Yesterday, I took Nico and Leo to a Cookies for Cancer event at Moomah, a cool cafe in Tribeca (that happens to be owned and operated by Jon Stewart's wife, Tracey, who seems so down-to-earth). I'd written about the event for Mommy Poppins and wanted to show my support even though it started at 2pm, a tricky time for a baby and toddler.
I left home right around naptime, hoping both boys would sleep in the car and that I'd find street parking in the city. Of course, I had to fork over $31 for a garage, Nico never fell asleep, and Leo woke up the minute I tried to transfer him to a stroller. The event was crowded and even though there was an art project and a small play area, I felt like I'd made the wrong decision by schlepping them both there. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson about overzealous outings after the Gwyneth Paltrow book signing, right?
The funny thing is that they both had a great time. I was the one who felt frazzled, perhaps because I was trying to feed Leo in the Ergo while chasing Nico all around, a trail of crumbs marking my tracks. I also felt like all of the Moms around me seemed more put together and relaxed, perhaps because they chose to come on their own or with only one child. That's life as a parent, I guess. It's easy to feel like you're trying to do too much or not doing enough and even when you have the best intentions, guilt and doubt find a way in. The important part is that we helped raise money for a very good cause.
Oh and did I mention that I'd forgotten cash and couldn't even buy a cookie, the only food available for sale at the event? Tracey was selling some outside when we left and I sheepishly asked if Nico could have one, explaining that I only had some change before emptying about 84 cents straight from my wallet into her mason jar, adding that we'd come all the way from Brooklyn hoping that would somehow make me look less lame. She was sweet and gave us two.
Afterward, we went to Daniel's office since he was taking the boys home so I could meet friends for dinner (yet another reason for my guilt: "Here honey, you take our two tired little boys and deal with bedtime all by yourself while I enjoy a few free hours in the city!") Luckily, they were both on their best behavior for him.
My dinner wasn't until 7pm and I had an hour to kill, so I went by Sweet Lily. With big, cozy chairs, white buckets filled with fresh fruit, mint and water for ultra relaxing pedicures, plus a heavenly homemade sugar exfoliant and other natural products and polishes, it's been my all-time favorite nail salon for years. It's also the cleanest one I've ever been to with individually wrapped utensils that are disinfected using hospital grade procedures. I used go to Sweet Lily a lot when I was working in the city, but these days I rarely get my nails done and when I do, I just go somewhere close to home. Sadly, they didn't have any openings, but I found out that the owner hopes to open a location in Brooklyn some day and that she now offers complimentary glasses of wine in the evening. Which means I need to get back to Tribeca soon and finally use a gift certificate I got for Christmas. Columbine is a good lunch spot across the street from Sweet Lily whose lemon cake I love, but I noticed a new place, Grandaisy Bakery that I want to try next time, too.
After window shopping in SoHo, I met Karlyn and Alexandra at Osteria Morini, a lively (or should I say loud?) trattoria on Lafayette where we caught up over pasta (the one with braised mushrooms was the best), veal cutlet and a really vinegary salad flecked with mint before ending our night with dessert, digestifs and good ol' girl talk at Caffe Falai.
Talking to them helped me realize that I'll probably never learn my lesson about trying to do too much. What I need to work on is accepting myself for who I am: someone who likes to keep busy and try new things, even if I sometimes exhaust myself and those around me in the process.