I enjoy so many things about living in NYC. Commuting everyday from Astoria, Queens to the complete opposite side of Manhattan and then back again is not one of those things. It is long, unpredictable and can be absolutely exhausting. Our daily commute consists of approximately 40 minutes of walking, 30 minutes on the train, and 5 minutes of waiting for said train. And that’s just one way.
The walking part is easy. I could walk for miles. Qwynn is secure in her stroller and easily distracted by the sights and sounds of the city. She loves to people watch, and is constantly pointing dogs, birds, green taxis, yellow taxis, school buses, city buses, ambulances etc, etc, etc. She gets so excited!
Keeping Qwynn distracted on the train is another story though! She has always been pretty good at entertaining herself, but the older she gets, the harder it is becoming to keep her busy on the train. We have tried really hard to postpone the TV watching and iPad/iPhone exposure for as long as possible. (A topic for a separate post 😉 ). Luckily, Qwynn has yet to show a ton of interest in these things, and although we know it won’t last forever, we are going to keep riding this train as long as we can.
For now, here are four “old school” things that help us get through our daily commute:
Qwynn LOVES to read! Which means we don’t leave the house without at least a couple books in her stroller. She used to enjoy looking at the books on her own, but lately she’s all about Mommy and Daddy reading to her. I really enjoy reading to her, but there are those days that I need a little me time on the train to recover from my day with my 9 other babies. So, we have a rule. I can read her the book if I have a seat, but if I am standing then she needs to look at the book on her own. I can’t say that I haven’t politely declined an available seat because of this rule. It’s ok for mom to be a little selfish every once in awhile.
2. PAD OF PAPER AND PEN/PENCIL
Qwynn received a pad of paper and mechanical pencil from her grandparents for Christmas and has been loving to doodle ever since. She can only draw circles, so of course she asks Tyson and I to draw for her most of the time. Our doodling skills can be pretty hilarious. Her favorite things to ask for are “Qwynnie, Mommy, Daddy and coffee.” Pretty much sums us up. She has also been really interested in her letters lately, so recently we’ve been writing out words and spelling them, too.
What kid doesn’t love stickers? One day, Qwynn spent the whole train ride piling stickers on her nose. She thought it was absolutely hilarious! I have a love/hate relationship with stickers because they stick to places you don’t want them to (like strollers and hardwood floors) and they can be a b**** to get off. So we have a rule for these, too. Qwynn can stick them to paper, her clothes or her body, but as soon as we get home all used stickers go right into the garbage.
Well, technically we buy trader Joe’s Multigrain O’s, but they are still just as magical. Qwynn doesn’t eat on the train too often in our daily commute because we want her to be hungry for her lunch and dinner. On the rare occasion that we don’t have time to feed her breakfast at home, we can give Qwynn a bag of cherrios on the train and she will sit there the whole ride chowing down and people watching. It’s like she’s at the movies. And you know what the means. Mom and dad get to rest and zone out a little before the work day ahead. Hooray for cheerios!!!