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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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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.

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Thursday
Jul142005

Yes, my son. The English language, she is a bitch.

This morning: Henry leads me to his train set, having detached each track piece from the next until all is chaos on the Island of Sodor.

“What happened?” I ask, and he waves his arm over the destruction and explains, “I broked it up… I had brokened it. It got breaked? It breakened--” And then he sighs and concludes, “I got it all up broke.”

This is nothing. You should see his spelling.

Reader Comments (42)

WHO KNEW conjugating verbs could be so much damn fun? hee hee
July 15, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercagey
I can't wait til my little boy starts talking - so far his only word other than mama and dada is "Mow" like ow! (not to mow the yard) because the cats are always meowing. You'd think we don't feed them. :)
July 15, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterManicMom
Language is overrated.
July 15, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterpatrick
Years ago, there was a small child who adored me and would say to me when he was tired and didn't want to walk anymore "Dana, may I hold you?" I melted everytime.

And I still say tizered instead of tired because of him, ten or so years later.
July 15, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDM
We look not to the language, but to the immense pain and suffering of the Fat Controller, Thomas et al. Our hearts go out to them.(Apart from that one diesel engine with the crooked leer; he deserves it).If it be not breakened, never be fixing the thing thereof.
July 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterscott
He is smart. He's smarting. He's smarted. Just you weight. You will si.
July 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMiel
I still remember the day my six-year-old son took some clothes he'd outgrown to our next-door neighbor. I watched the transaction from my kitchen window and saw the neighbor break into a somewhat overly-large grin as she took the clothes. She later told me he had said to her: "I outgrew these. Stewart can ingrow them now."
July 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersavtadotty
I forgot to add: this happened 30 years ago.
July 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersavtadotty
When reading the Thomas the Tank engine books to my brother, my (funnily enough, German) grandmother always used to think that the Fat Controller was a guy who controlled the fat, rather than a chap who just happened to be rather portly. We had to explain it to her....twenty years later. She'd thought he was controlling Thomas and Percy's fat intake all that time, like some Hollywood nutritionist. How ahead-of-her-time, no?
July 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
aaaawww. my son went to an afrikaans preschool and when he started school his afrikaans was better than his english (home language), he spent most of his first year translating everything directly from the afrikaans, difficult to explain here, but very funny... what can also be very confusing is something my family does for fun - we use the wrong words deliberately, for example, a questions like "do you want to lunch?" might be answered with "not in peculiar"... we know it's wrong, but it's fun to confuse people. first time visitors never know whether to correct us or not.
July 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterangel
Yes, you definitely need to get this kid into some other languages while he's still young. He TOTALLY has a knack for grammar. He'll have so much fun with Latin!
July 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGemini6Ice
I read the Sodor and back pain piece first and thought "Cosmic twins unite!" How thrilling to find a kindred spirit (with a kindred child). But then I kept going to the Star Wars piece and as usual laughed until I peed.
July 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
What is it with kids breaking up the train tracks? Nevermind the playing fast and loose with the language... I mean, that IS amusing, certainly, I don't mean to diminish that.

But my first thought when I read your entry was, "Hey! My kid breaks up the train tracks, too!" And why does he do this when his dearest wish is to play with the train ON the train track? Is it just so he can watch me put it back together 40 million times? Which, of course, doesn't happen. I put it together three times and after that I tell him if he breaks it up again, I'm not going to put it back together so he better not do it again if he wants to continue playing with trains on tracks.

He he looks so solemn and he is so thankful that the train track is back together... and then he breaks it all up again and then cries when I tell him I'm not putting it back together again.

As far as he's concerned, anything that CAN come apart, WILL come apart... as many times as he can TAKE it apart.

I was hoping he'd be really mechanically inclined and learn how to put train track together himself, but no... apparently fit-throwing in order to get ME to do it is his idea of a solution. Although, I'm not sure I understand why he clings to this method of persuasion since the only thing it ever persuaded me to do was take the toy away and give him a time out!
July 19, 2005 | Unregistered Commentertitankt
My child requires me to join her in a game of wearing buckets on our heads and playing "astromints", which I can only assume mean astronauts with exceptionally fresh breath. She also tells me long stories that begin "Once, a long, long day ago" and end "And they happily ever aftered!" I love this stuff.

July 22, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterliz
No matter what happens to the track, it's the Fat Controller's Railway, as the song says.

How old is Henry? He sounds just like my 2 year old, who spends as much time as possible on the island of Sodor.
July 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGallaudet Howard
I had this classmate of mine which nobody could make to say "myself" correctly. He kept saying "mySHelf" the whole time! it made the class hysterical but the poor teacher almost went nutz! :D
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdaria
Sounds like a forigner)
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

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