Last Thursday, Mike, Mazzy and I drove upstate to spend the weekend with his college friends at a cabin on a lake (our lake cabin adventures will actually be covered tomorrow; in a nutshell— 3 couples, 5 kids, and 1 bathroom. Add food poisoning into the mix and you've got yourself some memories).
Since the drive to the lake was 6 hours, we decided to spend Thursday night at Mike's cousins' house (two hours short of our destination) to break up the trip.
His cousins (Akiva, Megan and their two-year-old son, Forest) live my definition of "off the grid". Which means— they refuse to own a television but they have no problem accessing Netflix through their computer.
They also have 16 chickens, 3 cats, 2 dogs, a large vegetable garden, an apple orchard and a well where their water comes from. Almost 85% of what we ate while we were there, was pulled right out of their yard. (Don't worry— we left the dogs and cats alone.)
Basically, if there was some sort of apocalypse, Akiva, Megan and Forest would be just fine while Mike, Mazzy and I would be trying desperately to trade worthless Apple stock for scraps of bread from the corner bodega.
Amusing aside: Before we left, I told Mazzy we were visiting Daddy's cousins. When we arrived and Mazzy saw the chicken farm, she screamed excitedly, "DADDY'S COUSINS ARE CHICKENS!!!!"
This was her first time meeting Forest and she loved him immediately. Below is a picture of Mazzy trying to smother him with Boo (her blankie) which is my daughter's ultimate show of affection.
Forest probably would have returned the love sooner if not for one small misstep. Akiva and Megan sometimes call him "For" for short and at one point, Mazzy got confused and called him "Two".
Watching Mazzy run around the property, feed the chickens, chomp on cucumbers pulled straight from the garden, throw rocks in the creek, climb up on a tractor like she was born to ride it, eat dinner on an open porch in the midst of a huge rainstorm— all made me think twice about bringing our child up on the 12th floor of an apartment building in the middle of a sea of concrete.
But one tantrum after Mazzy tried to access a YouTube episode of Calliou on the iPad, because she couldn't deal with the slow loading time of a poor wireless connection, I knew I had made the right decision.
In her heart, Mazzy's as city as me.
Next up, inviting our cousins to Manhattan and then blowing Forest's mind by shoving him into our small apartment, ordering take-out and then sending our garbage down a chute.
Over on Babble today, I'm talking about our need to transition Mazzy into a toddler bed (yes, she's still using her crib) with 12 Awesome Toddler Beds That Might Keep Your Toddler in Bed.