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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Ho paura del ragno. | Main | Phone transcript: Henry after his date with Thomas. »

Hello, we must be going.

So we’re going to Italy tomorrow, and did I brush up on my Italian? I did not. Zut alors! Wait, that’s wrong.

We are going to a farmhouse in Tuscany with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law and brother-in-law’s new wife whom I now get to call my sister-in-law. For two weeks, we’re going! We’re going to be in the country! With, um, donkeys? I think there might be donkeys. Really I have no idea. I have done very little thinking about this trip. Does it show?

My mother-in-law wishes to celebrate her birthday by taking us on this trip, and who am I to argue? I’m a little nervous about the flight with Henry (read: I’m picturing Henry flinging vomit and feces all about the cabin as he skitters across the ceiling and screeches the Nicene Creed backward) but I’m sure it will be fine! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa! Hurgh!

Anyway, then we’ll be in Italy, so even if the ride is as awful as I can imagine, we’ll still end up in Italy. The last time we were in Italy it was our honeymoon, and it was fantastical and wonderamic, except we flew Air France and therefore we had to deal with the French. On the way there I sat next to an aging, bitter old crone who wore too much makeup and applied smelly salves to her hairy cheeks and then berated me when I suggested that maybe using nail polish remover in a plane wasn’t the most considerate way to go. She actually called me a “spoiled American” and repeatedly sneered, “You want your own plane,maybe?” And oh, how I loathed the French, on that trip.

But not as much as on our way back, when we missed our connecting flight and ended up being put up in a hotel in a town called Bagnolet. Bagnolet, Where the Hookers Are! Actually, maybe it was a nice town, I don’t know—we were too busy hiding in our room from the hookers down in the lobby. They looked mean, those hookers, like they wanted to cut up some Americans. As for the room we were in, there were brown streaks running down the walls out of the vents and the sheets made us itch and the only channel that worked on the television was airing “Men in Black” in French.

But the Italy part, that was nice.

This time we’re taking Lufthansa, so I expect we’ll return with tales of Germanic cruelty. Along with many, many pictures of Henry eating gelato.

Reader Comments (53)

Ahhh, enjoy! Italy is by and far my favorite vacation destination... The food is just too good! Which is why I always gain a few kilos when there...

I have never flown Lufthansa, but can highly recomend KLM, they are even better than BA in my opinion. My recomondation for the flight, try some wine it will mellow you out (always free on international flights). As for Henry, good luck. We are flying A'dam to SF in 2 weeks with our 3 month old. I am just as terrified.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Mama
Oh gosh..I am soooooo jealous! Hope you have (or are having) a great time. I agree with the poster that talked about sedating..hehehe.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterokgirl
Actually, Lufthansa was relly quite nice, as was KLM when my mother and I went overseas. Very efficient. Have a great trip!
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKhali mother-in-law took us there on a family trip a couple of years ago and it was wonderful. our daughter was 1 1/2 years at the time and, let me tell you, the old italian ladies LOVE little kids. you'll have a great time.

alos, lufthansa has the best food of any airline i've ever flown. plus, they are super generous with the wine.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterelaine
Judicious use of medication is a great way to prepare a young'un for a long flight... failing that, you might also consider bungee cords. The ideal, of course, is a combination of both -- allowing you to safely stow him in the overhead compartment for the length of your flight. That way, Henry gets a good nap while you enjoy six hours of freedom and cocktails. It's a win-win scenario.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTwoBusy
Auguri per un viaggio sicuro e felice!

Have fun translating my bad Italian.

I just wanted to put one caveat to my felicitations....please don't paint the french with one brush, my husband is french and is the most considerate, delightful man on the planet. I am swedish, and we don't all make naked, sauna porn but we do have blonde hair, and the germans aren't cruel, they are misunderstood.

Pick a sunflower for me and roll in l'herbe (fr. for grass) and watch THAT Tuscan sky take away all the bad........

August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterUma Andersson
Oh, man. After experiencing airports in London, Munich, Zurich, Rome, Milan, Athens, and Paris, I can safely say that Charles De Gaulle airport is the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in Europe. I never understood why people referred to backwards ways of doing things as "French" until I went there.

You must be cautious.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKatharine
Fan-tas-tic! My friends and I rented a villa in Italy this summer (although ours was in Umbria) and we loved loved loved it. Make sure that you buy wine from local vineyards and have them send it home (they can ship if you buy enough, something which will pay for itself you will decide on the trip back home). Also, I am still kicking myself for not having gotten some Tuscan pottery. Sigh. But most of all, enjoy the slower pace of life there. Buon viaggio...
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHer Ladyship
My mother gave me a Dramamine when we flew from NY to Lisbon, Portugal when I was 9. I don't remember a damned thing and she didn't leave me in Lisbon because of it. Ask your doc if that's ok for Henry. You'll be glad you did.

