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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. → 

« Au revoir à jamais | Main | I do what I'm told. »

Oh, six-and-half-year-old--you always know what I'm REALLY saying.

Please yell at me for waking you up. I deserve to be put in my place.

If you could slosh as much of your cereal as possible all over the table, that would be fantastic. Cleaning up after you makes me feel useful. When I ask you to help out, you know I'm joking, right? Hilarious!

Read you an entire book while you’re eating your breakfast? No problem—I secretly hate enjoying my coffee and breakfast in peace. Also I am DYING to know how this Magic Tree House book turns out. It’s never the same thing twice.

There’s no rush about getting to school. Put your shoes on whenever.

My raised voice is just an attempt to exercise my lungs. You keep not putting those shoes on, champ.

Of course I want to hear your story about the giant bug robots you invented! In fact I can’t wait another moment to hear it! I don’t want to hear it on the way to school, because then I’d be distracted by how on-time we could potentially be. Stand in front of the door while telling me. Don’t forget to take off one shoe, first!

Now put that shoe back on. But so slowly, it’s like you’re not even moving. You are so excellent at this.

While we’re walking to school, if you demand that you don’t want to go to school anymore, you might just convince me. Don’t give up. I will definitely see your point one of these days.

Now take off, without warning, because you’ve spotted one of your friends! Run and keep on running! Make sure I lose you in the crowd, because there is nothing I need more than to sprint the last few blocks to school. You are helping extend my life span, with all this exercise. Good for you!

While you’re at school, I will be filling your room with new toys and my pockets with chocolate. Or I won’t because I’m a heartless monster.

Well, hello! I trust you had a good day. I spent the day as I always do, watching Star Wars, eating hot fudge with my hands, playing with your Legos. But enough about me. Like you, I am so grateful the front of the school is surrounded by ice-cream trucks. It’s so convenient for me. For us! And I know I said you could only get ice cream once a week, but, you know, I say things. I don’t mean them. If you keep asking I will surely crack.

Do I want to hold your backpack AND your art project AND your jacket? Well, duh.

I can barely say “You can only watch two TV shows” with a straight face! You know that if you keep asking I’m going to admit that you can watch all the television you want. Why do I continue this charade? I guess it’s just fun for me.

That inflatable Spider-Man you got at the fair that keeps deflating? That I told you had a hole in it somewhere and probably needed to be thrown out? Another made-up story. I just want to inflate it every fifteen minutes, whenever you notice that it’s gotten all flat and saggy. When you’re not looking I let some of the air out again. Entertaining!

I lie about bedtime. I lie and lie and lie. I say it’s time for bed but we adults all know that sleep is completely optional. I don’t sleep at all, of course.

That’s why I love it when you call for me at 4 a.m. because your sheets feel funny. I get so bored, just before dawn.

I am truly sorry you didn’t get everything your heart desired, today. Try me again tomorrow. Your tactics are beginning to work. I have a feeling that tomorrow your every wish will be granted.

Reader Comments (185)

Too, too, way too perfect. And hysterical. Bravo.

I'm not alone!!!!!
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy Scratches
OMG, Alice, are you effing SERIOUS? I thought this was what THREE YEAR OLDS do, do you mean to imply that I have at LEAST three MORE years of this?!?!?!?! Sweet fancy bananas, I'm going to go nuts. This is, I am sure, why children are cute. Survival of the cutest. Evolution, baby: if they did all this shit and they were ugly, they would have been thrown out the window a long time ago.

And yes, my love, I would LOVE to go all the way back home after dropping you off to get the toy plane you forgot at the front door, even though you are not allowed to have it at school so it must stay in your cubby, but it is important that you know it is THERE so yes, I'll go get it, because that means I will have the joy of TWO longdrawnoutgoodbyes in one morning. No, of course I don't have a job to go to.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermomtrolfreak
I just started reading your blog & love it! I absolutely love this post - I think you are living with my 4 & 7 year old boys! You are Spot on!
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly in Michigan
Oh Alice. Overrated? pshh.. no way.I don't usually end up laughing out loud when reading, but you got me with this one.I have a son the same age. You are spot on in every way.

Ice cream trucks are like stray animals. If they don't get fed, they don't come back. No one is with me on this one. There is always some grandparent there to foil my plan.

