Airplane People

I can really get in a lather over people who complain about babies on airplanes. It’s a public place. Air travel is NOT a luxury these days. I am far more disturbed by the loudmouth who is YELLING their conversation into the phone before take off (there are no secrets we are just pretending not to hear you), or the loud talkers seated the row behind.

Also, no one feels worse about a crying baby than the parents who are trying, and trying everything to calm it down.

Years ago I was in a geology lecture in college, there was a woman with a baby in the class, and God love her for going on with her education while being a mom of a young one. She didn’t have any help caring for the child and I often saw her with a notebook and baby in hand. One day the baby was fussing, I noticed it, we all did, but we kept on with the lecture. It was a bit distracting finally she chose to get up with her child and walked out of the lecture hall. The professor, who was the sweetest guy, stopped his lecture and said to the class, “did she leave? Oh no, please someone go and get her. She needs to be in class, the baby wasn’t bothering me, was it bothering any of you? (No one was going to raise there hand to that),” “we were all babies once.”

That is the truth.

Where It All Started

It’s not often you can take a child back to the place where her mom was conceived. This summer I was able to do just that. On our way out of Yosemite we stopped for a snack in Tuolumne Meadows. Tuolumne Meadows is an area in Yosemite National Park, and incidentally a place where my folks told me years ago they decided to “start” me. I always liked that, thought it was cool that I could visit a beautiful place that inspired my parents to expand their family. I remember a friend of mine whose parents were teenagers when she was born said, “I’d have to go in the back of a ’65 Volkswagen.”

In college a rock-climbing friend of mine showed me a map of Tuolumne, and on it there is a “Daff Dome.” Whata ya know?

Now here I am with my daughter in Tuolumne taking an ice cream break.

I am still not exactly sure where “it,” happened but they said it was in a cabin.

Vacation Rehab

I was so excited there was water on our vacation at Yosemite this year, because for many years our butts have scraped gravel while we tried to raft.

I pushed the stroller and carried Vivien up to Bridalveil Fall so she could take in the wonder of the huge, beautiful, glorious falls. See how excited she is? Yeah, that was worth the effort.

Vivien in Yosemite

When I called my sister Cecily on Sunday and she said, “I am so tired.”

“Thank God,” I said, “I thought it was just me.” I came back from my whirlwind, blended-family vacation in Yosemite and Mammoth on Friday the 4th, yet still felt pooped and hit the ground running with work Monday. Also, a National Park vacation means days of laundry upon return. I also had my assisted-living-bound dad over which takes some energy… and clean up.

What’s the vacation people come back refreshed from?

But it all went great. There were 11 of us: sisters, step-children and more. Hiking, biking… and we weren’t camping, we stayed in cottages. I CAN’T camp anymore, I’m too old. (God, then I’d really be tired.)

More favorable than the waterfall, later that day I asked Vivien, “How do you like your hot dog?” Here’s her response.

Vivien gives the hot dog a thumbs-up

Even Fun Makes Me Tired

Here is Vivien in a dress that hasn’t been worn since the ’60s, as we were walking to dinner in Chelsea last Friday night. My brother-in-law Mark’s sister was in some kiddie beauty pageants and would get dresses as prizes. One dress was presented to her by none other than the girl who played Buffy on “Family Affair.”

Vivien in NYC

When I go to NYC, I always love it. The excitement, the energy… to a point. I have about 6 or 8 friends I really like to see out there, so even trying to see a few of them takes up some time and it’s stimulating catching up. Plus, I am often doing press for whatever TV show I’m on at the time–which is fun. This trip, most of my press calls were for Cool Mom. Also, I usually do a 48-hour child-free trip… yeah, I’m free and not gone so long I feel guilty.

This trip, I had 36 hours solo and then Mark and Vivien arrived. By the third night, I started to slow down. Mark went bar hopping with friends as Vivien and I met up with a friend at a nice restaurant, walking distance from where we were staying. (Sidebar: instead of a crazy-expensive hotel room we were lucky to be in a two bedroom apartment in Chelsea of friends who were out of town. The best.)

As we walked to dinner, Vivien said, “Mommy,” pointing to the sidewalk, “This is dirty.” I’m sure she was wondering, “When is the clean-up time?”

Um, that was Giuliani, I guess, and he only got so much done. I still saw not one but two gentlemen brazenly peeing on the street. And mind you, not homeless guys with shopping carts, but people who probably had an option.

Sadly, I figured out why I am still dragging even now that we have been back home for a bit. 1) I’m not a spring chicken and 2) I have to exercise. It does help my energy level. But if I don’t do it before 9 am, forget it. I like the recreational exercise of being home, not that constant walking-in-shoes-that-hurt NYC thing. It makes me so tired.

Hanging with Clifford The Big Red Dog!

Remember when you were in elementary school and you got to order your Scholastic books? Well, they are so much more than those sweet little anticipated books in your first-grade hands. They have a big, rad store in SoHo. Who knew?

Daphne at the Scholastic store in Soho

Next time you are in NYC, forget the tourists traps and go there. The beautiful, modern building is probably courtesy of Harry Potter, since they had a piece of that which has accounted for about 50% of their revenue. But, of great interest to me is their part in Clifford the Big Red Dog. They have a coin-operated Clifford. Which sadly wasn’t working. But it’s a big, beautiful, child-friendly book store.

Vivien and Mark reading at Scholastic

I had a meeting upstairs while Mark and Viv scampered downstairs. Nice to do something for Vivien before I dragged her to a few stores to shop. But I ended buying more stuff for her, per usual. It was an honor to wear a tag with Clifford on it. But that Chloe, she is such a pushy little dog.

Travel You Pay For

Not in the money sense but in the exhaustion, dirty house, cranky child way.

We got back to LA from NYC late last night. God, was I glad to leave. Love NYC, but when the urine on the street mixes with a heat wave, the smell fills your nostrils and makes you wonder why people pay so much in rent to live there. (More later on plane travel with a toddler. Oy vey.)

I got up early for work today and was looking forward to that nap with Vivien. Prior to her nap she was in a fit state I have rarely seen. As I was trying to deal with her, my stepson was watching TV and I thought, hmm, no wonder he rarely brings friends over here. You know when your kid is really wound up and you can’t figure out why? Except for the fact that her time clock is off? And there it is, yes, snot out of the nose; Viv has a little cold. It made me stay calmer. I didn’t lose my cool.

Finally got her to sleep and I drifted off to sleep for a few glorious minutes. Then the phone rang. Twice. I understand murder.