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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

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. → 

« The two-year-old: Complicated. Lovable. But most of all, psychotic. | Main | Toddlers talk funny, and sometimes we misunderstand them, to humorous effect. »

And now: we dance.

So I more or less blew off the Internet for a few days; the Internet kept calling but I was checking my caller ID and letting the machine pick up, and then Husband says to me, “You have some comments you might want to read,” and I’m all, “What, did my mom write something?,” and he’s like, “Um, no, some other people,” and then I read the comments and I cry a little and I tell my husband how much you all rock and then the Internet calls and says “Come back to me, baby,” and so here I am!

We’re indoors almost all the time these days GOD HELP US WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING which means we’re listening to a lot of music ANYTHING TO BREAK THE AWFUL, AWFUL SILENCE and Henry is forming some strong opinions IF I DON’T PLAY THE ONES HE LIKES OH GOD THE SCREAMING. Here, in no particular order, are some of his favorites.

“First of the Gang to Die,” Morrissey

Henry: First to die! First to die!

Me: I'm enjoying Morrissey’s latest album, not least of which because it’s Swiffering my brain clean of my old Morrissey associations—the hours spent listening to The Queen is Dead in the Wendy’s parking lot, staring mournfully into the distance and pondering the bleakness of my future. That said, it’s a little unnerving to listen to your two-year-old shrieking “First to die!” while leaping about in glee.

“New Slang,” The Shins

Henry: It’s the ice cream song.

Me: I’m not sure why he calls this the ice cream song, as it sounds nothing like Turkey in the Straw, or as it’s better known, “Do Your Boobs Hang Low.” (Or balls! It works both ways! That’s why it’s a classic.) Or what's that other brain-searing plinkety-plink song? It’s difficult to recall anything about ice-cream trucks when you’re buried beneath a foot of snow. Did we enjoy this "ice cream"? Were we warm, back then? Did we not wear heavy boots?

“Chimbley Sweep,” The Decemberists

Henry: [standing, transfixed, in front of the stereo] That’s good. Again. Again. Again.

Me: Apparently Henry strongly identifies with the “poor and wretched boy” of this song. Or he dreams of being an orphan. While I like the album, this song isn’t my favorite. Especially when you have to play it over and over. And over. And what the hell’s a chimbley?

“The Art of Noise,” Cee-lo Green

Henry: [Is too busy frantically boogying about the room to issue a comment.]

Me: Damn. I didn’t know anything about this here Cee-lo until my very cool brother (who owns the very cool Sound Fix) gave me a mix that included this song. I could go on at great length about this song’s joyfulness and booty-shaking-osity, but really you just need to hear it and, you know, get your freak on and so forth.

“Oh What a World,” Rufus Wainwright

Henry: [looking highly suspicious] Opera. Nooo.

Me: Okay, so this isn’t exactly one of Henry’s favorites. And Rufus is getting all operatic on our asses, it’s true. You could kind of see it coming, if you paid even a little bit of attention to his previous albums. For the record, I paid a lot of attention to Mr. Wainwright’s previous albums, as I believe that he is not only a wondrous musician but also a dreamy dreamboat. And if he ever, say, needed to crash somewhere for a few days, he could totally stay here and I would make him cocoa and brush his hair and supply him with all the heroin he requested. Or if he’s not into that anymore, that would be totally okay! More cocoa, then!

Reader Comments (60)

OH! You're back! You're back! Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Ok, this is getting creepy. I promise I'm not a stalker. Much.
January 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
welcome home :-)
January 24, 2005 | Unregistered Commentere
Hooray, hoorah! I'm consistently amazed at how utterly handicapped in the head people can be. No offense to anybody who really is, you know? But I for one have had the funny knocked right out of me because of stupid, stupid, stupid people plagued with brain eating microbes.

Sad, isn't it, that the microbes can't eat off their fingers instead? They might think twice if they had to type their idiot comments with their NOSES.
January 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterVery Mom

I'm so glad you are back - really. You are one of the few things that help me start my day.

January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterfred
This is my first time reading your website. Beth over at Crazy Us mentioned your post about hate mail in her own post about hate mail.

