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Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

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

Home - Middle Row

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.

Lets-Panic.com → 

Sunday
Feb012004

I'm at a loss for a clever title.

Arriving this morning, all pink and wrinkly: baby girl Tallulah, daughter of best friends Scott and Sarah. I have not seen little T. in person yet, but the cell-phone photo was enough to melt my heart and make me want another one. (Baby, that is, not heart.) Of course, then I remembered what those first few months are like. Shudder. But then, see, I remembered the good parts. Aw, babies. Wait, bad parts returning. Gack! And...back to the goodness. (I don't remember this, though.)

Anyway, luckily for them, technology has come to the rescue: no more trying to figure out why in hell little Tallulah is crying: this contrivance will up and tell you! I imagine it intoning in a creepy, detached voice, "Mother and/or Father: I hunger. Sustenance. Sustenance." I like the features--the splash-proof cover, for when Baby feels the need to douse it with one of her many varieties of fluid; the non-toxicity of it, because you get a toxic baby-cry-analyzer, and look what happens then.

Welcome to the world, little Lula.

Friday
Jan302004

A plague is upon us.

There is sickness here in the Finslippy universe—the Child, who was slightly ill yesterday but bravely soldiering on despite his under-the-weatherness, awoke this morning with a fever of 104, blisters in his throat, speaking fluent Old Norse. The doctor quickly and easily diagnosed him with the dreaded Coxsackie virus. And so we returned to our dark hidey hole, to apply salves and poultices to Henry’s tender parts, and dream of healthier days.

I am addled with sleep deprivation. As evidence, I direct you now to thesaurus.com’s listing for “sickness.” Here are the synonyms:

"affection, affliction, ailment, backdoor trots, bug, complaint, condition, crud, disease, diseasedness, disorder, dose, flu, ill, ill health, illness, indisposition, infirmity, malady, nausea, queasiness, runs, syndrome, trots, unhealth, unhealthfulness, unwellness…"

The thing is, I was planning to observe, with great amusement, that “backdoor trots” is the fourth synonym they give, and why is it fourth, ha ha, but then I realized why. It’s alphabetical.

See, I was thinking it was in order of usage. Ahem. Cough, cough.

Anyone who has had more than three hours of sleep would probably have figured this out before they started to blog about it.

Still—“backdoor trots”! That’s funny!

Wednesday
Jan282004

Babies love coffee, and moms love putting them near it.

There's this place? It's called Tea Lounge. It’s what it sounds like. People go there. And the people, they bring their kids. And babies. Kids and babies. The place is crammed full of kids and babies. Screaming, mewling children. You would think that in Park Slope, no one works, and no one has anywhere else to go with their children. And everyone is desperate for scones and four-dollar cappuccinos. So they pack up the kids, and head out for Tea Lounge. Which, look, in theory, this should be fine. Tea Lounge is big. Tea Lounge can handle the crowds. Tea Lounge probably loves all these people, with their fine children and their pretty money.

But the people, they bring their children, and they pack lunches for them, and they bring toys, and they spread out all over the place, and you know what? Then it’s no longer a café. Then it’s a day care center. Babies are crawling, toddlers are toddling, while childless adults are trying to get to their seats, balancing teetering china cups of steaming coffee.

People. Your children. Remember them? Look up from your lattes.

Then the after-school crowd comes in. Young kids, let’s say, 7-10. (Preteens? Wait, they call them “tweens” now! This is cute! Okay! Tweens!) They arrive with their parents in tow—parents who appear to be ready to vomit with exhaustion. (But why can’t they go home? Are their homes being used as porn sets until 5 p.m.? I bet that’s it. I bet their homes are being used for the production of hardcore pornography.) The parents collapse on chairs. The kids run shrieking in circles, hot-chocolate in hand and smeared into hair. They tell each other hilarious jokes, which cause them to fling their bodies throughout space, while they yawp with joy. Then they scream their hilarious jokes at their parents, who are sitting many feet away from them, smiling into space. I’ve seen children sprawled out in high-traffic areas, playing with Legos. Legos. They can’t play with their Legos at home? Perhaps they can play with the nice gaffer from the porn set. I bet the gaffer is nice. Gaffers are always nice.

Recently I was there with Henry. (Yes, I bring my child there. I am a hypocrite, sure, but at least I don’t let him run around.) Two bohemian-type (read: grubby) children, a girl and a boy, run up to Henry. Henry stares at them. I smile at the kids. The girl rubs one paw across Henry’s face. I swear she leaves a smudge. Henry is taken aback for a moment, then recovers and goes back to his Cheerios. The girl says to me, “He’s a baby!” I look at her parents, who are sitting (defeated, cringing) a few feet away. They smile ruefully in my direction. The boy is now inserting a finger into Henry’s mouth, like he’s a doll. For once I hope Henry bites someone. “Um, honey?” I say, trying not to slap the kid’s hand out of my son’s maw, “He has a cold, and I wouldn’t watch you to catch it. Also he doesn’t like that. Yeah, that. He doesn’t like it.” Except he does like it; Henry loves the poop-infested hand of this strange child in his mouth. He’s snorting with laughter while this kid fishes around in Henry’s mouth, and the girl and the boy are yukking it up, taking turns with the World of Discovery that is my child’s orifice and saying things like, “Ew, wet Cheerios in there.” I’m looking at the parents and, very loudly and directly, saying, “Um! Um! Um!” Which is so clear! This so clearly communicates, “Please stop your horrible children from fishing around in my child’s mouth!” But the parents, they don’t speak this language. They seem to find their children’s inquisitiveness charming. So they sit there. This makes me sad.

People. If it’s so difficult to keep your children in check, you should stay home, even if there are strangers performing illicit acts on your soapstone countertops. Really, this is common sense.

Tuesday
Jan272004

ain't she a beautiful sight?

WAIIOOU--

That's the sound of me leaping onto the bandwagon. My arrival will undoubtedly sound the blogging death-knell. I have a habit of scrambling onto a given wagon only to find that I'm the only one there, and the horses are heading out of Coolsville and into Dorkenvania. I still have bitter memories from 1979, when I spent all my allowance money on a CB radio, and the only people sharing airspace with me were actual truckers. Hardworking, sleep-deprived guys who were forced to listen to a bored ten-year-old bleating out the lyrics to "Convoy" at them.

Okay. Okay. I never owned a CB. The CB was owned by a friend, whose name I can't recall. We did sing into it, one day. Unfortunately, we sang "The Logical Song," a song that makes for a far inferior story, 24 years later.

The Finslippy universe consists of me, Alice Bradley, a writer/editor/lovable hysteric; Husband (who shall henceforth be known as "Husband," or "Scott," as the muse dictates); 16-month-old Son (also known as "Henry"); and, finally, Dog (or "Charlie"). More about us later.

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