While crazy shoppers were storming retail stores on Black Friday, I had time to engage in some enjoyable conversation with my kids. Don’t get me wrong – I speak with them often, but usually my speaking involves questions. Did you do your homework? What do you want for breakfast? Can you please stop hitting your brother? Did you brush your teeth? You get the drift.
Yesterday, we spent the day in Manhattan with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and my teenage nephews and along the way, our kids provided tons of comic relief. Case in point – while walking along 42nd street next to Bryant Park (which is absolutely amazing this time of year), my daughter stared up into the sky and noticed the Chrysler building in front of us and the Empire State Building to the right. And out of nowhere, she cracked a joke and didn’t even realize it.
“Hey Mommy. Look at those two buildings in the sky. They both have big tips!”
Get it? Big tips? Hilarious! (Well, at least I thought so).
Next, it was my son’s turn – while wandering in and out of the some of the best kiosks for shopping in the city (please keep this a secret amongst us Role Mommies – I don’t want everyone knowing how incredible Bryant Park is – with its free ice skating, carousel, great food like chocolate covered marshmallows and apple cider, and did I mention the shops?) After finding the perfect winter hat for my daughter, we discovered one kiosk selling puppets that resembled the entire cast from Sesame Street and Avenue Q (gotta love that show). And they were so affordable that I broke down and bought my son a monkey for Hanukah (1 gift down, 7 to go). And then, we proceeded to play with it on the train, in the house…wait, what I meant to say was my husband proceeded to play with Carl the Monkey. He loves it so much, I think he may hire himself out for parties.
After a thoroughly enjoyable visit to Bryant Park, we then stopped by the windows at Lord & Taylor where they’re doing a classic Victorian Christmas theme this year and then after a quick bite we walked along Fifth Avenue and passed the Barnes & Noble on 46th Street where the Jonas Brothers were doing a book signing for their destined to be a Pulitzer prize winner, Burning Up which is pretty much a picture book from the teen hearthrobs’ concert tours. As we attempted to shove our way through a crowd of screaming girls, the police informed us that the store was closed until 6 pm (it was only 3:30 pm) since the boys were somewhere on the 2nd floor signing autographs. Unfortunately, without a Jonas Bros. sign, we couldn’t go inside. And so, my daughter lamented for the next 30 minutes about her misfortune, until I reminded her that in the last six months alone, she got the chance to attend exclusive performances by Menudo (before they became huge) and Disney star, Jordan Pruitt. I guess the next teen superstar meeting on my agenda is the Jonas Brothers…here’s hoping their publicist reads my blog (trust me, I’ll say nice things, I swear).
From there, we wedged our way to Rockefeller Center – which truthfully is a little boring nowadays since they haven’t lit the tree and there’s nothing to do there except watch other people skate for ungodly amounts of money.
Finally, we maneuvered our way back to Grand Central Station, passed a few stilt-walking clowns from Wintuk – who are currently performing the latest Cirque de Soleil show at the WAMU theater at Madison Square Garden – and then made it to the station where we had a few minutes to check out the fabulous holiday booths they’ve got on display every year (love the hats and jewelry), plus the annual GCT Kaleidoscope show will be kicking off in the next few days too. Quick re-cap for those of you who are skimming this post – the must-see places this time of year in Manhattan are Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park. After that, you can go home.
As we hopped aboard our train and returned back to our toasty house and my Mac Book Pro, my six year old decided he wanted to write a story. Perhaps he got the urge since he’s constantly watch me type away on the computer, but nevertheless, this is what he had to share:
My family is nice because they are playful. We go to bed at night. We brush our teeth. We play with toys.
Short, sweet and to the point. We play, we sleep, we brush our teeth. What more do you need anyway…well, if it were me, I would add “shop” but when you’re six, who needs shopping when your parents can buy you a monkey?