Okay, okay…Despot might be a bit of an exaggeration…Head-Bitch-in-Charge (HBIC) might be more apropos but I couldn’t do any clever logo play on my love of cooking and all things food with that moniker. Admittedly, I run a tight ship…but I have to, I live and parent in New York City. Nothing (well, ordering take-out and wine maybe–and that sometimes has its challenges too) is easy here. I’m a SoCal transplant by way of Miami, I’m generally accustomed to cars with cavernous trunks as my mode of transport, free help from the village it takes to raise a child (aka family and old friends), eating al fresco in January and s–p–a–c–e, i.e., closet space, outdoor space and most of all, space from a toilet that isn’t riding shotgun to the far head of the dining room table. You know, the little things suburbanites take for granted: the sun and Vitamin D deficiency, hiding–un-showered– in your temperature controlled, window-tinted car during school pickup, a dark place to simultaneously store your shorts and down coats…or lock yourself away from the kids in, and not hearing (or the very worst, smelling) someone flush while you’re scarfing a slice of cold pizza and chugging a glass of 2 day-old Malbec (aka dinner) at your makeshift dining/office/craft table. But, the reality is we live here. Cue the Sinatra and Jay Z now. This magical City of lights and wonder. Where a 16-month old can successfully hail a cab–albeit safely strapped to your Ergo. Where a wide-eyed, 4 year-old believes Central P is her own personal backyard-replete with horse drawn carriages, a castle, a carousel, majestic lakes and rolling meadows. The Opera, the Ballet, the Shows, the Museums, the Food, the People–from absolutely every corner of the earth …the endless parade of entertaining humans, incredible sights, sounds and wondrous sensory overload. Where choices and freedoms abound, yet can also limit us. Where Mommies and Daddies work long hours to survive, prosper, make it or break it and therefore, often reluctantly lay down their hearts to stranger caregivers to help watch over them. Where parenting, even more so–maybe, is a tag team, but also often a solo effort. We all do our best as guide and guard, navigator and restrainer, censor and facilitator, as mommy…and despot.