Good luck and have fun!
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterChaeriste
I had the best experience flying Lufthansa to Italy. The food was actually edible and the people were really nice. Have fun!
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLily
No, Uma, you're wrong. Your husband is evil. EVIL.

August 23, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice
When I was a kid, my mom doped my brother up for a flight to Florida. On the way down, she underdosed him, a mistake not repeated on the return flight.

One thing about the Germans: they apologize (at least in Germany) if the plane is going to be 5 minutes late on departure. They are more punctual even than the Swiss.

In my book the most important phrase is, dove (doe-vay) il gabinetto? While it's important to know more than one phrase, it's essential to find out where the toilet is.

CDG is a pain in the ass, though it was really cool in 1974 when it was first built and looked so Jetsons-like. It's not on my worst-airport list, but it's close -- imagine trying to change at JFK and you'll get the idea (says she with 40+ years experience flying to and from JFK, that being as close to home as an international flight can drop me).

Bon voyage.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice, uptown
As someone who just came back on a flight with a screaming two year old seated in front of her, I ask you to please dope Henry. And please do NOT bring extra sugery treats with which to make him hyper. I've never valued boobs so much as when that woman in the seat in front of us used it to pacify her child. Yay boobs!!
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
Have a wonderful time!

And no need to dope up the poor boy. He's two for christ's sake, and he can recite the nicene creed backwards. It doesn't get any better than that.

Just accept that he will probably get bored on the plane and tell everyone else to suck it.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLassa
Yes Alice, the French are evil, and I'm married to one too.

I believe it was an air france flight that made me realize this as well. The stupid counter people kept talking about me in french because I misplaced my ticket. They assumed I didn't understand because of my american passport. Oh but i told them!

My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. I hate CDG, something bad always happens to me there.

Good luck on the flight. I'll be taking a similar trip in a few weeks. Like you, I just keep my eye on the destination.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
A warning to Melissa:

It's the WORLD WIDE Web.
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterZach
You had to post that so that I would read it 12 hours before departing for the airport for a 20-hour trip - ALL on AirFrance - didn't you? (20 hours... Jacksonville to Cincinatti to CGD to Amsterdam.)

Thanks. Thanks a lot. *sigh*

Have a great time in Italy, though. Look me up if you somehow pass through the Netherlands. ;)
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJess
(Obviously I meant CDG... Charles de Gaulle... not Charles Gaulle De...)
August 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Have fun in Italy! (read: I wish I was going to Italy too!)
August 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLawanda
One thing you can do on the flight back that everyone, well ok maybe not you :), is sure to enjoy (Folding tickets into X-wing fighters)...
August 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJames Antill
Have a blast. EAT FOOD!
August 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRunning2Ks
Vhat iz it about Germans beeing "impolite" or even "cruel"? We're just effective, zhat's all. Now buckle up, straighten your seat and keep quiet for zhe rest of the flight, you inferior american weakling! Lufthansa ist zhe greatest Airline of zhem all!

No, really, for your comfort: Lufthansa in fact has the highest security standards worldwide, both for pilots and machines.So, have a safe trip, und Gute Reise!
August 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHerrMetik
I'm with Jessica - and not only married to one (and mother to three more) but live amongst them too. Regular brushes with mean French people makes for good blogging material, but is otherwise bad for the health, I fear.
August 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha
I have raised 5 1/2french children, and we try to get back to Bretagne every 'other' year. However, as airlines start charging regular fare for our children as they age (why do they do that, age I mean...?) then the trips have become less and less.

Honestly and I mean HONESTLY, I have only had the regular run-around at CDG as I have had at Frankfurt, Schipol (hate schitpool - smokers abound!!) and Heathrow (can anyone name an airport thats been under renovation longer than Heathrow??). However, if you are ever in a REALLY big line up in a crowded, sweaty airport somewhere, tensions high, lines long, crusty scowls all around and then you see someone DARE to butt in line infront of 400 angry vacationers, that person is bound to be..........bien sur, FRANÇAIS! So, I give some credence to your woe!
August 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterUma Andersson
caution on one thing: lufthansa partners with united, and if you get on a united flight they will not give you FREE BOOZE even if you really really need it. this means: bring enough fives to cover your drinks and the drinks of anybody else around you that you think might need one OR pack a large flask. which you're not technically supposed to do, but they let me through and i think we're all happier for it.

also, if you wear an underwire bra then you can skip your next mammogram. my mams were never so thoroughly examined as they were by lufthansa.
August 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteranne

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