Uh. What up?
Yes, I Have Been At This For Two Whole Years

Tod Tod Tod Tod Tod Toddlerville

Despite the occasional blogging-friendly pratfall, I actually do consider myself a fairly competent adult. I can make it through most days without serious injury, I juggle and meet multiple deadlines on a regular basis and I know how to open and close my stupid asshole stroller.

But there's something about New York that turns in me into a bumbling, fumbling idiot. I get on the wrong train! I trip on the sidewalk! I compulsively over-tip cab drivers! I walk around with the tags from my inside-out underwear sticking out of my pants all day!

This week's trip was no exception.

Noah and I left DC on Sunday, smack dab in the middle of prime napping time. Even with Union Station's priority boarding for families with young children, we barely found seats in time. I had our suitcase on my back, the diaper bag slung over my torso and I was dragging the stroller by the shoulder strap behind me while I desperately tried to hang onto Noah by his armpits while he howled and the entire world and several Amtrak employees judged but did not help. I shoved him on the train first -- by God, ONE of us would make it to New York -- and begged and panted to him to please please please follow Mama like a big boy.

When we found seats at last Noah was utterly delighted by the whole choo-choo-ness of the experience. For about a minute, which is how long it took him to realize that choo-choos actually involved a lot of SITTING instead of...I don't know...strippers and Cristal.

He screamed. SCREAMED. I heard the nerves of every fellow passenger in the car grate and felt their burning hot hatred as I fumbled to boot up my laptop while frantically begging Noah to hush and promising my endless iTunes supply of Blue's Clues episodes if he would just STFU.

It turned out that only one episode of Blue's Clues had downloaded correctly, for some reason. A 50-minute special called Meet Blue's Baby Brother. Which features 1) Joe and not Steve, 2) live-action puppets, 3) PUP PUP PUP PUP PUP PUP PUPPYVILLLLLLE!

We met Blue's baby brother a lot this week. Noah was completely pacified as long as it on, although his headphones meant he had no real awareness of the volume of his voice (not that that's a real great skill without headphones, durrrr) and would shout ACLOOOOOO!out of nowhere at the top of his lungs. I hate Blue and I hate her baby brother and I hate Puppyville and Alphabet City and all things bright and primary-colored.

He did not nap, obviously. He fell asleep in his stroller in Manhattan, while we waited in line for a taxi.

The whole real point of our trip was to spend time with my nephew Nicky, who is 19 months old. (Nicky's big sister, by the way, is 19 years old, and my brother-in-law is telling that to as many people as he can for the next two days before Nicky turns 20 months old.) So of course the boys ignored each other most of the time.  But whatever. PRESHUS FAMILY MEMORIES. LET ME MAKE THEM FOR YOU.

Since Manhattan apartments are a little on the -- ahem -- snug side, Noah and I stayed in a hotel around the corner, where Noah continued to not sleep. He finally conked out around midnight, but I woke up pretty much every time he moved because I was convinced he would fall off the bed and kept diving for his twitching foot, thinking it was his whole body going off the side, even though he was sprawled out in the dead center of the bed while I clung to about six inches of space off to the side.

I fell out of the goddamn bed around 4 am when I thought a pillow on the floor was my child's lifeless body.

Monday is kind of a blur -- I kept getting my foot tangled up in the diaper bag strap. Noah screamed his head off in a taxi so much that I over-tipped the driver even more than usual. I spilled coffee creamer all over Isabel and could never seem to get the stroller folded and unfolded or through doors and I spent 10 minutes convinced I'd lost a Sephora bag that was sitting two inches from my own ass. Isabel wanted to talk about all sorts of exciting Smackdown-related things and I think I just sat there with my tongue hanging out while Noah played with a pile of sugar.

Then it was back to my sister's place, where Noah napped in the stroller again while I tried to convince her that she should TOTALLY bring her toddler to DC for Christmas. TOTALLY. The train is NOTHING. It's EASY. We're having a GREAT TOTALLY EASY NOTHING TIME.

(I lie! I lie to my FAMILY!)

The boys finally started to acknowledge each other's presence that night, while they ran up and down the hallway outside the apartment. Nicky was not wearing pants. Noah was only in a diaper, which fell off at some point because I bought the large box of size fours, so dammit, that child will wear size fours.

