This weekend, Ella B took her second trip to NYC and this time she got to sleep over. The anticipation of this almost destroyed her. When I told her we were going to stay at Aunty Jessica's apartment and sleep in Aunty Jessica's bed, she just about died. I, of course, was dying to know how this was all going to work out.
We made plans to run/walk/stroll in this charity event for Big Brothers Big Sisters that Jessica's boyfriend, Alan, is apart of. I decided it would be easier to go in Friday night and sleep at Jess's than to take the train Saturday morning. Of course, this meant that Ella would have to sleep somewhere other than her crib. It also meant she would have to sleep in a regular bed in an apartment that is about the size of her bedroom. There were some very real fears about how this was going to work out.
We decided that it was best if she and I slept in the bed and Mike took the couch. The problem was how to get her to bed and whether or not I would be able to get up again once she was down. Luckily, she went down pretty easily. We took a bath, read a few books, had a bottle (I mean, what? My two-year-old doesn't drink out of a bottle. That's ridiculous. Anyway...), and then I shut out the lights and pretended to go to sleep. We told her that daddy had to "go to work" so he wouldn't be forced to lie down, too. This meant, however, that he had to sit in the living room/ non-functioning kitchen and occupy himself while remaining fairly silent. Every time Ella heard him clear his throat, she'd say:
"I think daddy's downstairs."
"There is no downstairs El, go to sleep."
She also kept putting her hand on my face and whispering, "Mommy, open your eyes."
Eventually, she gave up, rolled over and fell asleep. I was able to stealthily sneak out and sneak back in undetected. She slept through the night with no problems. I, on the other hand, kept waking up to find a tiny hand draped across my face, or a foot in my crotch. Now I know why she always wakes up with a huge knot in her hair. That girl doesn't stop moving.
In the morning, we headed over to Alan's apartment where Ella couldn't wait to tell Jess, "I slept in your bed last night." We went to Riverside Park and got ready for the race. Ella was especially excited that Dora was there and we got to take a picture with her. Mike narrowly avoided a traumatizing moment when he and Ella were following Dora as she went into a little tent. Suddenly, Dora started to remove her head, and Mike quickly turned around telling Ella, "Dora has to go potty right now."
We ran/walked/and strolled our way around the park and ate a few Whole Foods sandwiches at the end. Ella was excited to see "a lot of Franklins" which were really just Ninja Turtles, but she didn't know the difference.
The highlight for her was probably when we started and impromptu parachute party. She desperately wanted to hold up the parachute lying on the ground, but with only the three of us, it was pretty difficult. A few people joined us and before we knew it, we had formed a group and the kids were running and laughing underneath the parachute every time we lifted it up. Ella was afraid at first, but soon she was running underneath between Mike and I, laughing the whole way.
She never napped, so we called it a day soon after that. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and went to bed pretty early. All in all, it was a successful trip to the city, and Ella had another first. Her first sleepover in NYC, something I didn't do until I was probably 18. Ella B, you are so much cooler than me.