Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tea & Sympathy & Loud Talkers & Avery Strategy No. 1

On Saturday night, after the girls were in bed and surely minutes before Nicole high-tailed it to bed, drunk with choose-your-own-bedtime power, I left the apartment alone to see Juno at 7:45 on 42nd Street. This is crazy because:

1.) Times Square and the blocks leading up to it are insane this time of year. They are packed with so many people that I often times resort to walking in the street alongside traffic, which makes me think that I am silly thinking I will die in a plane crash when it is way more likely I will die right here on the streets of New York a block or two from my home.

2.) I left at 7:30 for a 7:45 movie. I don’t mind missing the half hour of previews, so I timed my journey to ensure a few previews were missed. Yet, even though this film already has Oscar buzz and is only playing in two theaters here in the city, for some reason I didn’t plan on it being sold out two minutes before show time. Obviously I have lost all common sense. I ended up getting a ticket to the next showing. Thank goodness there was a next showing that wasn’t sold out.

3.) But I almost didn’t get a ticket to the next showing. Apparently I still don’t know how to use the fancy ticket machines. I spent a good five minutes swiping my card—first cavalierly, then maniacally, then violently—to no avail. So I called Nicole (who was probably pretending that she wasn’t in bed already when I know she was) to complain and, in the spirit of multitasking, moved from machine to machine and touchscreened “today-Juno-7:45-credit card” more times than I care to remember. My panic of ineptness reached a fevered pitch. I declared loudly (to Nicole) how these machines were stupid and how I didn’t want to wait on line and how I was coming home. And then I figured out that I swiped my card 78 times backwards.

I loved the movie. The dialogue was a little self-conscious at first and the music made me feel very uncool but in the end it all worked for me. Nicole says she looks forward to seeing it on Demand.

On Sunday, Auntie Annie and Auntie Nancy came so Nicole and I could venture to Tea and Sympathy for our 5th annual Eve of Christmas Eve lunch. They came bearing gifts for the girls, including a coupon for unlimited babysitting services until year 2025! Since Maddie and Avery prefer gifts they can chew on, they brought those two.

We were nervous because Avery is definitely going through a YOU ARE NOT MY MOMMY GO AWAY! Phase. We are anxious about leaving her with anyone, even their aunties. You need to follow a specific strategy with Avery. I’ll number again:

1.) Come into the apartment and settle immediately on the couch, floor or chair. Your goal is to blend into the room like furniture. Do not move or attract attention to yourself. Let Avery discover you as she is pursuing her activities on the floor. Do not look her in the eye or engage her.

2.) Once she is intrigued/curious/enchanted with you, look at her and give her a big, big smile. She needs to see all of your teeth. Still do not touch her or reach for her.

3.) Once she has looked at you more than three times without screaming/crying, let one of her mommies pick her up and bring her over to you.

4.) Still don’t try to touch her.

5.) After she has watched you for a period of time that she decides that you are not evil, we will then attempt the hand off. Hand-off attempts are usually aborted several times before success.

6.) If hand-off is successful, Nicole and I will hang around for a moment or two so Avery still thinks we are around. After that, we will disappear and she is all yours.

Lunch was great, despite the Loud Talker with the high, nasally voice, who sat next to us and who insisted on narrating everything. “If my tea is too hot I like to add cream. See I just added cream. Now it is cooler.” And then “I like crumbles. I like apples crumbles. I like rhubarb crumbles. I like blueberry crumbles.” My train of thought was interrupted so many times by his ridiculous little comments. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live with him. This place is so small (23 seats) so annoying neighbors are really annoying. But that is part of the Tea and Sympathy tradition. And part of its charm.

What is rhubarb anyway?

This weekend also included a visit from my father, who is here visiting from China (where he lives). He brought with him about 30 oil paintings that he bought for us. On canvases. Rolled up. What in the world are we going to do with them?

Pictured above, another picture of Maddie at the playground. I love this picture because it shows scope and scale: I look huge and she is this little peanut in a rubber swing. Plus, it proves just how adept I am at clashing my coat and my headband thingy. That’s talent. Maddie's mittens look so cute. I think they perplex her, though.

Below that is a movie that shows Maddie saying Mama! Even though it looks otherwise, I swear Nicole does not have Farrah Fawcett Feathers in her hair. Or a perm. But her hair does look extra poofy. Also, you get to hear grown people chanting Ma Ma and talking about BBQs. It starts around the 12-second mark. Just a small sliver of life. Isn’t it glamorous! Nicole kind of looks like a mad Gephetto (is that his name?) holding her Pinocchio. Watch how she starts to bounce Maddie once Maddie gets started on the Ma Mas! It makes Nicole look maniacal. But she is not maniacal and, to be clear, she doesn’t have feathered hair or a perm.


Anonymous said...

wow- Maddie is genius! & I love Avery's quick cameo- very Tim Burton...
So there is ALL this hype about the writer of Juno- she was discovered on-line as a blogger. Did the writing live up to it?


ms.bri said...

I love that video and your written commentary about Nicole's hair.

nailgirl said...

I love nicoles hair in that pic.