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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

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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 → 

« Happy Easter! | Main | I didn't throw up, not even a little! »
Wednesday
Apr042007

The story behind the picture.

So Isabel called me on Monday with a "crazy request." There's very little I wouldn't do for Isabel, so I said "Sure!" before she got out the words would you appear on national television? I thought she was going to ask me to streak the U.N. No such luck.

Apparently Good Morning, America is doing a segment on the Alpha Mom demographic (there's a demographic! Did you know?) and they wanted a "typical" Alpha Mom to interview. They specifically wanted someone with a house. I think they envisioned miles of granite countertops and adorable children skipping rope next to a Lexus SUV. Instead they got our (charmingly) decrepit Formica and Henry attempting to light-saber me on our (alarmingly) weed-choked lawn. Ha!

Minutes after Isabel and I hung up and I shelved away my body paint, a GMA producer called. She asked me what I thought an Alpha Mom was, and I attempted to answer. Then I got down to business."What should I wear?" I asked, and she laughed, like my outfit wasn't the most important thing on her mind. "Whatever you feel comfortable in," she said.

"I'll get my wedding dress out of storage," I told her.

"Ha, ha! No dressing up! Whatever you wear on a typical mom day!"

"My prom dress is really comfy. Does taffeta look okay on the air?"

"Ha, ha! You're funny! But hey, really!" I could tell she was rifling through her mental Rolodex of More Appropriate Mommies Who Wouldn't Make Tired Jokes About Prom Dresses, so I assured her I would wear my usual oversized sweatshirt. I have a new one adorned with a beadazzled Easter Bunny! Stylish and seasonal!

Scott and I stayed up all night tossing our crap into closets. Actually Scott did most of the work. I told him I had to do some research for the segment, and by the way, that stove wasn't going to clean itself. He wasn't too happy with me, frankly. No matter how frequently I observed how hot he looks while he's chiseling dried tomato sauce out of the oven controls.

The next morning I told Henry that some nice people with big cameras would be at our house when he got home from school. He looked at me, like, of course people are coming here to put me on television. What took them so long? On the ride to school, he told me, "I think they turn the cameras on, and then they throw them at you. And that's how they take the picture." I, for one, think this is an excellent idea. Just one shot after another of people ducking for cover, cameras clattering to the ground and going dead. All the producers wondering why no one wants to be on their shows.

After I dropped him off I did everything you'd expect a person who was waiting for a television crew to arrive would do: tried on different shirts, crammed more crap into closets, tried to use an eyelash curler without blinding myself. I decided on the shirt that Scott has dubbed the Rack Shirt, a dark-brown number that somehow gifts me with, well, a rack. I figured that in case I sounded like a feckless jerk, the audience would be distracted by my resplendent bosom swathed in a featherweight jersey.

Sadly, the producer's first words to me upon her arrival were, "Are you set on that shirt?" She was not sufficiently dazzled by my B-cups and wanted something brighter. She didn't like the fuschia body paint, either. Some people will never be satisfied.

The interview itself went surprisingly well. The lovely producer and her lovely cameramen (and I use the term "lovely" with no irony whatsoever—this is unusual for me, I know) were expert at putting me at ease, even after I responded to the first question with a gurgling noise and a slow slide off the chair. I regained my composure, thanks to them, and found myself expounding away. Apparently I made some kind of sense, because the producer nodded in approval and at one point reacted to my commentary with a quiet "wow." Which may have been short for, "Wow, are you sure you're not completely high?"

The point I tried to hammer home, and probably it will get completely lost in the final edit, is that I don't think the term "Alpha Mom" connotes some exclusive club. It's a term we can all own, and it's meant to indicate that it's important, this thing we do, this motherhood gig. In other words, it's supposed to be empowering, not intimidating. I said a bunch of other things too, but I can't remember, because I was so damn high.

The segment is set to air Monday. Be sure to tune in, if only to see Henry throwing a ball to me, and the ball sailing right past my outstretched hands. It's not easy to miss an underhand lob from a four-year-old, but I'm going to do it on national television, folks. Enjoy.

Reader Comments (46)

Exciting!!! In honor of your big event, I have decided to work from home on Monday! I bet you did not know your fan base was so devoted. And though you don't have the right "parts" for me, I am absolutely going to check out your bosom.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Denise, I think that's a common misconception. Although honestly there's probably a disconnect between the idea of the alphamom as a marketing demographic and the goals of Isabel's company.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Jeff, I had no idea you were so dedicated to the Finslippy cause. Bless you.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
DO you have a bedazzled Easter bunny sweatshirt? Do you?
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterelise
I WISH.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I bet you $5 someone sends you a Bedazzled Easter Bunny sweatshirt after this, Alice. Or a Bedazzled something. If I had a Bedazzler I would.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
Huge congrats. I can imagine you being nothing short of charming, witty and delightful. Also, lovely. Fuschia or not.
April 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMom101
You will be lovely, and sweet, and you will make all of us non-ball-catching Moms look extra good.
April 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Oh, I hope so, Elizabeth. I want to help the Non-Ball-Catching contingent feel better about themselves.
April 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Congratulations! Look forward to seeing it.
April 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRuth Dynamite
Congratulations! I don't usually watch TV in the morning and am usually not even up when GMA actually starts but I will definitely set my alarm for Monday morning! Any idea when in the program you will appear! I am so excited!
April 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl52
I will tivo it. I have already sent an email to everyone I know and have shared your blog with, to tune in. I cant wait. I too really really love the color of your living room. I was actually picturing one of those Barbara Walters interviews when I saw the two chairs facing eachother. I would have thrown up.
April 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicki
setting my tivo now!! yay!
April 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterraine
Hahaha... "DUCK! Mom's taking pictures again!"
April 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWoman with Kids
So, who is gonna post it to YouTube? Seriously. Because if I don't let Declan watch the Wiggles with breakfast, he will deck me.
April 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteraimee/greeblemonkey
Way to represent!!!!! Can't wait to watch you fumble the ball either :)
April 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFENICLE
Since I have been TV free for two years, I have no idea what time Good Morning America comes on.

Since I just got "io" tv installed yesterday, I will be able to:

1. Find out when GMA comes on2. Record it while I am at work3. Watch it when I get home.

YAY!

- M
April 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarcheline
You did great on GMA today. Congratulations! Oh and it totally looked like you were letting Henry win, you know to be a good mom. ;)
April 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterangela
I tuned in just to see you and Henry. You were both great. After reading about Henry's imagination and action figures here, it was fantastic to see them on the screen in my living room.
April 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermelanie
Wonderful seeing you on GMA this morning - you looked exactly how I remember you from senior year - good to see that one of us is not aging!

Blast from your past -- Barbara Kelly
April 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
Your appearance was great! And not only was it on GMA (so I hear), but it was replayed throughout the night on ABC's World News Now.

I caught it at 4 a.m., while I was up nursing my 12 week old. It was so cool to watch the segment and say hey -- I know her!

There was SO much footage of said ball-throwing on the replayed segment. Tell Henry that he was GREAT!
April 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwhymommy

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