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10:00 pm: The Audition (back-dated)
As I was drifting off to sleep Wednesday night, I realized that the whole modeling thing is probably a scam: they "select" all the babies who come to the open call, collect $150 for reproduction fees for including them in the book, then never include them in the book. Because, after all, none of the parents has any way of knowing whether the kid's picture is put any place but a drawer -- or a circular file.

I thought, oh well, lessons learned, ever onward.

Thursday morning, the agency called: BabyGap wanted to audition Teddy on Saturday.

HOLY TOLEDO. BabyGap is pretty much the holy grail of baby modeling. And they wanted to see Teddy!

The only bummer was that the audition was in New York City. Hardly local, eh? But I was very antsy, having been stuck at home with that stinkin' ear infection all week. I wasn't contagious, so I was safe amongst the hoi polloi, and I wouldn't even have to drive (which I wasn't sure would be safe). And I could finally experience the Acela, which I've wanted to ride since its debut.

What the heck. Teddy and I went to New York for the day.

The Trip Down
There was an extended Amish family on the train on the way down (the slow, but early train -- the Acela would've made us late for the audition). They were very nice people: quiet and tidy and respectful. When I was wrestling with the Sit 'n' Stroll on the way out, one of the women said, without a trace of impatience, "sometimes things just don't want to cooperate, do they?" And her whole family was stuck behind me, waiting to get off the train.

I particularly enjoyed interacting with (and eavesdropping on) the children. One little girl was enamored of Teddy. She kept peeking around the side of the seat to look at him. Teddy, who loves little girls, was quite enchanted. It was reassuring to see and (mostly) hear how little kids are all the same, no matter their background. The whole trip down it was "please Mama please Mama but Mama what's that Mama are we there yet Mama I'm tired hungry whatever Mama," though it was in both English and German.

There was one funny bit: seeing one of the Mamas feed her 2[?]-year-old whipped cream from a can. I never knew Redi-Whip was part of the Amish menu.

Because I hadn't bought a ticket for Teddy, figuring he'd be in my lap anyway (and there aren't seatbelts, so the Sit 'n' Stroll would be all Stroll, no Sit), I was concerned that I'd end up spending the trip restraining Teddy from crawling all over some stranger.

What didn't occur to me is that no one wants to sit next to a baby. And a fellow passenger helped out enormously, in more ways than one. She sat across the aisle from us, and was absolutely wonderful about interacting with Teddy: playing Peek-a-Boo, talking, waving, all that stuff. And even better: she had her baby with her.

And if there is anyone who wants to sit next to a baby on a train (which I doubt), there is absolutely no one who wants to sit between two babies.

I got a blueberry muffin to eat on the train, on the grounds that I like blueberry muffins, Teddy likes blueberry muffins, and blueberry muffin crumbs are benign. I realized, too late, that blueberry muffins have, like, y'know, blueberries in them. And blueberries stain. So Teddy went on his BabyGap audition with a big ol' bluberry stain in the middle of his Independent baseball shirt. [He wore this with jeans and white shoes. Many of the kids who came to the audition -- like the open call a few weeks before -- were waaaay dressed up. I just don't get how seriously some folks take this stuff.]

Anyway, Teddy eventually fell asleep for a couple of hours, so he was well rested when we arrived. And I got to check out the scenery in sloooow mooootion.

The Audition
We walked from Penn Station to Chelsea Piers. I'd made the mistake of wearing a nursing shirt (read: heavy, hot), so I was sweating buckets when we arrived. We went into Pier59, which is a very industrial kind o' space. Exposed steel beams. Concrete floors. That look.

I filled out a form (name, address, contact info, favorite color, favorite song, nap times). We waited in line for less than 10 minutes. When it was our turn, I carried Teddy Behind the Room Dividers {cue scary music} and sat him down on the white-towel covered box. They took two Polaroids of him. We waited to see if they came out. We left.

That's it.

I'd hoped to hook up with a friend in NYC, but it was a big dance weekend (that is how out of the loop I am -- this was the second major dance event [the first was the Cleveland Lindy Exchange] where I was in town, but had no idea it was going on), and she was leading a shopping excursion in Soho.

  1. I have no idea where Soho is.

  2. I'm not a big shopper.

  3. Teddy is not a shopper.

So unfortunately, we couldn't hook up with my friend. Instead, we went out for sushi, where Teddy consumed the entire innards of an order of avocado sushi. Little piggy.

We then hung out at Penn Station to wait for our train (the Acela this time).

The Trip Home
Unfortunately, the Acela departed from a downstairs track. Emphasis on STAIRS. As in, no escalator or elevator to be found. So I had to sit-ify the Sit 'n' Stroll, carry it (with Teddy therein) and everything else down the stairs, then stroll-ify it again. Argh.

But the Acela is very nice indeed. Very, very clean. No worries about Teddy crawling around on the (carpeted) floor... except the potential annoyance to fellow travelers. Fortunately, I'd bought a couple of new toys while we were in the city, so Teddy was fairly content. Fairly.

I enjoyed the faster-motion scenery on the way back. I believe Teddy slept some more, but I don't remember.

We took the commuter rail out to West Roxbury, and Peter picked us up. Good thing, too, 'cause only one train-car was open, and they didn't pull it up to the ramp, so we had to carry the Sit 'n' Stroll down the stairs.

I'd thought Teddy would be thrilled to see Peter, but it was too late and he was too cranky for that. He cried the whole, the entire two-minute drive home. Poor kid.

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