking up any minute now and thanks: “Are you from the Philippines? It’s crazy what happened out there.”
Approximately 75 minutes later, I flag down a woman exiting the train and ask her if she can send my husband a message. She let me type it out on her iPhone and assured me she would send it once she got above ground. It was just to let him know that we had arrived at 4:15 but had been on the platform so that Micah would continue sleeping.
So after a grand total of 90 minutes, I start to stir Micah awake. At this rate, he may have been able to do a record three-hour nap and I was really too cold without wearing my jacket I was using as his blanket. I hoped he was well-rested enough to not get upset…which was THE WHOLE POINT OF MY LETTING HIM NAP!
But of course, he got upset because he was still sleepy. “Waaaahhhhhh! Mommmyyyy, Mommmyyyy, carry up, carry up!” Inconsolable. My waiting out his nap was all for naught.
I ended up carrying him up the stairs while a kind older woman insisted on carrying my bags up the stairs for me. I went into the pizzeria right next to the subway stop and asked to borrow their phone. Called Kevin to come out and help me.
Soon, Kevin and Ellis came with the doublestroller to help us. I felt a little better that even with Kevin and the cozy doublestroller awaiting him like a horse and carriage, Micah demanded to be carried all the way home. I strolled Ellis while Kevin carried Micah.
Later, Kevin pointed out that I should have called him er, 90 minutes earlier from the pizza place to avoid that crazy cold waiting period.
Apparently, my brain had frozen too. I could have spared myself this 90 minutes on the ice tundra. If I had accepted that man’s offer to help, I could have made it up the stairs then called from the pizzeria! I had lamely thought that I had to get him ALL the way home – the pizzeria idea only hatched when I realized there was no way I’d make it home. D’oh! I really wasn’t thinking straight that night.
My recent battle against envy, namely house/space/amenities envy, is ongoing and sometimes very acute, but I was extra thankful that particular night for my cozy couch, warm food, and heat in our apartment.
…Even with Kevin shaking his head at me over and over again, laughing, muttering, “I can’t believe you sometimes! The things you put yourself through!”
P.S. The lady’s text message came through about an hour after we were all snug at home. “Hello, this is the lady from the subway. My phone had a malfunction and I was not able to get this message to you until now. Your wife and son are down at the subway platform. Sorry for the delay.”