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Girl Goes to Work

To give Gamma a big thank-you for how much
she’s been helping out recently, Maddie and I decided to
surprise her at work yesterday with a plate of cookies.

In most cities, that’d be pretty easy – hop in car,
park at work, give cookies, go home. But in New York City, such an
endeavor is either time-consuming and involving several modes of
public transportation, or costly as you pay $40 to park for an
hour. Being unemployed, we chose time-consuming.

The upside of having to do things the
cheap way was that Maddie was able to mark another
“first” off of her to-do list – her first bus
ride. She’s been on the subway several times but we’ve
never had occasion to take the bus, and she’s often expressed
interest in it. And since the bus was actually easier to use to
Gamma’s work than the subway (which involves several train
changes and dozens of flights of stairs), we headed out for a bus
and an adventure.

Wanting to pack light, I didn’t even bring the stroller or
diaper bag – just a large purse containing mostly
Maddie’s gear (emergency snacks, hand sanitizer, and Silky)
and my bare essentials. I didn’t tell Maddie ahead of time
what we were going to do; I knew from experience that she’d
blab about it to Gamma. So when Brian got up that morning with
Maddie while I stayed with Cora, he filled Maddie in. Which meant
that when I opened to door of our room to come out, a pajama-clad
Madeleine came hurtling down the hallway yelling, “I ready to
go to Gamma’s work, Mommy!”

After a brief but necessary stop for clothes and breakfast, we set
out. By now Maddie new she’d be riding the bus and her
excitement knew no boundaries. Chatting impatiently while I
searched out a bus pass, she finally fell quiet as we sat at the
bus stop waiting for our ride to show up.

Once on the bus, though, Maddie was swiveling her head everywhere,
owl-like in her desire to see as much as possible. Firs she wanted
to sit in my lap. Then she wanted to sit next to me. Then she
wanted to switch seats with me. Then she wanted a snack. Then she
wanted a different snack.

And that was just the first five minutes.

She quickly settled in to people-watching, though, and we finally
arrived at our stop. From there we had to walk seven blocks to
Gamma’s office, and Maddie set a stride I could barely match.
Hardened New Yorkers grinned, the crowds parting Red Sea-like as
she marched determinedly down the street. As soon as we entered the
building, Maddie demanded, “Where’s Gamma?”

I murmured something about having to sign in and find Gamma
somewhere on those thirty-five floors, and I swear my child rolled
her eyes impatiently as she made a beeline for the elevators. Once
we got on Gamma’s floor, though, there was no quieting the

“Where’s Gamma? Where is she? Where’s my Gamma?
Where Gamma at?”

At the sound of a familiarly imperious pipsqueak, my mom’s
head popped up over her cubile like a gopher. Maddie saw her and
became so happy she started jumping. Just jumping. Over and over

Then, of course, there was the requisite bragging tour – the
jungle drums sounded and staff came running to see the famous
Maddie, but she still deigned to make a few office visits. When the
time came to leave, I had to pry her away from her adoring

And, unfortunately, explain why Gamma wasn’t coming with us.

“Gamma no go back to work! Gamma come home now!” she
kept insisting.

Oh, kiddo, if only it were that easy.

All in all, an amazingly successful day. Maddie adored the
exploring, is always happy to get extra Gamma time, and was
suitably tired out so she took a good long nap after lunch. And
subsequently spent the whole afternoon telling us how “Maddie
took bus to work. Maddie maybe go to work again tomorrow.

Wish we had that choice.


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