Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Adjusting to a New York City Baby

There were many reasons that Paul and I, upon moving to New York City, said we would never have a child here.

We obviously changed our minds, but the difficulties remain.

The worst part about having a child here are the number of stairs. Particularly in our apartment. We live in a third-floor walk-up, which means no elevator. If I'm going somewhere with Edith by myself, that generally means two trips up and down the stairs -- one for the stroller and one for her (although I did carry her in one hand and the stroller in the other for the first time this past weekend -- a milestone!).

We haven't taken the subway yet, but the same problem will arise in many of the stations, including the one closest to our apartment. Generally only the biggest, busiest stations have elevators. I expect to have strong arms by the time Edith can climb stairs.

A close second in the annoyance department is our apartment's lack of a washer and dryer.

Now that Edith is four weeks old (time is already flying!) we've got into a new laundry routine. That is, we simply do the laundry more often.

That in itself is annoying enough, but the bigger pain is that I can't do it when I'm alone here with Edith, while Paul is at work. When I'm able to cart Edith around in a baby carrier, I'm hoping I can at least take one load at a time to the laundromat in a bag. Laundry baskets and babies in carriers probably don't mix, I'm guessing.

Of course, there are a few perks to having a Brooklyn baby, as well. I can buy her vitamin drops (and diapers, too, in a pinch) at the pharmacy practically underneath our apartment. And Edith and I have plenty of places to visit together within walking distance once we do actually get the stroller out the door. (We've been to the library twice already.)

One thing that we thought would be an issue that really hasn't been? Not having quick and immediate access to our car. She's been in our car exactly twice: coming home from the hospital and taking Paul's mom to the airport last week.

So far, there's been nowhere else that we've wanted to take her via vehicle. We've found workarounds for the large loads that would typically fill a car trunk in, say, Ohio. For example, we get our diapers and wipes delivered -- they're actually cheaper to buy online than in the neighborhood stores anyway -- and we just got a foldable cart from Paul's family so each of us is able to bring back lots of groceries by ourselves instead of depending on the extra two hands we always had when we shopped together.

Having a New York City baby seemed impossible when we moved here. Gradually, that feeling went away. Yes, there are difficulties: no getting around that. But we're quickly learning that having a baby is all about making adjustments. And that's true whether you're in New York or Ohio.

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