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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

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Sleep Is
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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. → 

« It can now be revealed. | Main | I seem to be rather angry these days. »

More about what pisses me off.

Hi! You know what? I sure am annoyed lately! I was just scribbling down some thoughts for Finslippy, and, well, oh dear:

1. Drivers who reluctantly slow down at stop signs and give the pedestrian a testy little wave, as if to say, “I am doing you an enormous favor. Now scurry along before I change my mind and mow you down.” There needs to be a new obscene hand gesture that indicates, “Hey, jackass, guess what? I don’t need your permission. Stop signs aren’t optional so don’t act like you’re so very generous and I should be grateful. And you’re a jackass. Jackass.” I must begin work on this gesture immediately. To the laboratory!

2. The family members who sometimes behave as if they are not fully aware that Henry knows what words mean. They believe, for instance, that as long as they didn’t use the word B-U-G-S to refer to the B-U-G-S that were invading the basement when we arrived for a visit—as my son, you see, has a crippling fear of the B-U-G-S—he would not pick up on something being amiss even when they came tearing ass up from the basement hissing “OH MY GOD THEY’RE EVERYWHERE THEY’RE ALL OVER HIS TOYS.” And when they’re whispering updates to me on the TERROR FROM BELOW while Henry looks up from his Matchbox cars in wide-eyed horror, it should come as no surprise that the remaining hours of our visit are spent with 40 pounds of boy adhered to me via the Four-Pointed Ninja Monkey Vise Grip around my torso and neck.

3. Dear husband: what do you want from me when you shout from the kitchen, “Jesus, what did you clean with this sponge?” Is there some answer I can give you that would be satisfactory? Would you like to hear that I was exfoliating my cleavage? Or do you imagine that I store a mental tally of all the items I have scrubbed clean, so that hours later I can sit back and enjoy the memories? What a thrilling moment, when I finally rid the casserole dish of those baked-on lasagna bits. Ah, life. Anyway, could you not simply toss the dirty sponge and retrieve a clean one from our under-sink bounty of unused sponges? Should I scamper to your side and find you an acceptable sponge as you watch in manly approval?

4. People who refer to their husbands as “Hubs” or the “The Hubster.” All I can say about this is: no. That’s all. Just: no. I know some of you do it. And I like you! I do! But no. You must stop. Do you hear me? No!

To those readers new to Finslippy, I’m not normally this peeved. Truly. Some days I am positively ebullient. But lately, whew, so negative! I’m sure I’ll perk up one of these days, perhaps when everyone begins to behave exactly as I feel they should.

On a possibly related note, my son has been cursing lately. I don’t believe he’s cursing for effect, as he doesn’t check us for a reaction—as he might do before he, say, brains another child with a dump truck. For example: the other day he made himself comfortable on the couch—raisins? Check. Sippy cup? Check— and called out: “Turn on the TV.” Before I could respond, he repeated, “Turn on the damn TV, please.” Well! And then yesterday, as he pulled an oversized book from the shelf, he exclaimed, “Wow—this is a big fucking book!”

I tried my best not to laugh, but I did anyway. Luckily he didn’t notice, as he was hidden behind the big fucking book.

Reader Comments (104)

This is my first time here and I have to say that I'm enjoying the comments nearly as much as I enjoyed your post.

Now I'm going to have to go read the archives. DAMN YOU! Don't you know that I have THINGS to do?
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersuburban misfit
One of the family's favorite "Michelle Stories" is from when I was two years old, and I was splashing around in the bathtub.

Me: splashsplash "shit!"splashsplashsplash "shit!""shit shit shit shit shit"

My aunt: "Sweetheart, you're not supposed to say 'shit'"

Me: "I know. And I'm not supposed to say 'goddamn!' either!"

June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I can't stand the word "hubby," or any variation thereof. When I read blogs that use that word, or its variations, I do the mental cringe gymnastics. I think I'm going to call my husband the occasional orgasm donor, or "the Penis."

"The Penis is bringing some boxes in from the car," "Hey, Penis...can you get off your lazy ass and flush the toilet?" "Kids, go tell the Penis it's time for dinner.."
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterÉireann
I knew a women's studies professor in college who called the father of her child her "regular sex partner". They lived together, had a child, were on the same faculty, and that's how she identified him to others.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
my kids was, naturally, the kid who said dammit at preschool. when the teacher (a royal bitch) sat me down on this issue i was surprised to hear he had not said fuck. I was, in fact, releived and thought she was being a bit dramatic over dammit. geez. what three year old isn't peppering his conversation with an occassional dammit? geez.

i immediately vowed to myself i would never curse in front of the boy again.

that lasted eight minutes. i suck.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterhonestyrain
I've been reading you for awhile now, but today I had to comment. That is hilarious. I think I will have to add a list of things that tick me off to one of my blogs too. An on-going list. And while I don't have kids, my newphew is just as funny. He is 3 and still mastering the potty training thing, he gioes by himself, but he likes to be watched. Is this a boy thing? Anyways, he was pooping and I asked if he was done and he told me except for this one last turd stuck in his butt. I almost wet myself. Granted it would have been better if he said this fuckin turd won't come out, but still, quality time.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAmy in GA
I was going to write you a lovely trollish comment, right after I bashed trolls on my blog, but I see SJ beat me to the punch. Hrumph. But I DOOOOO call my hubs Hubs! He calls himself Hubs! but now I will have to change it. But "Josh" is so boring. How about lovah lovah?
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterhalloweenlover
I call my husband "DishWasher", in journal and in real life. I wanted to ask, just which cleavage is it that you all are exfoliating with a kitchen sponge?
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlaura
you're absolutely fucking nuts. have you thoughts about seeing a shrink. I think you need one.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersnacko
I've lucked out so far - my husband is deaf and so when we cuss it's in sign language. My twins haven't caught on - YET. I'm just waiting for the day when they call someone a "flying asshole" - one of my personal favorites, especially in sign language.

