Ah, cold oatmeal and coffee. This is the way most of my mornings begin. My clothes are already wet with coffee (upper left thigh) and spit-up (left sleeve). It threatens to be one of those days. If I were a flower this week, I would be slowly wilting due to some reason you couldn't easily diagnose. Perhaps I'm in that gap where my roots haven't taken hold very deeply in my new environment and I'm running out of nutritional stores. Recently I've prided myself on being someone who has learned to be happy, but in this creeping sadness I may have met my match.
It's just as well. I've come to believe that whenever you can finish the sentence, "I pride myself on . . .", you should look out. Such statements are dangerous, a dare to the universe, if you will. I don't think pride becomes us, yet human beings have been trying to adorn ourselves with it since the beginning. We think it will make us look special and prance around with it on display, when really to everyone else it looks like that bizarre feathered hat whose effect lies somewhere between silly and neurotic.
Yesterday didn't turn out to be as rainy as was predicted. An email I got from Joanna put me in the mood for a donut, which was unusual for me. Donuts and I share a strained history. They were the only food categorically banned by my midwives during my first pregnancy due to their complete lack of nutritional value, and ever since they have been a symbol of irresponsibility and excess. Mmmm, I'm sensing the draw.
I waited all afternoon for Amelia to wake up from her nap so I could have my afternoon coffee with my donut. Then when she woke up, I had a terrible time convincing her to join me in my caloric sky-dive. I want to have a snack here, she whined. I want marsh-mallows. What are you, crazy, kid? I'm thinking. I have the only kid in the world who argues when you try to give her a sprinkled donut. I thought I'd never get her out the door.
But out we went. Donuts are enticing in my neighborhood because Dunkin Donut shops are all over the place. We can be at their door in five minutes flat. Medium coffee, black. Raised donut with strawberry frosting and sprinkles for the kid. Chocolate-chocolate for me, sprinkles, even. And a french cruller--just in case there's more coffee than donut. Three donuts and a coffee, and it cost less than one of my soy beverages at Starbucks. I've been hitting the wrong shop, I thought.
So Amelia, Lucy and I set up camp in the back corner and began our sugar debauchery (well, Lucy was an innocent bystander). I took a bite, closed my eyes, and said a silent "Cheers" to Joanna. Amelia systematically took bites out of the top half of her donut, ignoring its tender underside. Then, I kid you not, in walked two of New York City's Finest. At four in the afternoon. I could hardly believe my eyes. Not being someone who frequents donut shops, I thought that cliche about cops in the donut shops wasn't really true. They tried talking to Amelia while they waited for their coffee, but that is always short-lived because she turns deaf-mute in public. Afterward, though, as our stroller bounded over sidewalk bumps, Amelia and I both agreed that seeing the police officers made our day. I couldn't help but hum "Walk Like an Egyptian" until we got to our next destination.
Finally, speaking of old eighties hits, some of you may be interested to hear that Amelia has been overheard lately singing to Lucy,
Lucy, I spin you right round baby,
Right round, like a record, baby,
Right round round round
(Go here for more Dead or Alive)