bryant park loveliness

Just a reminder that I’ll be at Bryant Park today (Wednesday) with other memoirists, signing books, running a panel for the Word for Word series.  Come stop by, say hi.  12:30pm. 

Now, on with it.  There’s always this.  The thing they do.  "They," people who once upon a time ago had children of their own and give their own two cents to your every penny spent.  The kids will be fine on the plane, they say.  "You’ll see."  "Children are happy when their parents are happy."  Generally, I’d agree, but when it comes to airlines, nothing is guaranteed, especially not arrival times.  That whole "hope for the best, expect the worst" bit is far more accurate than, "It will be fine.  Trust me.  You always imagine the worst, and you’ll see, it will be fine."  That’s just crap. 

Our flight to New York is delayed.  Of course it is.   Nothing normal happens with me.  There’s always some story.  I give birth, prematurely, with TWINS, and my husband is in New York, and I have to drive myself, in LABOR, to the hospital.  There’s always something.  So of course our first airplane trip with the twins is no different. 

THREE AND A HALF HOURS we’re delayed.  No, we’re not at the gate.  We’re on the runway.  In the plane.  And all I can think is, "My breasts.  I wonder if there’s still milk in there."  "Bad weather in New York," the pilot says over the loudspeaker.  We are inside the plane, on the ground, for as long as our scheduled airtime.  At least Lucas is asleep.  Abigail, however, believes she’s a squeaky toy.  One of those cute toys that starts out on an adorable, "oooh, make it do it again" note.  You know, the one your friend without kids got you, the one who never thought how grating the repetition of the sounds would become, how you’d start to mimic the voice of the toy, and eventually bash it against the wall, causing Teddy Ruxpin’s voice to retard to a warped stutter.  A piercing shrill strip of a scream rips through the air, and the passenger behind us asks for her seat to be reassigned.  "Even toward the back, near a bathroom if you have it."  She doesn’t have the runs, unless you count running away from a screaming baby as Montezuma’s new revenge. And that’s just it.  Revenge.  My father did the blasted, "I hope one day you have a child just like you, Stephanie."  Abigail had to be held the entire flight.  For a good seven hours, she insisted on being held, so she could stand and look out the window.  When all was said and not at all done, we found ourselves in bed at 4 am.  And it wasn’t the weather that kept us on the ground in Austin.  Terrorists at JFK, we learned. 

So mostly, I tend to think that we always think it will be far worse than it actually will be.  Our imaginations are crueler than reality.  Not the case when it comes to JetBlue.  Not the case when it comes to traveling with infant twins.  I will say this, though.  They’re fucking adorable.  Abigail is already so feminine.  And Lucas is finally coming around, smiling and making sweet lifting little sounds that resemble words. Or sounds that should be words.  Abigail rolls onto her stomach and will be crawling in a minute.  She weighs a good three pounds less than her older brother, and it shows in the way she throws herself around, along with her temper.  But they’re delicious. She looks like a tasty toaster strudel.  Lucas might just be a Jimmy Dean sausage. 

The day following our arrival in New York, en route to my grandfather’s house, I got into a car accident.  I’m fine.  The kids are fine.  Phil is fine.  But that story will have to wait.  Until then, come stop by Bryant Park during your lunch hour if you happen to be in this loverly city. 



  1. I also flew into JFK that day, and find it hard to believe you were delayed for that length of time due to the terrorist scare. We came in from out of the country, flew JetBlue, and were delayed a mere 15 minutes.

    I really wish you would stop over-dramatizing your recounts of events — you do it quite often, and it's starting to become irksome.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Flight 1068 out of Austin. Do your own research. Obsess much?

  2. PS I'm betting you refrain from approving most of your comments (including my prior one), since the lot of them that are in public view tend towards "bright and shining" rather than critical. I guess I don't blame you there.

  3. I really wish I were able to come — especcially as Bryant Park is my favorite in the city (ever check out Coliseum books right there on 42nd? it's fantastic), and I really enjoyed your reading last summer at Columbus Circle, but alas I'm on my way myself back to JFK, from living in Spain, and I won't make it. I'm sure it will go well though.

