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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. → 

« Watch out, she’s angry. | Main | Bear with me. »

Quittin' time!

Here’s what you do when you have too much work: you abandon the one gig that pays serious cash. And presto chango, more time! To worry about your finances!

It was the corporate gig that was killing me. It's always the corporate gig. Scott has made me promise that I won’t take these kinds of jobs anymore. Every time I do, I exult in the increased income for exactly 3 days. Then I spend the rest of my tenure rending my garments over my stifled creativity, all those lost hours in which I could have realized my potential. I’m an incredible baby. So! I hereby pledge not to take any more corporate work. Unless, you know, I have to.

The day after the quitting, Henry woke up at 3:30 a.m. with a raging fever. I went in when I heard him calling, and he sat bolt upright and demanded to know what was on my chin. “Something on your chin is all sparkly and I think they’re dinosaur stickers! Sparkly dinosaurs! Can I have those cool sparkly dinosaur stickers?” I felt his piping hot forehead as he tried to pull my chin off. (Which, for the record, was sticker-free.)

The rest of the night was sleep-free: he was all manic and delirious, and we have one of those incredibly inaccurate ear thermometers that one moment would read 104.5 and then 102.4 and then 99.5 and then back up to 104, so I didn’t know whether to call his doctor or put him in an ice bath or just leave him alone. And yet I kept having these moments of giddiness when I realized I don’t have to freak out because he’ll be home tomorrow. He can be home and it’s okay.

The next day my brain was working less well than usual. I mean, I know I was tired but even when I’m tired, I rarely drop a Brita filter into chicken soup (long story) and stare at it for a full minute before realizing what I've done. I took my temperature, and according to 56 of the 58 readouts, I had also succumbed.

So I joined Henry under a blanket on the couch, and we watched “Singin’ in the Rain” (Henry’s new favorite movie, if you fast-forward past all that bothersome dialogue), and then we watched "Toy Story 2." And for once my brain wasn’t trying to get my body to leap off the couch, or mentally tallying everything I had to cram into the day. Even with the fever, it was the best time I'd had in a while. I hope it doesn’t take another virus to have that again.

Reader Comments (48)

Sorry you're not feeling well. So glad you left Corporate America in the dust.
September 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJ

I thought you were going to give me the many tiresome projects! I'll go corporate!

I'm desperate.

Seriously though, congrats. It sounds like you and Henry are both going to be very happy with the new deal.
September 29, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterelise
Oh, I'd give anything if I could quit the day job. But, it's too darn expensive to live in our little berg. Glad you'd set that creativity free!
September 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterL.A. Mommy
We had the same week here. So very snuggly and I read Mud Puddle about a bazillion and four times. Between cough up lungs and such.
September 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Rani
Who are all you people w/ kids who will let you take all these temp readings? Do you tie them down w/ straps? I get it the first time or not at all with little Screamy McSquirmy.

Yay for at homeness! Hope the poverty isn't too dire.
September 29, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee
i have a long and ugly history of winning and then dropping corporate gigs. i just took another one that have a different look because it's just me and the munchkin now, but man, don't take 'em if you don't need em.

i love that feeling of being light as a cloud when just having ditched said corporate gig, tho. like christmas morning, just before you open all the presents.

and i second the forehead thermometer. i was sold on it when they used it when she was in the hospital (but that's another story).

September 29, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterislaygirl
Robin, way to infect all the other kids at daycare. thanks.
September 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterworrier
I had one of those ear thermometers years ago when the teen was little--it was crap then--interesting to know that it still is. My kids LOVE to have their temps taken-(I use a digital oral thermometer)-they're always hoping to miss school!And "Singin' in the Rain" has been one of my fave flicks since childhood--'Good Mornin'- Good mornin' to YOU!
September 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCeej
I have some very sweet memories of being sick together with my children on the couch; all the non-essentials are pared away.
September 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
You make it sound so lovely that I am sorely tempted to quit my own corporate gig. Alas, I have not yet mastered the human equivalent of photosyntheis, and bacon costs money.I will just have to live vicariously through you...I am so, so, SO glad you're back. Congratulations on being stifle-free!
October 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa
I am both so jealous and happy for you. I wish I could do the same. Have a fantastic time!!
October 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPlain Jane Mom
When I was in college, I was certain I'd have it all - career, money, family - and with ease. Ha.The sick-kid-stress is what made me pitch the last office-job. I've been working p/t for a religious org. for a year -they seriously don't care when I come in, as long as stuff gets done. I don't earn alot, but everytime I bail because my kids are sick - and no one fusses - I feel like I've been handed a bonus check.We have decades to overwork, the kids will be young just for a few years.

October 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHoo
Nothing to do with the post, just had to pipe up that every time I read (often), I see your link to "From the Pear" out of the corner of my eye, and EVERY TIME I think it says "From the Rear" and EVERY TIME I wonder what the hell kind of blog that is.

I like run-on sentences.
October 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
i love your posts! Thanks you Alice-you are the best!

ps...sorry to hear you've been ill:(
October 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterruby
Wow. Can I borrow some of that wisdom? and while you're about it, throw in some courage.

You're an inspiration.
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdodo
Congratulations! I just quit my job, too. Here's to being a quitter!
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
Could Henry have migraines? I get them occasionally a (once is too much) and they're preceeded by a visual hallucination that looks exactly like the edges of those sparkly stickers I used to have when i was a kid. it starts right in the center of your vision (on your chin - if he's looking at your face) and slowly spreads out into your peripheral vision over abotu 20 minutes. Fever and puking are side effects. Mine come with horrible, dehabilitating headaches but some people don't get the headache.
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkorin grubb
Way to go for quitting the corporate gig and regaining your chance at (more) creativity! Oh, how I wish....

Hope you and Henry are both feeling better.

October 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwonderer
Yippee for you -- no more corporate gig! I'm so looking forward to hearing more from you hear (no pressure). I daydream of quitting my corporate gig but we need both incomes for a few more years.Hope you and Henry both feel better soon.My 4 1/2 year old gets delusional in the night sometimes too -- it's usually quite humorous.
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
Proud (and completely jealous) of you girl! And man, someday (someday) that will be me. The sitting on the couch and my brain finally able to take a deep breath and relax.

Hope you and Henry feel better soon!

October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
You somehow left me feeling happy after a "my kid is sick" post. I feel your joy. Huzzah! Huzzah!

Feel better little man.
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMom101
When I used to get fevers as a child, everything would be in fast forward and I'd demand my mother to "QUIT WASHING THE DISHES SO FAST!!" This constantly freaked her out.

Funny, though, it still happens, (this speeding up of things,) when I have fevers, but it's easier to understand when you're an adult, (ahem...28,) even as jarring as it is...
October 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterblu
Hope you're on the mend. Nothing Gene Kelly and his trademark puddle tappin' can't rememdy, I hope.

I've never excelled at corporate jobs either. Staying home with my three kids is much harder but (get ready for a worn out cliche) much more rewarding ... and stressful. Time to yourself is key. Much more time than it takes to make a sandwich! Escape. Hire the sitter. Run away for a whole weekend if you can. Gotta fill your well, girl. Keep on keepin' on. Languishing in overtiredness in Southern Calif., Kim
October 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDomestic_Slackstress Kim

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