Dawn and Stirling staggered down the hill to us from the Earth Day thing in Central Park. Nika was perched near Stirling’s shoulders in a backpack baby carrier, woozy under her hat. “Ugh,” said Dawn, “It’s Babypallooza up there.” When Nika wakes up, she grimaces exactly the way Stirling does when he finds something distasteful; my mother said babies look like their fathers for the first nine months to make sure they stick around. Every time I see Nika, I have a new favorite thing about her: today, it was her big-eyed, rapt attention to grown-up talk as we yammered over her head. No, wait. It was when she tried to eat grass.
We were telling them about Tuesday night, when we met Ben at a restaurant on the Lower East Side to toast his first day at The Nation. “He said you were meeting at eight,” Dawn said incredulously. “I know–it may as well have been midnight,” I agreed. It was lovely–swilling wine in a French restaurant and making a thousand toasts–but the next morning, when I crawled out of bed at five-thirty, I felt like I’d been hit by the A train. The whole day, I was so tired I could feel it in my teeth. “Yeah, I can’t do school nights, dude,” I said.
“You guys already act like parents,” Dawn said for the 12th time. “Just pop a baby out already!”
She has a point.