They started chattering to each other -- Noah would hold Nicky's hand and shout GOOOOO! and point in the direction he wanted Nicky to run in, and then they would both run and shriek and laugh and hug and my sister and I laughed hysterically and tears welled up because my GOD, these BOYS. There's an 18-year age difference between my sister and I and more family dysfunction than you can toss a diaper at and yet here we are, with our boys, closer than ever and planning family vacations and I don't think it's a place either of us ever expected to be, but hot damn, it feels great.

My brother-in-law had the camcorder on at the exact moment my sister told us the boys had locked us out of the apartment.

"Huh," we both said.

"Seriously, you guys," my sister repeated, "They locked us out of the apartment."

"Huh," I said again.

I suddenly realized my sister was crying.

"Wait..." I said. The light bulb was starting to flicker a little bit.

My sister and her husband bolted down the stairwell to get a key from the doorman, while it finally occurred to me that yes, we were locked out and the boys were locked IN.

I sat down outside the door and listened -- I heard the sound of books being yanked off a shelf and I heard the sound of toddler footsteps change pitch as they went from hardwood to linoleum and back again.

I knocked. "Let me in, babies! Don't touch the outlets! Stay out of the kitchen! Don't open the TV cabinet! BUT OPEN THE DOOR TO THE NICE STRANGER IN THE HALLWAY."

I at least got Noah to knock back a couple times before my brother-in-law came careening around the corner with a key. My sister was a wreck; Noah's diaper was falling off again. I was like, "Eh. Are there stairs in there? There are no stairs in there. Amateurs!"

My brother-in-law physically put Noah and I on the train the next day and we met Blue's Baby Brother four more times, because it was the only thing in the world Noah wanted to watch.  Other than a stupid, stupid, STUPID trip to the dining car on the other side of the train that nearly resulted in Noah getting run over by a suitcase and my probably getting arrested for all the armpit holding/dragging/threats-of-leashing I did, the ride home was fine. Jason met us and Noah fell asleep in the elevator in the parking garage.

The end, MY GOD, the end.


The only preshus family memory I remembered to document. Huh. I wonder how that happened.



Well, it sounds like Noah had a good time. The things we do for the sake of Precious Childhood Memories, sheesh.

And is your entire family blond and skinny and pretty? I hate you. Bitches.


Did you not learn anything from the previous train ride to the city? Obviously not - which makes for great entertainment! Thanks for the *giggles*

Mama T

I don't have anything funny to add but it's a good story. You are one brave(crazy) mum to do the train/hotel thing. Sleeping with a two year old is hazardous to the health.


Okay, a) that woman has a 19-year-old kid??? Good genes.

b) This is why we are moving out of Manhattan when we start trying to have kids. No. Thanks.


I am flying in 12 days, with 3 little boys from england to LA, I have hives. I am scared, what made me think this would be FUN???
For one day I had a 12 year old, 12 month old and a 12 day old, I stayed out all day and almost made complete strangers ask me how old my kids were. I didn't get bored once, I would stand tall and say " She's 12 years, he's 12 months and he's 12 days!" How cool is that? I think people let me off and blamed the hormones but it was SO cool, I understand your BILs joy....it's almost like bragging that hey..after all those years we are still getting some!


The fact that Noah and Nicky got along so well and had so much fun made it all worth while. Also, next time you stay somewhere and Noah has to sleep in a regular bed, line up pillows along his side to help keep him in.


It all sounds exhausting and wonderful, My brother still reminds me of the time I screamed on the train for hours when I was a toddler. 35 years later.


Wow - I can't even fathom it. Perhaps your sister should visit you instead!


Awww, what a sweet picture!


You are a brave but crazy woman. NYC? With a toddler? By yourself? On a train? Gah!


Great times!! And you guys are gorgeous.

Jenny H.

I about wet myself at the thought of Noah randomly shouting "ACLOOO!" at the top of his lungs because I could just picture it so perfectly.

I love toddlers.


Um...wow. I am exhausted just reading that.
But I am glad to know that I am not the only person who trips over my diaper bag strap and just generally runs amok with my child. Other people always somehow look more competent with their children when I am traveling with mine.
I top both you and the previous poster at list distance-wise...we are going from Germany to New Zealand in a few days. Twenty-four hour flight...aghghghghghghgh. I will think on this post when we are frantically scrambling into taxis with our screaming munchkin and will try not to overtip.
Oh, and hey! You and your sister totally match.

