Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Countdown to a Baby in NYC


I’ve been in Manhattan since March 11, hanging out with granddaughter Amalia, age 3, as she and her parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby in their family, expected around April 2.
Even before I arrived, Amalia was helping her Papi assemble new furniture from Ikea like these toy shelves,
and using her doll for a test run on this gadget, which will rock the new baby and serenade it with a variety of sounds, including falling water and birdsong.
A high point of Amalia’s life so far was Friday, March 13, when her Mommy was the Mystery Reader at her pre-school, where they’ve been studying children’s authors like Dr. Seuss.   
Parents have been serving as surprise Mystery Readers, presenting their child’s favorite book to the class.  Amalia’s Mommy read “Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama” by Anna Dewdney, while Amalia sat beside her, looking very proud.
Saturday, March 14, Amalia and Yiayia Joanie and Mommy went to the Museum of Natural History where they met up with the family of Amalia’s friends Siya and Milind.
The kids got close up and personal with some of the Museum’s famous critters, including the high-hanging whale, dinosaurs, tigers and polar bears. 
And a whale battling a giant squid.
The next day Amalia practiced pushing the umbrella stroller with her monkey Boots standing in for a baby.
On March 18, Eleni’s colleagues at Martha Stewart Weddings threw her a surprise baby shower with a Greek theme and all the fabulous Martha Stewart touches in food and flowers. 
At the last minute Amalia and Yiayia Joanie and Papi Emilio learned they were invited too.
waiting for Eleni to walk in and be surprised
On March 20, after dropping Amalia at preschool, (where every Friday she gets pizza for lunch and a dance party for exercise) Mommy Eleni and Yiayia Joanie had a late breakfast at Francois Payard Patisserie and learned it was Free Macaron day.
On Saturday, March 21, Amalia celebrated with pancakes at the Lexington Avenue Candy Shop,
story time at Barnes and Noble on 86th Street
and stomping in the snow which had blanketed the city the night before.
The next day, Sunday, the snow was nearly gone
and Amalia and family had an outdoor lunch at the Pain Quotidien in Central Park. Beside melting snow drifts, great swathes of snow drops bloomed in Central Park.
Before lunch they visited the Macy’s Flower Show, where Amalia stood in line for more than an hour with hundreds of other preschoolers to get her photo taken with Peppa Pig. 
On Friday, March 27, Amalia helped Mommy buy a Moses basket for the baby at Giggle. 
On Monday, March 30, she went to Lenox Hill Hospital where Mommy got the last sonogram of the baby before the expected birth-day of April 2.
And every night, Amalia asks the same question: “Mommy, when will the baby be ready to come out of your tummy?” 

“Soon,” her mommy says.  “Maybe tomorrow.”

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