Sunday, September 12, 2010

Le Grenouille Has Nothing on The Big Y

On Saturday, Nicole and I had a hot date at a food store. I am not kidding. This is the fabulous Massachusetts food store that features free childcare (for up to two hours!) that the girls tried earlier in the week and loved. I guess they forgot the horror of this past winter’s “gentle separation” class. Avery calls it “store school."

While “store school” was in all likelihood created so parents can shop undistracted,and thus spend more money, we used store school for our own advantage. The catch is, we can’t actually leave the store, but that is fine. Freedom is freedom, and it is easy to find a meal in a food store. The girls waved goodbye to us and went in like they do this every day. Nicole and I held hands as we walked down the romantic pet-food aisle (nothing says I love you like a 50-pound bag of kibble) and positioned ourselves in front of the surveillance TV in the Meat Section, where we spied for a moment on our oh-so-happy children, who were playing with the Childcare Specialist like it ain’t no thing. I think I may food shop every day we are up here.

Assured of their well being, we went to hunt and gather lunch. First we sampled a free baked clam (appetizer!) and picked up lunch at the Grinder Station. We sat in the lovely gardening section, surrounded by fall flowers, and enjoyed our childless meal. All that was missing was candle, which I could have picked some up in Aisle Four. Next time. For dessert, we sampled free Starbucks instant coffee. Cheap, convenient and tasty, like how I like my women (JUST kidding....).

It came to an abrupt end because we were paged by the Childcare Center. When we got to the Center we found a pacing and anxious Maddie. The caretaker thought she was tired, but we knew otherwise: She had to get on the potty, quick. The girls have been in intense potty training boot camp all week. We raced out to the car and improvised with a box. It’s exhausting, this potty training stuff, and sometimes requires MacGyver fixes. But they are making headway. Anyway, we didn’t get to buy the mums that we wanted, but all things considered, it was a lovely meal. We might spend our anniversary there. And unless someone wants to come up to Massachusetts and babysit, that is not a joke!

Now we are back in the city, where two hours of daycare would run us about $85 dollars and food shopping is an obstacle course with a double stroller. We were in Massachusetts for ten days and it was bliss. I was witness to the subtle shifts from summer to fall in ways that I just can't see in NYC. I have seen trees go from all green to green with spots of orangey, fiery red, in just a week and a half. Crunchy leaves fall on our driveway, and skitter across when the wind blows them. There is a chill in the air that makes me look forward to turtlenecks and sweaters and scarves. Fall is really here and I intend to appreciate every moment of it. Starting with the cardigan that arrived here in the city in my extended absence.

Pictured above: The cafe; the appetizer; the dessert. Jealous?


CD and SP said...

of course i have to laugh at this since i regularly do my food shopping at the grocery store you speak of, though i have yet to take advantage of the childcare. maybe now i'll actually try it out!

CD and SP said...

I'll add to what my wife said that we should, yes, meet and have a play date, so that we can watch your girlies and you can have a meal out. Noho restaurants will beat the Big Y any day. (Osaka is better sushi than I ever had in NYC). Of course, this week when you're here all week is insane for us and we're away next weekend. But next time you come - email us. page dot sarah at gmail.

Jeannine said...

I am jealous! We have an IKEA about 30 miles from us that offers one hour of free childcare that my children love, but in LA traffic I can't really justify going there unless we really need something, and how often do you really need something from IKEA? Happy Anniversary to you too!