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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)

What is it about 6? It's crazy how much this sounds like my son. I think he and Henry have the exact same routine going.

Thanks for this post! Hilarious- always nice to start the day with a few good laughs.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
I am 9 months pregnant with my first child. This post made me do two things:

1. Wet my pants. So easy for a pregnant lady to do. Don't judge.2. Hold my knees shut and tell my husband that I've decided not to give birth.

Thanks for that.

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Alice, as evidenced from many of the comments, Henry sounds like a normal kid. For you sanity, I suggest Parenting with Love and Logic (by Jim Fay and Foster Cline). I subscribe to this style of parenting, which means that my first job is to take care of myself - resulting in a happier mother. I let them know what *I'm* going to do (since I can control what I do, but not what they do) and they decide how they're going to respond to that. Example: "I will be vacuuming the living room in 20 minutes. Anything I clean off the carpet will be thrown away". And then I follow through - AND I don't rebuy any toys that are tossed. Hasn't taken them long to decide if they're going to clean up their own things or not.An example of the getting him to school on time: My nephew is driven to school by my brother-in-law. He was getting later and later, so my bil announced that the free ride to school leaves at 8:40. Any departure after that costs $1 per minute. My nephew is often ready 5 minutes early now. For Henry, you could use the same tactic - and if he doesn't have any money, you could sell his toys to get money - or it could come out of the ice cream money. And if he continues to request/demand/whine for ice cream more frequently, that might give you a headache. In which case you'll need that ice cream money to buy yourself some Tylenol (or a bottle of wine ;)). My 5 y.o. daughter had a tantrum after her bath last night which drained my energy, thereby not leaving me enough to read bedtime stories. Luckily for her, her 8 y.o. brother stepped in for me. Doesn't matter if she "got what she wanted in the end". What mattered is that I had time to re-energize myself.

And I'm not saying that I never feel the frustration I read in your post, just saying I've found ways to reduce it!Good luck!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I laughed out loud while reading this post! Then I read it to my husband and we both laughed out loud!! Our little one is 20 months, so thanks for the heads up! lol.

Also, I've offered you a blogging award - come see what it is!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer L.
Ummm...I was told it was GOING TO GET BETTER! The damn liars!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNancy K
Ok, Alice ... how do you know about my life? Ha! Seriously ... this could be me on any give day with my 5 year old son!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLou
You have to wake your kid up? I AM SO JEALOUS.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
This is great! And oh, by the way, it's still the same at 9. Just so you know.
The most fantastic thing I have read in weeks! I just can't wait until my 18 month old becomes so delightful!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Somewhere along the line, in a moment of distraction or fatigue, you must have given in once. Now he's latching on to that one time and wants to see you crack. Parenting is hard...
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter~annie
You must be psychic... sounds just like the usual goings on at my house! :-)
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJodi
I'm sorry, my sisters-in-frustration: my daughter will be 16 in 10 days, and this has.not.ended.yet.

Even to the disappearing into crowds! Well...ok, she IS tall and red-headed, so she's easier to find than she used to be. Thank God for small favors, right?
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoAnne
Did I write this? Perhaps I would have if I'd have had half the eloquence and wit.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkristi
DO YOU LIVE IN MY HOUSE? Multiplied by three, of course--because I'm a glutton for punishment.

My advice about the deflating spiderman--throw it away (somewhere where he won't find it in the garbage) when he's at school. He probably won't miss it. Mine never do.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWendyPinNJ
LOL!!! That was fabulous! I think we were sharing the same existence that morning. Ah 6 year old boys are great, aren't they? Yes? Hello?.......
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSondra
Haha! I love this post. How well it sums up my day. Every. Single. Day.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
LOL I just went through nearly the same thing the other day w/ my 15.5 yr old!! For all those with toddlers, no, it will never end...
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
I am not alone in my insanity, I am not alone in my insanity, I am not alone in my insanity...
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoop
That is awesome! My morning with the five year old was almost identical. Except it was 1:45am and it was "dark" in her room. Unlike every other night at 1:45am.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPetra
Just substitute the Daisy Meadows fairy books for the Magic Tree House ones and you are pretty accurately summarizing my days.

And it doesn't matter if no is the answer every single time, the request(s) still gets asked, repeatedly, and the same dejection follows.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I hope your child never gets a chance to read this.

Its my honor and privalege to be the one who feeds my children everyday, who puts them through their routine, who holds their things (and their hands) while they tackle the wrold from a 3 foot high perspective. Who is the first person they run to when scared in the night.

My greatest joy is being a mom...

is yours?
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
You can't blame the kid for dreaming.

I guess that's why I sometimes find her relentlessness charming: The high hopes! Which I usually must crush.

I thought it was me--I must be showing signs of weakness (I'm DEFINITELY showing signs of weakness). I was amazed to find that the kid of parents who are way regimented and strict does the exact same thing. Someday, this persistance will pay off when they are trying out for Julliard or whatever and don't get in so they go to Berklee instead?

That's what I try to tell myself.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterozma
i have a 22 month old son. you just scared the shit out of me. and now i will close up my uterus forever, momma can only handle one!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjackie
Amy and Karen, I'm so sorry you don't have senses of humor. So sad.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenna
Hee! So funny! & strangely familiar. :)
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsianmommy

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