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lisa was one of the first moms i met when i worked at taste buds kitchen. she and max used to come every wednesday morning for a mommy & me cooking class. max was a little shy, always polite and loved cooking. i knew lisa had to be doing something right! she has since had another little guy, sammy, who just recently turned one. i visited them on one of the last chilly afternoons of winter.

since having sammy, lisa told me, max has struggled a bit with sharing his mom’s attention. and since i talked to lisa for close to an hour about the in’s and out’s of having kids in nyc… i noticed! max pretended to be a teacher in school, asking us pop quiz questions… he wanted to show us toy after toy… and after it was clear we were going to keep talking… he kindly asked me to leave. not a problem, max, i admire your honesty!

you’re running out the door, what do you grab?

depends on who i’m with. max is all about his snack. if i’m just with him, i just need a snack, wallet and keys. with sammy i have the whole bag.

if you only have a couple minutes to get ready, what are your beauty go-to’s?

i’ll always put lotion on my face. and even when i don’t make it to the gym in the mornings, i’ll throw on gym clothes anyways because at least it looks like i went to the gym and have an excuse for looking rough! if i had time, i’d blow out my hair.

what do you let yourself indulge in?

i love my manicure/pedicure time. that’s my escape. i’ll take my homeland and watch that. also, at night when you’re taking a shower by yourself and nobody’s bothering you… i indulge in those moments.

what do you love about raising your kids in new york?

i love that all you have to do is step out your door and there’s something to do. i love walking everywhere! we can get in the stroller and even if it’s gross out… we can go to the toy store, we can go cook at taste buds,

go to barnes & noble. that’s why i love downtown, too. there’s the kid’s museum, the history museum… sometimes it’s overwhelming because there are too many options… but for the most part i just love all the options. i love how much they get to see and do.

what’s the most recent child-friendly activity you thought …”only in new york”?

a broadway show… we went to see mary poppins. we love the music. and i was so excited to see it again. it was so good. [“she went off the stage! it was magic!” said max.]

you come from a family of two girls… how is it having boys?

i love it. i always wanted boys. but now that i have two, i kind of feel bad not having a girl. but my sister just had a girl. so now that i have a little niece, i can buy girl clothes… and that’s the only thing. i do like seeing the girls with their moms getting manicures… but for the most part, i’m ok. i don’t need anyone borrowing my clothes or taking my stuff. or calling me a b-i-t-c-h [laughs].

max, what do you like to do on the weekends?

max: go to the art museum. i like to go with daddy. you get to make art there.

and where’s your favorite place to eat, max?

max: haru for sushi.

back to mom… do you have any family traditions?

well, we’re trying to do friday night shabbat. he goes to a jewish school, so he brings home the challah.

what’s the hardest part about being a mom?

[laughs] where do i begin? once you have kids you can never not think about them. even if you go away on vacation, no matter what you do… they are always part of you, always in your head, always there.

what’s some great motherhood advice you’d like to pass along?

one of the best things i ever did was to start a mom’s group at soho parenting. it’s a center with trained counselors that run workshops on everything from breastfeeding to sleep consulting. our leader was jean, one of the co-founders. that’s where i asked most of my questions when max was born… she knows everything! when they’re little, it’s a once-a-week thing. now that they’re older we do it every two months.

how do you protect max & sammy from crazy people/things that happen on the streets or subways?

max sees everything. i’m so open and honest with him. steven holds back a little more. i don’t tell him every little detail, but i tell him the truth. if we see a homeless person, he’ll ask about him and i’ll tell him, “well, some people don’t have homes.” i’d rather be short and sweet, but completely accurate. one time we were walking home from school and there was police tape around the block… we crossed the street to walk through the park instead and some guy stopped us and said, “don’t go that way, there’s too much blood over there!” of course max was like, “oh no mom, what happened?” an older child had been hit by a taxi. max was really upset about it and kept asking about him. i was hoping that the child would turn out ok, because max was still asking about him… but that night i went online and found out that he had died. i didn’t have the heart to tell max, so i said, “he went to the hospital. and he was ok.” we talked about that for a long time. random things like that… can happen anytime here in new york.

what’s been your proudest moment?

it’s hard to pick one moment, because i feel like i’m always proud of him. both of them, they do little things that amaze me every day. when max was so sweet with sammy earlier today. when i drop him at school and he says, “bye mom!” when he’s polite talking to someone. [meanwhile, max is unsuccessfully trying to get our attention by being a little loud] right now i’m not so proud, i’m a little embarrassed! [laughs]

MARCH 2012

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