Personally, I find you to be clever and amusing and I would think most parents could relate to you as I do.

I just wanted to relay to you how sorry am I that someone would write something as awful as harm coming to your child. (I can not even repeat the words as they are so sick.) I hope you keep up your website and don't let these psycho strangers get to you. Please remember that they're the ones with the problems. Think of yourself as a celebrity - I once saw an interview with Brad Pitt who said that Julia Roberts gave him the best advice ever when it came to the press "Look at the pictures, if you must, but don't read a single word."

Good luck to you and I look forward to becoming a regular reader! :)
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermegan
my gramma pronounced it "chimbley". no shit.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterw!xlet the hick
Do your boobs hang low, do they wabble to and fro...can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow...can you throw them o'r your shoulder like acontinental soldierdo yoooouuurr boooooooobs haaaaannnnngg loooowwwww????

I haven't had that song in my head for almost 15 years.CRAP

Glad you are back.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTricia
I do a great impression of Elmer Fudd singing Nine Inch Nails.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKellyH
So much hipper than I am.

My kids listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Elvis Costello .
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I love the way kids take to certain songs. My kids are old enough now to know that I'm very uncool when it comes to music, but in younger days they had my back. My son was a particular fan of Shania Twain, and her hit "whose bed have your boots been under". Although he didn't have the name quite right, I think he got the message "Happy Boots Bed".Glad your back - don't let the haters get you down, there are a lot more lovers out here.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercursingmama
Glad to see you back! And wonderful comeback entry as well. Music feeds the soul. :)
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commentergroovebunny
Hi I am a new reader too, don't know how I found you though, through someone's link I imagine, and let me say that any fan of Rufus is a friend of mine. I loooove the man (though of course marriage is out of the question since I'm a girl and all), listened to want one everyday this past summer and was so excited for want two. Someday I'll see him in concert. Anyway...I subscribe to you via bloglines now, so I'll be back for more. :)
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
Welcome back. Rufus is bril - and so are you.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLioness

Welcome back- and thanks for the tunes.

January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCoralie
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAngelia
Cheers! More cocoa, indeed! And more dancing for joy that you're back!

p.s. I find that your fellow Brooklynites, Mssrs. Flansburgh and Linell, make for fine dancing-around-the-living-room music. Not just their kids' songs, either.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterelswhere
de-lurking just to say welcome back!
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercristin
My favourite moment was my husband explaining to my then 2 year old daughter that James' lyrics "she only comes when she's on top" meant that "she would only come over for a sleepover if she got the top bunk bed."

Now she is 3 and shakles her tiny booty to "Orange Crush" by R.E.M. No Barney in THIS house, by God.

Glad you're back.
January 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkaryn
Delurking to say thank goodness you're back.Hold your head high (and your boobs low, obviously.

January 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterQuine
Can't believe I missed the ruckus. Add my voice to the "don't go!" and "those individuals [who I'm thinking are people who commented more-than-obnoxiously to a post that's been since taken down but must have involved Henry's penis or something] are big giant doody-heads!" and "don't go" chorus.

And now to the "welcome back" and "phew!" chorus as well.

January 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterFrumDad
yer post made my day
January 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMary
I concur with Henry-

Opera. Nooooooo. :-)
January 26, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdish
My 3 year old son. In the grocery cart. With his pacifier IN his mouth sang "Carmalita...hold me tighter...'cause I think I'm sinking down. And I'm all strung out on heroin, on the outskirts of town" I think the lady down the aisle understood every word, even with the pacifier - and she didn't seem to be a Warren Zevon fan.He can still sing entire songs after hearing them once. It makes a mother proud."New Slang" - ice cream song - it does sound like that. Henry...he's brilliant.

January 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJPinNC
i like the fact that the Decembrists allude to and quote Dylan Thomas. I also like the fact that seeing "Under Milkwood" this winter enlightened me as to the meaning of the lyrics -- Nogood Boyo does, in fact, fish out a whalebone corset from the sloe-black, slow black sea.

January 27, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermiep
Are any of those songs about fucking?
January 27, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLOD

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