  4. One of my writers at the mag just wrote an article for me on flying with babies…but I'm pretty sure she's like "super human mom" because who allows ones self to become a frequent flyer when you have 3 kids?! I just have the one and I avoid flying like skinny jeans.

    Sending you well wishes on your little family vacay!

  5. Tips for flying with an infant…

    My son is on formula as well. I took a couple cans of powder in my carry on and purchased "the airlines" bottled water after the security check point. That way I could just mix it in the bottle on the plane and I didn't have to worry about refrig or the liquids rules!

    Great job on your posts. Having an infant (or two) can take up all of your time. I am so happy that you continue to give us all some tidbits and food for thought!

  6. Haters like Susie sometimes make me wish you didn't give people the privelege of commenting. If she's so offended, why does she waste her time? (And I'm a big supporter of the First Amendment). But she's galling, no?

  7. I don't understand why readers lash out at you. Have a great time at your book signing; you've earned the positive attention!

  8. Will you be appearing in the City again this summer? Or is this our single summer helping?

  9. Good grief, Stephanie.. delayed flights, infant twins and oh yeah, terrorists. Welcome back!

  10. i have 4 little kids, and i've travelled, and i know. i'm with you.

    but here's what i got from this post. stay with me on this, it's sad:

    you spelled the f-word right. not in some silly, 7th grade, winky-wink kind of way. hot damn, you spelled it right, girl!

    it's pathetic that this cheers me, but what can i do.

  11. Susie,

    Your comment made me really angry, if you really think that Stephanie is over dramatizing events, then why the hell do you even bother to read her blog/post snide comments?

    I am glad to hear that your flight was only delayed for 15 minutes, I also hope that you did not have young twins to look after…

    For your info, please have a look at the following web page…

    Hmmm, flight 1068, delayed for 165 mins…. yep, thats pretty much 3 hours…

    Do yourself a favour, pack up that nasty little attitude of yours and take a hike…

    FROM STEPHANIE- Thanks. And remember we boarded before the delay…

  12. I can't tell you how many times that happened to me when flying out of Austin!! It wasn't through JetBlue, although one time at Christmas my JFK layover while going from Austin to Pittsburgh was craptacular and I swore off any future connection with JFK. But it's just flying out of Austin. And just flying in general. Why must they trap you on planes like that?

    Wish I was in New York to come see the panel; good luck!

  13. I totally feel for you! My son just entered his TERRIBLE two's and makes it nearly impossible to go or do anything and enjoy it. Or just survive it. So I am sorry that you had to deal with that crap for soooo long. And then a wreck… so sorry. I figured this would be a good trip for you, getting back to NYC for a few days. I hope that all these transportation problems don't ruin your stay.
    And maybe to help out a little… I always get so frustrated when I take the little one to eat and he acts up the WHOLE time. I feel like other people are glaring and wanting him to behave and thinking bad things about me. But I was out the other day and a child was being bad and the mother looked like she was about to crack (like I do sometimes I am sure) and I felt bad for her. Not annoyed. So there are people out there who sympathize… and to the rest who gives a flying F?

  14. susie – a young mom with infant twins is stuck on a plane for 7 hours, gets in a car accident, and invites you to her book reading and all you have to say is that she is exaggerates and it irks you? why bother to comment then? i seriously don't get the troll thing. do you have no friends, family or work to do? is the best thing you have to do with your time to read things that annoy you and post snarky comments? pathetic. if you don't like it, don't read it. if you don't like it, click somewhere you do like and read there. why take the time to post something bitchy? honestly… do you really care if stephanie was stuck 15 minutes or 3 hours? does it really make a difference in your day? if so, i am really sorry for you. get a life.
    stephanie – enjoy new york.

  15. My God Stephanie! What an ordeal! I hope the flight back is much better 'cause it can't get much worse. Good thing little Lucas was asleep, that must have been a huge relief.
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your visit. Hopefully you can relax & sit at a nice patio having drinks with your friends like the old days. Take care.
    Susie, what is the matter with you??!!

  16. Stephanie,
    Have a great time enjoying all of your hard earned success today! I wish I could be there to support you!

