Newsflash: Princess Kate is Pregnant and I’m afraid of heights.

I’m in New York City for exactly twenty eight hours to meet with Lucky jeans, more on that later.

What matters is… the princess is pregnant.

I don’t know what it is about Kate Middleton. Maybe it’s her pretty teeth, her shiny hair, the fact that we are the same size and could share clothes, or maybe because her wedding was the first historical event I forced my daughter to experience with me at 3am… I just feel a special bond with her, and there I was standing in the middle of Times Square explaining to Gigi why I wouldn’t let her pose with a slightly off-looking Mickey Mouse who smelled like vinegar and staph when it came across the giant Good Morning American ticker, and everyone cheered.

It was a like a giant flash mob but nobody sang or danced, we just all stood there spirit fingery and happy like, this is so exciting and we don’t even have a monarchy, OMG we should totally get one!

After that high, I felt invincible, so I ate some street meat, bought pants without trying them on, and got us tickets to check out the top of Rockefeller Center, you know, to see the tree and stuff. Except, spoiler alert, you can’t even see the tree from the top of Rockefeller Center, because the top of Rockefeller Center is in outer space, a fact I was tragically ignorant of until literally stepping onto the elevator and the guy being all, see ya on the 70th floor, losers, and me being all, whaaaa? And then the elevator doors closed.

It seems like there would have been more precautions set up before getting to this point. Maybe more signs that said, hey stupid, look up, this building’s way taller Jack Donaghy makes it look on television. Or, I don’t know, maybe bold print that says don’t let three year olds on the top of skyscrapers? I can’t bring my life coach everywhere, you guys.

The ride up is 45 seconds, the exact time it takes me to remember I don’t like that new show, The Neighbors, which pains me because while I adore Jami Gertz, alien intercourse makes me uncomfortable. My therapist has a whole file called Brittany/Cocoon/Temple Grandin Hug Machine. They try to distract you from the fact that you’re whizzing up into the atmosphere by playing a fun little laser show in the car, but I was more focused on whether or not you really expel all your body fluids when you die, and how many people were going to put the whole thing on youtube. Also, holy shit, Gigi. She remained upbeat and blissfully unaware that she should be afraid of anything whatsoever, even when I looked at the entire elevator of strangers and was all, hey can you guys help me make sure she doesn’t fall off? Nobody answered. Royal pregnancy jubilee? Over.

So, here’s something interesting, you can say you’re afraid of heights and like, not go off the high dive at the quarry or not sit by the window of a plane, but it’s hard to say you’re afraid of heights and find a place on the top of Rockefeller Center where you don’t feel like you’re about to die. I was shoved off the elevator and my entire body was paralyzed, literally stiff, save for my right hand that was squeezing Gigi’s so tight, it was sopping wet with sweat, allowing her to squeal with delight, slip out and run to the protective glass at the edge of the building.

This is where you find out how much you love your children. I tried, in vain, to like, call her like a cat stuck in a tree, chirping her name all fun, patting my leg, whistling, promising her all the crap in the giftshop if she would just come here, which she wouldn’t, fuck, I had to go get her.

I felt like Frankenstein learning to walk, hobbling over there all fire bad, unable to properly bend my joints or regulate involuntary body functions like blinking or exhaling.

I mean, it was pretty. You can’t be on the top of a building in New York City at night and not have some sort of Nora Ephron-gasm and be all, yeah, I’d still do Tom Hanks, but just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’s natural, and this felt unnatural. This felt like I should have a will.

Finally, after walking (and I use the word walking loosely, because I have no memory of movement, I was like those people who sleep-drive cars on Ambien) around the entire thing with my fearless kid, I convinced her it was time to go, that we could see the tree and get ice cream and rent Hotel Transylvania for $17 and two blood transfusions back in the room.

Down the elevator, through the doors to the giant Christmas tree, lit not six days earlier in the presence of a one, Cee-Lo Green, to complete this whirlwind city holiday adventure.

I pick Gigi up into my arms, cuddle her close, ask a non-snatchy yet tech savvy looking woman to take our picture, and then…

Gigi takes one look at the tree and starts bawling, because it’s single handedly the most terrifying thing she’d seen all day. Of course it is.

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  1. GrandeMocha says

    I have the same reaction to heights but I will ride any roller coaster in the world. Gigi is such a lucky girl to go to NYC and have adventures with you.

  2. says

    Ok, I couldn’t get past the first sentence. I am seriously major jealous. #1 My favorite city in the world. #2 Lucky jeans??? It’s the only jeans I wear. I can only buy them when they have the 50% off sale, but when they do I buy them and only them. Sometimes I get shirts too if any in my size are left. I wear them every day to work and when it’s too cold for shorts. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Right now included! Seriously jealous… 😉

    • Brittany says

      Dude, I am a new fan, they used to be out of my size demographic…. excited to say that has changed, be excited, overdraft fees!

  3. lovelyshall says

    How could you NOT be pregnant at the same time as Kate?!?! You could have had so many play dates and gossiped about the Queen!

  4. Johanna says

    I laughed the whole way through reading this post. Your commentary is the absolute best. Also, I fell 12 feet out of a loft when I was a kid and I broke my arm. Heights still totally freak me out. And I love Lucky Jeans as well, but only have one pair. When I got married in Vegas, my husband and I stopped in the Lucky store. One of the saleswomen was so excited when I walked in. She was up on a ladder putting a display up, but she yelled down to me that they had EXTRA LONG jeans. It was funny and I of course had to buy a pair.

