This is What a Diaper Run Looks Like...

People keep asking me: how do you do it? get around the city with three small kids?

The answer is: a system for the trickier things (like stairs, intersections, getting on and off the subway, etc.) with firmly in place expectations, and a reliable stroller.

But seriously with the expectations. I would get nowhere if the kids didn't have the 'rules' for navigating New York City. All I have to do is say, "here comes the train!" and Wy and Daph immediately rush to either side of the stroller and grab hold. I yell "too far!" and Wyatt immediately turns around on his scooter and falls in pace beside me. I say, "It's the green guy!" and they know we're crossing the street, so we stop talking, we pay attention, and we hold on to either the stroller or mom's hand. I set these rules up early, and now we cruise through the city like we own the place.

Or at least like we live here.

The kids know to sit down or hold on to something as soon as we get onto the train. They know that we avoid the creepy costumed people on Times Square. They know that if we go to Newspaper Chips, mom will let them pick out a bag of chips. I can give Wyatt my subway card, and he knows how to swipe it, go through the circling bar, and open the door for the stroller from the other side. Daphne knows how to work the elevator buttons. Hank knows how to pick the people's pockets on the subway for loot.

Oh - and it helps to accept that a simple errand (diaper run in this case) will take you ALL DAY LONG. I learned that if I can make everything feel like an adventure, then it really, truly does feel like an adventure! There's no such thing as 'running to Target'. There's 'Let's go on our adventure!' of the day, travel up to the Bronx or down to Brooklyn for the nearest Target, and have it take 3 to 5 hours before we're home, again.

The kids and I have whooped this thing. So I think it's no wonder that I scoff when the tour-bus guys in reflective vests target me and my brood every time we walk by. It's only on the very most surfacy of surfaces that we look like tourists. If they looked just a second longer, they'd see it in my face.

We aren't some sight-seeing wagon, boy-o. We LIVE here.

(And also, seriously? Who totes around a case of diapers on a sight-seeing trip?)


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