Lyssa Ireland Thomas

When we moved, I flew from AZ to FL with my 1 & 3 year old - ALONE - to meet my husband. By the time I got off the plane, I delivered the kids to him and said, "take your children or someone is going home in a body bag!"

How come these things never happen to Dads?

Badness Jones

Um...I'm reconsidering my plan to take my 4 year old and 1 year old to Florida on a plane by myself....but I'm glad you made it home in one piece!


Whoa, the resemblance between you two! Especially with the almost-matching shirts. Love it!


You + your sister = adorable!


This post was too funny. I'm still laughing. And your sister is gorgeous. Can't believe she has a 19 year old. Sheesh. Life is just NOT FAIR.

And, what's wrong with Blue's Clues? I LOVE BLUES CLUES. So much that, my daughter's first word was: "It's a clue". Seriously. Really. A whole sentence. I'm so proud.

Yeek. I need a cocktail.


Well it sounds like Noah took NYC by storm! Congrats on such a big task!!-A toddler in the city-sheesh


I love that you have reached the point of nonchalance, though! How great is that? "Pfwahh - no stairs? No problem!"


Hilarious. I'm enjoying laughing with you (or at you?) b/c I know it will not be funny when it happens to me. Which it will, sooner or later.
I do want to know though, what kind of train DID Noah expect? My husband wants the number for the one w/strippers & Cristal.


I traveled to Vegas with three children-- and I had a helpful spouse along. But a two hour delay on the plane before take-off with children ages 2, 6 and 8 was mind-numbing. Solo, I like one at a time and my oldest is now 11 and I finally feel ready for New York (with just him and me). So more power to you fabulously brave, intrepid traveler!

Isabel Kallman


You and Noah were fabulous company and not at all discombobulated. I was the comatose one, from lack of sleep the night before.

I think Noah flirted a lot and was very well behaved. Ultimately, the rain in NYC makes it hard to navigate. You were a lot more pulled together than it may have seemed to you. I hope that helps.

Also, remember we devised a plan to take over the world? Damn, I was wishing you had remembered. Also, you sold Noah to me. For Sephora make-up, no less. Ha!


All Adither

Public transportation and toddlers sucks. Any form of transportation and toddlers can suck.


Masochist. Clearly.

Those steel wires encasing your sanity--awesome!


You are a brave mama to take on such a trip. Brings back some hive-inducing memories of traveling solo with my boy when he was younger.
You and your sis look so put together...was that before or after the boys locked you out? Also, care to share where your super-cute sweater was procured?


no wonder noah is beautiful.
look at his mama!

oh, and i've babysat enough to hate Steve, Blue, and the damn clues.


Tell me you planned on dressing alike. Right?


If it makes you feel better, when my 5-year-old was about 5 months old, I locked her in the apartment by accident. I became so hysterical that when the custodian took too long to follow me upstairs to unlock it and I heard her screaming, I had such a big fit that I actually used my old kung fu skills to kick the damn door in.

Obviously she was fine, she couldn't even crawl yet and was in her crib, but tell that to The Panic of a mom's brain.


ahhh. reminds me of my oh so precious trip to the beach. alone. with 4 children. i have ptsd.

Undomestic Diva

Travelling with kids SUCKS. Never, ever, EVER get only one plane ticket thinking you can have a baby on your lap. There's no room. And best, is when you're taxing to take-off and your child has just managed to poop the worst smelling poop EVER.

Wasn't me. Wasn't me, folks.


Katie (The Yap)

I just had about the same experience this week, only my kid won't wear the damn headphones. And, I am unable to write about it as well. I HATE travelling alone with a toddler and yet, somehow, magically, my husband is NEVERRRRR there when it is time to travel. Hooooow conveeeeeeenient.


I remember when the thought of traveling was exciting and fun. Now the thought of traveling strikes terror into my heart. Why can't everyone just come here?


I'm glad I read your blog today cause I needed a laugh. I've always been a lurker but OMG I just had to come out and thank you for your blog and for always being so funny!