  5. says

    I had a panic attack on the top of the Empire State building. My mom found me pressed face-first against the wall. Apparently the wind blew and made the building sway. I have no recollection of this as I was immediately given a large dose of Xanax and taken back to the safety of our not-very-high-up hotel room.

  6. says

    A few years ago we visited a lighthouse when we were at the beach, and Matt wanted to go to the top with the kids. I had enough sense not to join him because I have a fear of heights, but I learned that day that my fear of my kids falling is way scarier than my own fear of heights. It was horrible, horrible, horrible. I stood at the bottom and wept until they were all safely at the bottom again. In related news, we will never visit the Grand Canyon.

    • Brittany says

      The Grand Canyon is probably overrated. Let’s just stick to things like breweries or vineyards or that place that makes Hershey bars…you know, ACTUAL American beauty.

  7. says

    I can’t stand Neighbors either, even though I too adore Jami Gertz.

    When I’m up in tall buildings or at any height, I always have this weird urge to jump. Fortunately it is not an overwhelming one. The only time a height really freaked me out was when I tried to stand on the glass floor at the CN Tower in Toronto. It took me five minutes to finally do it, but I did.

  8. says

    I admire the crap out of you for just getting in that elevator. Anytime I’m in Toronto (which isn’t often) I can’t even stand NEAR the C.N. tower because I was once told they built it so it would sway in high winds (apparently this makes it less likely to fall down) and I swear to fucking jeebus I can *see* it moving and I just know it’s going to fall on me. Panicpanicpanicpanicpanic.
    Love your pictures though.

    • Brittany says

      It was mob mentality. I was in the line, then shuffled in the elevator, and like, he said how tall it was and I was STUCK in there, no choice. I mean, I probably HAD a choice, but it would have included wetting myself and apologizing to like 30 people.

      • says

        That’s just wrong. If not for Gigi, you should have just covered your face, crouched down and started shaking your head “nonononononononononono” until they let you off.

  9. Jess says

    Aw Gigi being afraid of the tree is totally something I would have done at her age. When I was younger my parents took me to the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum at Myrtle Beach. My dad tried to lift me up to be close to the “tallest man ever” and I squealed and cried for him to put me down. And when I say “younger” …I was 12.

  10. k says

    I had to take 1mg Ativan after reading the part when GIGI RAN when the elevator to the 70th …opened…people pushing you and lil, innocent GIGI OUT..and her lil innocence running out! I then started getting that rush of panic…and had to grab for my anti-anxiety med. What fun though…and loving the coat..where..where can I find?

    • Brittany says

      It was HORRIBLE, like, slow motion horrible. And my brain was like, YOU ARE THE STUPIDEST PERSON EVER, WHO BRINGS SMALL KIDS UP HERE?

  11. says

    Oh god such a coincidence because I am totally the same size as Kate too and we could totally share clothes! Totally!
    Also, heights! They are fucking terrifying! Do you get that feeling like somehow you will be compelled to almost jump off? I would have had to lie on top of my toddler to prevent her from running and.forcing me away from the safety.of the wall.

  12. says

    You have to admit, it’s damn gorgeous up there! Hubs and I went up there last year at Christmas. AND the Empire State Building – we’re crazy like that. 😉

    And Lucky Jeans!? Cool!!!

  13. says

    Since I now live in the Commonwealth (albeit on a sheep-infested island at the bottom of the Pacific), I feel duty-bound to inform you that bitch ain’t no princess, she a duchess. Also: do you know what’s growing inside her? Not just a mini-Prince Charles, which is terrifying enough. A foetus. FOETUS. Somehow, it’s so much grosser with the “o.”

  14. Michela says

    I found out that I was not so coo with heights on a mountain. MOUNTAIN. We rode the cable car up, and I was preoccupied with the smelly people in the car, then we get to the top and step out onto the tiny (football field sized…) platform…and I freaked out.

  15. says

    I’m planning to lose my NYC virginity ASAP, thanks for the head’s up on avoiding elevators, tall buildings, trees and street meat. I thoroughly enjoy anything on a stick so I may have lied about the last one.

  16. Maya says

    My kid is afraid of the smurfs. Not the illustration per se, but people in Smurf costumes. Anyway, being the best mom that I can be- I put a photo of one in my cell phone contacts along with a photo to let her know that I am not afraid to give the smurf a call if she doesn’t listen. Works. Every. Time.

  17. says

    This post *almost* induced a panic attack. I’m seriously sitting here with my heart racing. I’m that afraid of heights. Also? I’m not sure I could have walked over to get my kid. I’m not sure I could have moved at all.

  18. says

    I had to laugh at “street meat.” I love NYC at Christmas time. It’s totally magical. I too would have been freaked out at the top of Rockefeller Center. Heights scare me, especially in the middle of NYC.

  19. says

    Oh my hairy vagina!! This is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Maybe month. Or right, fine, all year. And the sleep induced Ambien wake mares sound so inviting. I wonder how many babies have been made on that stuff. Doesn’t it like make your genitals drive the car to a bootie call?


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