    Those of you who do attend, be sure to post comments about how amazing it was :)

  17. Sorry i'll miss you today! But i'm very happy that you're back in New York. I hope the twins enjoy their experience here! Sorry to hear about the delay and the accident. Very thankful that you all are okay!!!!

    Enjoy the city – the weather is nice just for you!

  18. I think it is so unproductive to start verbally bashing anyone who has a differing opinion as the "fans" of this blog. It's a great blog cause the writer obviously believes in a freedom of speech…

  19. Have to disagree with Susie—–You were not overdramatizing at all….just sharing the frustration of parents traveling with munchkins….believe you me I can relate

  20. Oh please – Susie is pointing out a fact – Stephanie is a drama queen and tends to embellish a LOT. I love that Stephanie accused her of "obsessing" – ha. Jesus, Stephanie – can you have an ounce of self-awareness, ever? So, you had a long, hard flight with twins. Wow – I bet that is the worst and most original problem ever.

  21. OK…probably my last comment on this thread. But I suppose Samantha and Susie are quite self-important. (So, you had a long, hard flight with twins. Wow – I bet that is the worst and most original problem ever) and then there's Susie, who knows, just knows, that you couldn't have been that delayed because she wasn't. Sheesh. Get a life. Let Stephanie and the rest of us enjoy it. And, Stpeh, bask in today – your day – you've earned it.

  22. I still can't get over how over-protective some of your fans are (come on ppl, do you THINK SK would have a blog, esp. THIS kind of blog, if she couldn't take the good and the bad????)…Susie isn't being a "hater", she's expressing her opinion… So, "loyal fan","freepie" & "cara" (who's post was esp. mean/snarky), get your noses of of SK's ass already. Is a BLOG, for entertainment, not a commentary as to etiquette, manners, etc.

    otherwise…welcome back to the area SK. i'm in CT, and was stuck in court all a.m, otherwise, would have loved to head to BP. safe and happy trip.

  23. I too am a mother of twins and flew with them often as infants. From my perspective, it was usually THEY who were the terrorists.

  24. I nannied for baby twins – a boy and a girl. Balls and flowers. Grunting and singing. It was so much fun!

  25. Once upon a time, i had a friend with a very tragic life. For many years I self absorbed can I be to whine about car repairs or whatever made my day hard. Ya know what, I'm not pedastal-ing anyone here…but having a day that's a challenge and sharing it doesn't = claiming the biggest problem EVER..seriously Samantha…cut the girl some slack, if you disapprove of the descriptive prose and storytelling used on this blog, don't read it.

  26. Love the "They're fucking adorable" comment, and the sausage and toaster strudel–I'm thinking cinnamon.

  27. Boy, there are some mean people commenting on this. Anyone with kids knows that even if the children are angels, flying with them still sucks. Unless of course, you're able to pop a Xanax before the flight and have hubby deal with the kids.

  28. Samantha –

    Get some perspective! The reason we read Stephanie’s bog is because her life, problems, moments of joy are all things people can relate to and yet, somehow she manages to convey universal truths, ideas, feelings etc. in an original way. Don't criticize lack of originality. As far as I am concerned there is nothing genuinely original left in the world.

  29. Fisrt, I'm glad to hear you are ok after the car accident.

    Second, to both of the miserable bitches Samantha and Susie – Go punt. Truly. If you dont like it, dont read it. Do you have that much extra time in your day to go to a website and read an entire blog article about someones day who you obviously dont care for?

  30. i guess i better keep my complaint to myself about getting rained on walking from my car into the library……there are worse things, right?

    oh yes, such as being stuck on a plane for three hours with infant twins and getting into a car accident in the span of like, a day.

  31. Stephanie, did the Jet Blue folks hand out their much-publicized "Passenger's Bill of Rights?" I think there's a limit to how long they can keep you on the plane without some kind of retribution.

  32. Jeez, sorry to hear about the delay, and the car accident. Glad you are all ok!

    Traveling with little ones really does suck, even when they're 2.5 years old. I remember a flight back from Hawaii where my older daughter who wa 2.5 at the time caught a stomach bug, and spent the 5 hour flight home barfing every 1/2 hour. I don't think I'll ever forget that one.

