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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

Some Books
I'm In...

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. → 

« Here's where I get all preachy. You can skim this one. | Main | Only two reasons why I married the right person. »

Don’t rub me like a Jedi knight.

The above is a statement uttered by Henry. I was going to provide the anecdote that would put it in context, but the hell with it. You might think you can figure out why he would say such a thing but you won’t be able to figure it out. Henry is an enigma wrapped in a riddle, side-by-side with a conundrum, across the way from a bugaboo.

In other news, my son is covered in rashes. This is not new. For lo these many months he has been bedecked with eczema and bespeckled with hives. As he himself put it, he is "itchy, itchy Ichabod." I haven’t done much about it because—well, I blame the liquor. Whoops! Actually I am sober 89% of the time, and we’ve done everything we can to figure out what the problem is, and everyone’s conclusion is that there’s no real problem. Except he’s all scratchy and hive-y. The hives bloom and then fade of their own twisted accord, with no apparent connection to anything he’s eaten or done or said or thought. One doctor posited that it might be a reaction to our wool rug, so we no longer let him lounge pantsless on said rug. We apply medicinal salves and unguents on a regular basis, and we dose him with Benadryl. Our detergents are everything-free. No longer do we enjoy bubbles in our bath—instead we add soothing but decidedly un-festive baking soda, or as Henry calls it, “baby soda.” After the bath, instead of rubbing him like a Jedi knight, we pat him softly like a Sith lord.

Then he spent the weekend with my in-laws, and returned with smooth, rash-free skin for the first time in, oh, since he was born. My in-laws denied doing anything special for him. So the only reasonable conclusion is that his skin benefited from their lack of squalor. That a weekend in the suburbs meant a blessed reprieve from the dust mites and chiggers that usually gnaw on his infant flesh as he slumbers. In other words, we live in filth. Which I guess means I should vacuum or clean or whatever, but I’m so tired! And self-absorbed! Oh—and drunk.

Reader Comments (62)

Wow. I was going to say you sound all pissed off and stuff then I read a yucky comment. So funny how haters ALWAYS come back to hate some more. I, personally, stay away from things which I do not like.

Oh and then I was gonna say I like Melissas suggestion of licking him.
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKelly AKA Fat Housewife
It's so fitting that 9 times out of 10, a troll's post is incoherent, senseless, badly arranged, and poorly proofread.

'you aint funny sister!'? Come on.
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterChickenFlicken
furrypants just made me laugh, that's all.who busts in to tell somebody they aren't funny? then slams the door.and comes back. to point their finger and say not funny. not funny. not funny.that's like a girl coming over in a miniskirt to tell you she don't love you anymore. maybe she don't, but she's attracted to something.
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterredclay
"Pat him softly like a Sith lord."

I believe, dear blogger, that you have just made me wet myself. And all the furniture under my wet self. My wet, still laughing, self.

Expect to receive a dry-cleaning bill forthwith.
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJake
Funny, I was thinking of "Rub me like a Jedi Knight" was sort of to the tune of "Loves me Like the Rock of Ages." That Paul Simon thingy. But it doesn't really scan, so whatever.

Do you have a cat? Our kiddo has eczema and someone told us that it almost always goes with cat allergies. Not sure what we're going to do about it besides not getting another cat when this one dies.

Just cause, you know, you probably weren't getting enough unsolicited advice and information. It is highly entertaining to read, though. Who knew so many commenters (and a leftover troll!) would be attracted by talk of skin conditions? Maybe someone could start a Skin Condition Forum? Maybe someone already has?
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterelswhere
There is a product at this website that has been known to actually GET RID of some children's Eczema. The product contains 15 Essential Oils and herbs.
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjoylady
Icabod is itchy, and so am I! Here's my question for you: who is "I", the other yellow character standing there with Icabod? I like to call her Irene, or Iris, but I don't really know. I see a lot of her, though.

I really liked the sith lord comment too.

It is reassuring that it goes away when at the in-laws, because now you can start experimenting. Someone above mentioned humidity, and I'd start there too. Extensive vacuuming would be my next test. I'm sorry to say that, honest I am. However, vacuuming can be very satisfying--making a lot of noise, a lot of ruckus, beating about the baseboards with a heavy metal weapon.
February 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteriloveflannel
My daughter breaks out in hives when she drinks cow's milk. Just a thought, I know it's all trial and error...

February 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMadam V
Well, what the hell, I'll throw in $.02 on causes. Several people among my in-laws-to-be are celiac, i.e., can't eat gluten, and some of them can't do dairy OR soy, either. Or, in one case, cinnamon, sage, or corn. In any case, some forms of eczema are related to celiac disease, so you might want to check that out, even though the disappearance at the grandparents suggests it might not be that at all.
February 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Goldman
We use cutivate ointment on McPantses' itchy armpits, elbow crooks and knee-backs.

It's $34 for a meensy tube and it's worth every penny.

Alas, she is only 4 yr old girl-itchy and is neither Sith-Lord nor Itchy Itchy Ichabod itchy.

February 22, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHeels
Weighing in with more unsolicited advice--or, perhaps just relating our solution. At the suggestion of a friend whose kids have wicked eczema, I started using 1/2 sheets of fabric softener, often none at all, and always omitting it for sheets and towels, and my 3 itchy Ichabod's aren't itchy anymore. Does Henry have the rest of the book memorized? I think I might. Horrors.

If none of these personally tested suggestions your devoted readership has offered works out? I'd definitely go with licking. At least until I had blisters on my tongue.

Thanks for the excellent laughs--you rock.
February 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercarrie (the other one)
If you followed ALL of this advice simultaneously then your kid would be a greasy little munchkin walking around in a hand-sewn, sheet moomoo with flax-seed flavoured ear-wax and gluten-free farts!

Best of luck with that itch!
March 4, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterUma Andersson

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