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermelinda
Hilarious! Thank you.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Love the line about carrying all the stuff. Another line on the job description for mom... pack mule.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandi
Eventually, I said to my husband last night, they will stop making me crazy right? Like a page out of my own book, Alice. Brilliant!
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
You forgot, "That's okay, I didn't want the rest of my breakfast anyway. You go ahead and eat my bacon. You deserve it for asking 3,438 times in a row. Hinting rules."
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
Thank you for this! It's a nearly verbatum repeat of my daily battle with my 4 year old. Only one addition: "When I say, "just try one bite" I'm really just looking for an excuse to relive your infant days when I fed you myself."
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarcoda
Glad I'm not the only one who does'n coo endlessly over the things they do.Fortunately, they don't get it if they bring me yet another stick man picture of Mr lopsided Dad with the wonky bald head and shattered hands, and I say, Hmm, that picture, while clearly deep on an emotional level, lacks the skill to really have any kind of artistic staying power."Wow! Awesome picture" I say.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Take heart - by the time he is 10 you will read this and seriously question how much you either A) totally ignored this behavior to the point you don't remember him doing anything of the sort, or B) seriously question your ability to remember things accurately from only a few years ago.

Either way, it will all be over, and you will find yourself wondering, "How long until he starts stealing my black eyeliner and spending time sulking in his room while listening to the most depressing, emo music in the world? At this rate, it can't be very long at all." and "Should I be worried that he seems to relate so well to Linkin Park lyrics at 10?"

WEEEE! Don't worry - you are already subscribed, do nothing and your very own copy of 'Adventures in Parenting: Volumes 10 through 17' will arrive on your doorstep, free of charge!
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan
YES,YES,YES!!! I am not alone...oh the sweet vindication that there are other mothers like me who groan through this crap all the time! Love truly is twisted.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErin
SO so true. Just posted this on my moms' group message board. Thanks Alice!
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLori
I was already smiling in amused recognition, but then this

"That’s why I love it when you call for me at 4 a.m. because your sheets feel funny. I get so bored, just before dawn."

made me snarf-chortle-SNORT out loud.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristin
Or..."When I say Wash your hands, I don't really mean it. I actually WANT to get sick so I can stay home from work and miss a day's pay so I can not buy you the food you are not eating."
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Bingmar
Awe. some.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterall things BD
The inflatable Spider-Man paragraph is what made me fall about. Funny as fuck.

What I love about my daughter is the way she needs me to buy her various food and drinks while we're out and about that I then have to hold for her, half-chewed and sticky and towering like landfill in my one free hand. I can't throw them away, though: she might need them later. It's really great.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
Not to scare any of the parents-of-less-than-seven-year-olds...but I can STILL totally relate to this...and mine are 9 and 11.

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristine
"It spun faster and faster. Then everything was silent. Absolutely silent." Mary Pope Osborne has it made. Does Henry like the research guides, oh dear God, they never end and the material is so dry!

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Heh. I got around the ice cream truck thing for years by telling the kids it was a "Music Truck," just some random fleet of trucks that ENJOYED tooling around playing rinkety-tink music for no reason at all. Evil? Yes. Expedient? Definitely.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
Am I the only mom out there willing to admit that I tell my child "no" on a regular basis? Ice cream truck? No. Hold my sticky garbage for me? No. Can I stay up past my bedtime? No. guys should try it.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
HIGH. LARIOUS. and so so true.

Especially the shoe thing. And I have an almost 9 year old. Never ends.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
My friend and I are both mothers to 6 year olds,she called me today to tell me she was going to punt her child against a wall. And I said "And watch him slide down the wall." I have begun limiting asking questions and talking time. Is this wrong, this is wrong, yes?
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjanet
Dear Alice,I love you.The end.

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkate
This is awesome and so exactly my life with the 6 and 3 year olds.

"No, really, go ahead and keep wrestling with your brother. My morning isn't complete without a game of 'Guess Which Kid Will Start Crying First?'"

I love that I'm not the only one who has carefully held onto the stick of a half-eaten lollipop for an entire playground visit just in case Wonderboy wants to get to the Tootsie Roll on the way home.
May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

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