    Hope the flight home is much more uneventful!

  33. Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.

    I will never take someone serious that goes onto a blog of someone that that don't know and writes things that they would never have the guts or decency to say to that person's face. It just isn't right. Being "anonymous" isn't a free pass to being mean, no matter what side of a debate you are on.

  34. Oy! Sounds like a crap flight- but your "fucking adorable" makes me yearn for some new pics of the twins! Hope the reading was great today, I'm bummed I missed it due to work. Come back again soon!

  35. I saw you panel in the park this afternoon and you were simply radiant. Could spot that red hair from 5th Avenue! Interesting thoughts on writing memoir – thank you for your perspective!

  36. Not that I totally agree with Susie, but come on, "nothing normal ever happens to you." That is so grossly dramatic. You should be so lucky.

  37. ok, totally random … not on the topic of BP, twins, flying, etc. but wanted to see if you've checked out martha stewart's new craft products + website? so darling! such fun to be had! i figured a "scrapbooker" and fellow craft gal like yourself would appreciate. i just spent waaaay too much time playing around on it. enjoy!

    FROM STEPHANIE: Oh honey, I so already raided Michael's where they keep her crafts supplies in stock. I cannot wait to start scrapping. Though I will admit, I don't want to begin until I've first created a proper space for scrapping. I love the whole idea of a studio, and I've already picked my spot in the house. First though, I need a proper printer that will accommodate 12 x 12 paper, and one that prints excellent black and white photos as well as color. Epson makes one, but it's so pricey. And after that purchase, I'm going to buy a Xyron Wishblade personal cutter because (it hooks up to a MAC or PC) it does die cuts in any size based off any true type font (and there are tons of dingbats, etc), and given that I have over 3000 true type fonts, I can basically create anything and save myself a whole lot of money in the long run. I can't wait.

  38. Even if a delayed flight with screaming twins isn't the worst thing you can imagine in this world, at that moment it is pretty damn horrible…same goes for the rest of the moments until it is over.

  39. Stephanie, I saw your doppelganger in San Antonio last weekend. She was doing on of those "test your strenght" mallet type of games at an arcade. How appropriate :).


  40. Didn't your sister once say you are the worst driver ever? Were you even driving? Glad to hear nothing got bent.

    FROM STEPHANIE- I wasn't driving, and it wasn't our fault. We were hit from behind.

  41. I always thought opionions were more like assholes….everyone has one, and some are smellier than others!

    Have a safe trip back SK!

  42. There was a fight in here and I missed it? *throws down*

    Always make sure to have their pacy handy on flights, it helps with their ears popping if they're sucking on something (unless you choose to give em a titsnack on the plane).

    My kid is four and I had one bad experience with him when he had just turned three. It was out first plane ride together and while he had always been a total ANGEL for his dad on the plane (which is funny b/c he usually minds his p's and q's more around me b/c he's more scared of me- heh) he was a complete asshole.

    At one point he slapped me when I leaned in to quietly threaten to take away one of his prized possessions when we got back to ATL from this trip visiting my gf Deb in Chicago. It's not like I could take away his toys on the plane. He would have really lost it. And this was very out of character for my kid. VERY out of character, and I say that not to brag that I have this wonderful kid but to make it clear that I honestly didnt know HOW to handle it.
    He'd never acted like this before, ever, let alone on a freakin' airplane.

    My gf tells me I should have taken him in the bathroom and spanked him. However, he did this as we were pulling out from the runway so we couldnt get up.

    I had never ever been so embarrassed, mortified and FUCKING FURIOUS. I was so close to snapping. By the mercy of God I guess he finally fell asleep. And I had to restrain myself from thumping him right on his nose while he lay sleeping like an angel for the hell he just put me through.

    That's my one and only horrible public experience (so far). You think it'll never happen to you? Oh it will.

    And your life never seems to fall under the norm, Stephanie, but at least you can laugh about it.

    Just wait until the beans want to watch the same video forty times. You always say you wont let them but you end up giving in, and memorizing the entire dialogue of Toy Story.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.