This was so funny, though I realize it probably wasn't too funny at the time. Very brave of you to travel with a two-year-old. To New York of all places! Thanks for the laugh.


My sister and I have also found that our boys have made us much better friends. It's a lovely thing.

And I agree that it's brave to travel with your two-year-old! Brave.....or insane.


The only part I can relate to is having to watch Blue meet her stupid brother over and over again. We were at my mom's house and that was the only episode of Blue's Clues she had tivoed so my 2 year old son watched it about 9 times. I hate stupid puppet Blue with a fiery passion. Animated Blue=cute, puppet Blue=evil and must be destroyed. And the plot makes no sense. How does Blue know she has a brother all of a sudden and why are the having a party when they don't even know who the frick he is? Plus it all makes me sad for Joe who used to be the star but has now been demoted to puppet sidekick.


The only part I can relate to is having to watch Blue meet her stupid brother over and over again. We were at my mom's house and that was the only episode of Blue's Clues she had tivoed so my 2 year old son watched it about 9 times. I hate stupid puppet Blue with a fiery passion. Animated Blue=cute, puppet Blue=evil and must be destroyed. And the plot makes no sense. How does Blue know she has a brother all of a sudden and why are the having a party when they don't even know who the frick he is? Plus it all makes me sad for Joe who used to be the star but has now been demoted to puppet sidekick.


My toddler would never even *think* of going to sleep in a Big Bed. The best thing we have bought for travel, hands down, is a Peapod Travel Bed. She loves it, she is secure, and the think is lighter to carry than the stupid diaper bag.


My toddler would never even *think* of going to sleep in a Big Bed. The best thing we have bought for travel, hands down, is a Peapod Travel Bed. She loves it, she is secure, and the thing is lighter to carry than the stupid diaper bag.

the bee

You are soooo brave. My sister has a 2 yr old and a 22 yr old.
It is very odd. I think the wine was very appropriate, you must have been so freaked out !
You are great at taking us along on the trip with you. Bee


I'm out of breath just reading that! You must be relieved to be back....


I have four children and I have yet in my 16 years of parenting to take a trip alone with any one of them. Seriously, we only go to Destin once a year and I bring all of my extended family, husband AND ex-husband for back-up.
Your sister looks just like you btw!


I often wonder how exactly people enjoy life in NYC with children in this tiny apts. I suppose it works if there are just two adults and a tiny human but what happens when that kid needs to move. Also guests? Well, I agree with whomever said you are a brave woman!


I rode from D.C. to Virginia Beach on Amtrak..I decided to try the GoGoBabyz...no one on Amtrak decided to help me and the 50lb carseat and wheelz! I almost fell off the friggin train! My son is a couple of months younger than Noah and by the end of the trip he'd managed to steal my Ipod.


I did laugh out loud. Several times. I'm very sorry to laugh at your misfortune, but, OMG, was that hilarious.

Regarding "Why doesn't this happen to Dads?" I can tell you why. When moms travel alone with children, they get nasty looks and are expected to do it all themselves and keep the kids quiet to boot. The exactly 1 time that my husband flew alone with our daughter (literally, once, b/c I was with them on the return trip), he (being stupid) told me all about all the nice women who offered to help with the bags, the stroller, the car seat, hold her while he got settled . . . And then didn't understand why I wouldn't talk to him for several hours.

You and your sister both look fabulous!


I bet you navigated NYC like a native, but just didn't realize it. My hometown luvs you and wants you to move here. :-)

You and your sister look fabulous.


Ah, holidays with toddlers! Yeah, me, too. I only wish I had drank wine to compliment the extreme frustration my twin girls caused the past four days.

But, hey, it's Monday, right! Yippee!


Oh how relaxing. Bossy will now take a Darvocet and dive off a cliff.


Yall look adorable together. And if you look like that in 19 years, then you can consider yourself blessed! Your sister is beautiful. :)


This Traveling with Toddlers business was devised, packaged, and sold to us unsuspecting parents as Much Family Joy and Memories to Cherish by NaziFacistCommunistBadBadLyingPeople. And also those who invented Pantyhose.

Wacky Mommy

You and your sister are so pretty! Fun trip, huh? Well, it *sounds* fun from here. (We're not traveling this holiday season. I'm pretty thrilled about that.)

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