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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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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.

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« While I'm hiding under this pile of blankets... | Main | Glargh »
Thursday
Mar252010

Is "hidden room" something you can find in rental listings?

Me: So did you want to talk about what happened here last night?

Henry: About that man who cursed you?

Me; Well, cursed AT me, but...yeah.

Henry: No.

Me: Okay! But I wanted you to know that everything is being taken care of.

Henry: He's gone forever?

Me: Well, no. But we are going to move, soon.

Henry: Tomorrow?

Me: We have to pack first. And find a place. It'll take a while.

Henry: Great! Because I really want a room that has a hidden door to another room.

Me: ...

Henry: You know, a bookcase, and you pull out a book and the bookcase is a door and then you have *another* room behind the door bookcase. I want that. Can we get that?

Me: Probably not going to happen.

Henry: Someday I really want a hidden room. Do you want a hidden room?

Me: More than you know. Right now, though, I just want us to live someplace we can feel comfortable.

Henry: And where no one curses you.

Me: Exactly.

Reader Comments (94)

When my sister and brother-in-law built their house they put in a hidden room in the basement. It is the coolest! My brother-in-law thought they could keep the kids from discovering it, but of course that didn't last long.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace
Poor Henry. He has a kindred spirit in my husband, who just turned 40 and is still longing for a hidden room. Or a turret. But preferably both.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErika
Get him one of the pictures too where he can move the eyes out of the way and watch. Then he'll see all the fun you guys have after he goes to bed!
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermelissa
We have a hidden room!! The sellers would not tell us where it was until after the closing. And I have to admit it was part of the charm of the place that made us put an offer in.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreta
Idea for Henry's room in the new place (or maybe even the current place?): If his room ends up having a decent-sized closet, you could attach a shallow bookcase to the door (shallow so it doesn't pull the door off the hinges once it's got stuff on its shelves!), and make that his secret room. Or you could put the bookcase on casters so it just rolls when the door's opened.

If you wanted to make that feel even more like a real room, you could put his clothes and stuff in free-standing "closets" like you can get at Walmart and Target for about $25-$50. I know because I used to live in an old house with virtually no closets, and kept all my clothes in three of those things for years. They were PVC frames with fitted cloth (think light-weight denim but darker blue with beige trim) so they "breathed", were soooo easy to put together in about 2 minutes, and they lasted for years. They come in different widths; here's a link to a 36" inch one - http://bit.ly/8Zmj2I
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJan
Are you as surprised (ALARMED) at how many of your readers have hidden rooms or hidden room vendor suggestions?

Anyway. The Henryness. So fabulous.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlabberMouse
Blabbermouse: it is all I can think about. These people need to be watched. Carefully. 
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Bradley
'Bad Ronald' lived in a secret room.

Now I've scared myself.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCincy
Obviously, everyone who reads your blog is part of the Webster generation. I really want a room hidden by a grandfather clock, but that's unlikely in my studio apartment.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClair
I hear a lot of apartments on the A line have hidden rooms...
We just bought a beautiful old 1920's brick Tudor. Built like a castle and of course, has a hidden room.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterplanetheidi
has he seen the hidden room behind the bookcase at the superhero store? it's awesome! http://www.826nyc.org/
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermegan
My brother's house came with a hidden room and, while it was not in the listing, it WAS part of the tour. His three boys fell in love with it, of course. It is pretty awesome...off the back of one of the closets. No clue what the purpose for it was originally but now it is a Super Secret Ninja Playroom!

Can't wait for you to find a place where nobody curses you.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Those are legitimate desires. Who doesn't want a hidden room? Reminds me of this near-castle my mom worked on years ago with secret passageways and such. A young girl's dream!
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommypotamus
Ahem, why do the good tenants have to leave while the problem tenants remain? The violence issue will continue once you've moved on to your secret-panel-door abode.

I went to a house that had a crawl space that connected the son and daughter's rooms. You climbed up a ladder and then there was a whole corridor that you could crawl along in and play (it was full of toys and of me and my friend- as adults). Neatest thing, evah.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
I think the people who DON'T want a hidden room are the crazy ones. Because seriously, they're awesome. I'm a grown-ass woman and I want one!
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCara
I live in a house built in 1909 and we recently converted a former-bedroom-turned-sitting-room into a library. My fiance designed the bookshelves to include one that swings to reveal the closet. Nobody who has seen the room can find the hidden door. Children think it's cool, but it's adults are are truly enamored of it.
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLise
Does IKEA sell a do it yourself hidden room system? That would be awesome... and affordable. Henry is too cool.
So, just to be clear, he's talking about the BatCave, and you want a Panic Room, right? :)
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
I had a hidden room in my closet when I was a kid. We had an old large house that my dad renovated. I had a walk-in closet, and there was a panel cut into the wall. It really only led into a corner between the roof and the eaves, but it was kind of spooky regardless. I used to have nightmares that monsters were coming into my room through it. It would have been pretty cool if it made me feel safe instead.
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary P (Barnmaven)
who the hell is "Bad Ronald"? Dare I ask???
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbecks
Find this book immediately!

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Staircase-Brambly-Hedge/dp/0689830904
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermaille
It is on my life list, to build a house one day that will have a hidden room for my grandchildren to find. I anticipate dropping mysterious hints, then maybe accidentally leaving clues around the house, it will be FABULOUS.
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramanda
Bad Ronald was a creepy 70's movies that used to scare the crap out of me but now I think I would crack up...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Ronald



March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Find a house that has a "disappointments room", a hidden room where if one of the family members was mentally disabled or insane or something, they'd be put in there because they were a "disappointment". I'm not kidding. Kind of Jane Eyre, mad-woman-in-the-attic.

Good luck and sorry you want to move because of creepy neighbors!
March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdie Frau

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