toddlers take new york


At the end of the month, I’m toddling off to New York with my 3 Little Beers. We’ll be there for twelve full days, and I have to believe it will feel like The Twelve Days of Christmas: a frenzied rush of plans, of back and forth calls, and calendar checks. Lots of family time and Bing Crosby. Scheduling with friends. And must-go-or-I’ll-die places I’ve missed. I always want to do so much, coming with a list in hand of all the places we’ll go, only to spend most of my time in my father’s house, not doing much of anything.

I guess I let the idea of it feel hard. I hate being a shut in! But the logistics of travel sound gruesome. We’ll be staying with Phil’s family in Queens, and also with my father and Carol on Long Island. Naturally the grandparents want as much time with the tots as they can get (and I’ll take them up on it, so I can grab my camera and spend the day just walking the city), but for the most part, I don’t want to be shut in with the taters. I want to do things with them.

Smelly has a baby girl named after a chandelier (according to me and my theory), whom I still haven’t met! I absolutely want Lucas and Abigail to have play dates with my New York girls who knew me long before I turned parental. I’ll need lots of time with Dulce, and I have a feeling she’ll want, more than anything, to take Luke & Abby to Dylan’s Candy Bar, to let them run wild. I hope to get my Monique on, too. Ooh, and Rachey Rach and her new baby girl (named after a headboard slipcover), and Kang with her sweet boy. See… lots of play dates!

Trendy Toddlers- For Him

I want to take my little monkeys on museum and zoo dates (specifically, to the Bronx Zoo), to fill paper bags with fresh bread and head to The Roslyn Duck Pond, to take them to the planetarium and for Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity III (a staple of my childhood). I want to spend time with my cousins and all their children, to visit Damien at his restaurant, to meet up with all the girls I miss. But… I don’t know how I’ll make it all happen. Take the Long Island RR with a double stroller and a ginormous diaper bag, land in Penn Station, and then what? Beg for help? There’s not a chance in hell I’m putting them in a cab without car seats, so that’s out. Most elevators don’t work at subway stops, and it’s not physically possible to hold their hands to ensure they ascend the stairs safely, while also managing a stroller and diaper bag, and certainly not in cute shoes. So it looks like I’ll need to drive everywhere in my step-sister’s car. Thinking aloud here, sorry.

I might head to Amherst, MA for a fat camp visit, but only if I can talk Adam into meeting me there. I’m most looking forward to taking Lucas and Abigail to the ocean. Robert Moses was always my Long Island beach of choice given its proximity to the nude beach. My mother and I liked to sit on the edge and watch how unsuspecting passersby reacted to the jiggling naughty bits. It was especially entertaining when a pickup game of hackey sack began.

Then I’m off to East Hampton to stay with Alexandra (from Straight Up & Dirty), who just had a sweet baby boy (named after a wool jute rug!) I wonder if toes are on The South Beach Diet. On Saturday, August 8, I’ll get to frolic about and play with Jen Lancaster at Authors Night 2009. It’ll be a magical night, so if you’re in the Hamptons come!

What does one wear to such a party? I’ll admit, I haven’t thought of me (for once!). Mostly because when shit doesn’t fit, it’s so much more fun to spend my time obsessing over adorable clothes for the cubs. Here’s some of what I’ll be purchasing for him and her.

A YEAR AGO: Being On
2 YEARS AGO: Monkey in the Middle
3 YEARS AGO: You Can Make This Easy, Or You Can Make This Hard
4 YEARS AGO: Bedtime



  1. Going to be in the Hamptons that week too, but I doubt I will be able to drag everyone away from their last night… Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful things planned. Hope you and Phil can have a couple of “date nights”.

  2. Stephanie Klein AND Jen Lancaster at the same place at the same time?? If I was not in Fire Island that weekend (watching the unsuspectings RUN past the nudie beach) I would be there in a heartbeat.
    Your whilrwind NY vaca sounds like its just what the doctor ordered, have a fabulous time!

  3. I have sad news. Brandy’s had a fire. I know, I sobbed. Good luck getting your gay-music man fix. I’m still searching for a replacement.

    1. Author

      Noooo! When Phil and I got married, we hired people from Brandy’s to come perform at our wedding (we had a piano bar theme, where on RSVP cards, people were asked for their favorite song to sing along to). We’ll try to hunt down a new spot. This is sad!

  4. I don’t really blame you for dreading the thought of lugging the double stroller on the trains, but I think you’re overreacting a bit. It’s really not that big a deal – people do it ALL THE TIME. Especially if it’s not rush hour, the trains will be practically empty and the elevators usually do work in the train stations (they might smell like hobo pee, but they function). As far as not taking the kids in a taxi – again, I understand the concern, but I cannot remember the last time I heard about a taxi accident, and if you stay off the highways, it’s pretty much impossible for them to get going over 20 miles an hour on the main avenues in the middle of the day. Is it really worth dealing with the traffic and the parking to drive?

  5. Yes, by all means spoil those kids rotten. I would expect nothing less of you than to raise entitled jappy, coddled kids – Spend away!

    1. Wait a second…because they’re clothed and cared for, they are entitled, JAPpy and coddled? So, if they wore only clothes from Goodwill, for instance, one could expect they will have a better work ethic and higher morals?

      Speaking of morality, you wouldn’t use the term JAP if you had any. Perhaps you need a shopping trip! (This is your logic at work. NOT mine.)

      1. Just pointing out that SK wrote an entire post about “Japs” a long time ago that was pretty accurate.

        1. And I question SK’s morals every time she uses the term. Any and all cultural stereotypes are reductive and wrong.

  6. If you make it out to Amherst, and get to Northampton, go to the Normand Bakery for their croissants and bread (cookies, less so), and Herrell’s ice cream.

    Near Amherst, Atkins has wonderful cider donuts.

  7. I hope you have time to scotch guard the heck out of those white linen pants you plan to buy for a toddler… or only let her drink water and eat food that doesn’t stain :)

    Cute clothes, though!

  8. Again, I’m finding it odd that people care so much as to reply about something so frivolous as how you decide to dress the baby Beers. Cheese and Rice people, they’re CLOTHES!! Steph, you have a whole lot of followers who judge a book by it’s cover, make sure you keep that in mind when choosing the cover design for your next literary accomplishment ;-)

  9. I had to laugh when I saw that you went to camp in Amherst – it’s the town where my boyfriend grew up. When I mentioned this to him, he said “Wait, what’s her name? Oh man, I think I DATED her.” He didn’t – he never met you – but he knows that I’m really sensitive about the mention of women he’s dated in the past, so he was doing it to tease me. In fact, one of the things I do when I’m feeling insecure is read your posts on deciding not to be jealous, etc. He was laughing, saying what a difficult situation that would be for me if it was true (I read your blog every day), and I just said, “Not really…I’d still love HER.”

  10. I guess I’m gonna need to look up a couple more things, but this is a good spring board.

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