There are a few key things I forgot to mention about my weekend with my sister.

For one, we went on a duck tour. That is a tour of Boston that takes place in a vehicle that drives on land and floats in water (with its wheels still spinning to the music of all the quacking up above).

We almost screwed up going on a duck tour. Harlan and I decided not to buy tickets online because we didn’t want to pay the fee, and because we couldn’t figure out in advance how long it was gonna take for everyone to have breakfast, shower, poop, etc. So, off we go on a subway ride, requisite caffeine stop at a charming joint on Charles Street, long stroll along the esplanade to the Museum of Science, and finally arrive at 11:30.

And there’s a sign up that says, “Next available time: 2:30.” Grumble, grumble, and we decide we’ll cruise around, grab a bite, maybe replace the two pathetic bras I’ve been wearing since halfway through my pregnancy at Victoria’s Secret, come back at 2:30. But by the time we get to the ticket office, next available time is 3:30. By the time we stop bickering and trying to figure out if four hours was too much time to kill in Boston with a baby, next available time, 4:30.

So we decided to go the next day. Harlan and Katya stood at the window and I fed boo apple sauce and we screamed back and forth about whether Princess Katya would be able to make it to 9am yoga so we could take the tour at 12 and whether it was fair to make boo skip his nap to take the tour so maybe we should do it post-nap, but what if we slept in and had to go to 11am yoga, what time would work then and would boo be able to nap if I was at yoga and couldn’t put him down and bitch blahblah bitch whine, etc….

And suddenly the blonde at the cash register announces that we could get on the 12:30 tour, as in the tour starting in half an hour. Katya’s magic. Katya’s karma. The kind of shit that always happens to Katya. She said that poor girl was doing anything humanly possible to get the LA princesses out of her face.

The tour was great. Our guide, “Major Scoop” was goofily hilarious and had us quacking all over town. Literally. Saw the sites. Learned some historical factoids—like that Samuel Adams was a great revolutionary who inherited a brewery from his dad and within months ran it into financial ruin. Boo fell asleep on the boob about fifteen minutes in. It was a lot of fun. Afterwards we stopped at the playground on the esplanade and Katya and Harlan napped on benches while boo walked around in circles clutching a piece of banana in each hand and, when he finally ate them, obsessively threw wood chips and fought off an older woman named Anna who followed him around.

That night we got a babysitter so Princess could have lobster and met up with her old friend Shirronda, who’s the only person I know in Boston and whom I hadn’t seen in 15 years. It was as if no time had passed and we had brunch the next day, too, in the South End and then window shopped on Newbury and Boylston Streets. (I window shopped, my sis bought a cute coat at Anthropologie.) At some point this guy Jeff, a screenwriter whom I’d bonded with at the Venice playground while his son Rocco and boo took turns on the slide, called and invited us to a get-together at the home of the woman he and his family were staying with that night in Boston, following a wedding in Maine. I’d been introduced to this woman via email, since she is not only a professor at Emerson (ie. a new colleague of Harlan’s) but also very good friends with a very good friend of mine from elementary school! We swung by and I was too beat to be good company, but it was nice to meet cool people and eat good food and feel that there’s hope for us here. It really was a good weekend.

The other thing I forgot to mention is that the cats have been peeing all over the house ever since we got here. The first time, I went to bed with Maggie curled up and kneading a packing blanket the movers had left. In the morning there was a puddle of pee on it.

From then on it was open peeing season.

Jack peed on Katya’s computer charger. He shit on the entryway rug. He peed on Katya’s computer case. He left a warm puddle for Harlan to step in at the bottom of the stairs. The house reeks. We went out and got one of those Feliway cat pheromone diffusers—Prozac for cats—and plugged it into the wall. They say it can take up to four weeks, but the last time Jack had issues it only took a few days. Last night I also put bubble wrap and plastic bags all around the areas where they’ve been peeing, in an attempt to make the area less hospitable. This morning, lo and behold, there was no pee. We hope we have moved onto happier times, free from fear we’ll step in sticky yellow puddles and free from the stench.

Daddy and Auntie Katya do the Duck Tour

Daddy and Auntie Katya do the Duck Tour

Duck tours make mama HAPPY

Duck tours make mama HAPPY

Boo slept through the tour

Boo slept through the tour

Harlan and Auntie napping al fresco

Harlan and Auntie napping al fresco

Boo at the playground

Boo at the playground

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