Of course, my 70 year old mother, who has a strong spanish accent, curses like a sailor. My kids spend lots of quality time with her. There's nothing better than listening to my 3 year olds run around saying "shiet, estupid shiet" like a Spaniard. Ah Life!

BTW I love your blog!!!!
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha
Absolutely love it!!

So glad I'm not the only one. My lovely daughter at 3, one day decided to make a lovely tune of "shit" throughout a 15 minute cartoon at great grandma's house. We're teaching her well.

Recently I did slip and say shit, she corrected me.. telling me," you shouldn't say shit, or damn, or fuck, or crap.." the list went on!
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSherry
Long time reader, first time poster. I think that you have gotten 3 new readers as a result of me passing this article around. Firstly, I am trying to break myself of the whole sponge thing. It's a long process, but I have admitted that I have a problem. Second, my wife has avoided the whole "Hubs" problem by calling me "wife" or "bitch". Long story. Next, we have taken to saying "Gordon Bennett" ( instead of "cursing". It works well, and gets us many funny looks. Lastly, there is a hand jesture that will fully convey your irritation with said driver. When you are directly in front of their car, reach down with both hands and retie your shoe. If you are feeling particularly peevish, wink at them when you get done.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterThane
Your husband PICKED UP A SPONGE!!?? Lucky.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGen
I'm thinking SpongeDad squearepants just bought himself dishwashing duty for awhile with that comment. Apparently you can't live up to his high standard of sponge cleanliness so why even try?
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMustangSally
I love the first paragraph, and I'd like to add that when they feel the need to stop IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CROSSWALK I feel the urge to knife their tires.

Furthermore, parking lots are for parking, not practicing for GTA Vice City and mowing down innocent pedestrians such as myself.

Love this blog!
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
Here, here on the use of the 'word' "Hub" & "Hubster". EEEEW. Just don't.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTracey
"Hubs" and "hubbie" (and variations) bother me, too. A lot. Gross. I think the equivalent is a non-ironic " the little lady" or "wifey" for wife. Ick. On my blog I call my husband "J". That's anonymous enough for me.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjulia
Man, am I glad to know that parents have this problem, too.

All my best friends have kids now, and as I generally swear like a longshoreman--with friends, at the office, around my parents (who taught me every expletive I know), in front of other people's parents, wherever--I find myself occasionally having these little moments where I realize I've just said something that probably isn't proper to say around kids. Then I kind of look sidelong at the parents, and . . . so far nobody's flipped out at me.

I thought my friends were just resigned to it--"Oh, she can't help it; she's a New Yorker and they're just drain bamaged that way"--but now I see that more likely that they're so forgiving because they're forever cussing in front of the young'uns themselves.

Thank you.
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterI.
Oh thank you for this post.

I was having such a bad-ass day and when I read this I nearly peed laughing. I am so making a list, you have no idea. ;)
June 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKhali
the swearing! i think they all do it. mine, too, also doesnt seem to do it for attention. his favourite word to bust out for no reason is definitley 'fuck'. but on top of that! he swears in context! the other day some asshat almost drove into me on a roundabout. trying to be a responsible parent (har har) i took a deep breath and clammed it up - only to hear almost two year old kid scream from the back seat, FUCKING CUNT!

this is possibly the only place in the world where i can be outwardly proud of my childs potty mouth. my mother would be horrified. the world needs more places like this.

June 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkristy
I was going to relate a story about how my little one would curse in context, like when her block tower fell down or she dropped something, but apparently this happens to everyone. We keep telling her sister to not react when she curses, but it's hard not to laugh. We need one of those "big fucking books" to hide behind!
June 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
I laughed so hard I cried. Which would be fine except I am at work, and I am a reference librarian. No wonder no one has approached me all morning to ask a question, they probably think I am insane.
June 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterVal
I tell everyone my neice's first words were "Fucking traffic." Of course, she was in the car with my gutter mouthed sister, who laughed! They were stuck on a NYC bridge at 5:30, so it was completely appropriate.

My DH always says, "Jesus, Kid," to my boys, when they do something good, bad or amazing. I guess I know what *their* first words will be...

"Jesus, Dad."
June 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMOT
I really, really hate my last name, which means that when people VOLUNTARILY call their significant others by it or anything like it I just want to throttle them.

In other news, you continue to crack me up.
June 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJenn Hubbs
Good Lord, woman, you are all kinds of funny.

May I just add that I read about a driver who stopped in the middle of the crosswalk and the pedestrians had to walk out into traffic to get around him. This one woman stopped, smiled at him and leaned down to pop his hood. Then she quickly took off as the light turned green. So the asshat (love that word) had to jump out of his car and shut the hood while everyone behind him was honking. I think I read this in Reader's Digest.
June 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDM

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