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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

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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. → 

« I don't want to say anything, but God gives the crappiest Christmas gifts. | Main | You deserve better but this is all I have. »

A title is simply not called for in some cases, but here one is anyway, hello!

Jesus, people. Jesus is to blame for my not writing! Jesus has a birthday, and we all have to buy presents for everyone we know! It’s outrageous, is what it is, and I for one will not stand for it.

Because of Jesus, my brain has been sucked clean of content. I have spent too many hours scouring the Internets for cheap train sets for my son, and now I can’t tie my shoes without drooling.

Also: cheap train sets don’t exist. If your son likes trains, you must sell your liver. It’s all part of His plan.

Reader Comments (32)

Would now be a good time to point out that a train-obsessed small boy who receives a train set for Christmas will very shortly lose all interest in said trains? And that I know this from experience, and I sort of miss my liver? No? Okay then. Hey, look! Something shiny!
December 13, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMir
I've got one word for you (two words?): GeoTrax. The sets are very reasonable, extremely sturdy (virtually two-and-a-half-year-old proof), lots of fun (they have these cool remotes that are easy for 2 year olds to figure out--there's even a glockenspiel clock tower) and you can add and add and add to them to your toddler's heart's content. They've worked for us--they even have FIRE TWUCKS and 'STWUCTION TRUCKS and all sorts of cool TWACK! They're sold everywhere (Target, Walmart, ToysRUs) but we've gotten great deals on them at Kohls if you have one of those close by. Good luck!
December 13, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
I agree with the geotrax. My 3 year old is obsessed with them (and will receive a substantially larger collection for Christmas). But they are for older kids.

My 1 year old loves the hand-me-down hybrid brio wooden train set he got from his older brother. When we were accumulating that set, they were ridiculously expensive. Now they can be purchased at target and walmart for a very reasonable price.

Good luck, and remember: CHOO! CHOO!

December 13, 2004 | Unregistered Commentermitch
I babysit a little boy whose parents are Filthy Rich And Never There, and he has the coolest train set. He even has an aquarium car! With real water in it! It's very cool, and I think I like to play with them as much as he does, pathetic as they might be. I only wish they were SOFTER.

Good luck with the search.
December 13, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterjanna
Now seems like a good time to recommend Mike Doughty's song, Fire Truck: (you can find it here:

"I'm going to play a song written by a four-year-old.He wrote this song and he called it "Fire Truck"He was four years old.It's called, "Fire Truck"He was just four years old.It's called "Fire Truck"He was four years old.



Thank you."

December 13, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterNew Blue Shoe
IKEA?Apparently there are Thomas compatible train sets at... IKEA?

We are blessed with grandparents who feel that the way to our son's heart is through the one who we all bow to... Thomas the Tank.

December 13, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterada
One more time - Geotrax! We got them for our son last xmas and he's playing with them RIGHT NOW! Best kid-out-of-your-hair return on the dollar we've ever experienced.
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Well, everyone likes trains, but who likes liver? There you go.

I was dead certain that our train-obsessed girl would follow Mir's model, but it did not come to pass, and three years later (or is it four? don't know), the trains are still beloved.
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterjilbur
huh, liver?

that's cheap.

We had to cough up a lung, the husband's left nut, a kidney, AND the a liver.

I'll sell it to you for a better set of boobs.

December 14, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
yes! ikea. twelve dollar track sets that do in fact work with all the fancy thomas shit. it's what we've got, and boy oh boy, was it ever worth it.
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered Commentersantosha
I just found you through a blogfriend. I read...I laughed...I read....I laughed. Yay Finslippy!

I have a two-year-old as well. We're in the same neighborhood of hell, aren't we?
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Hoo. Train sets. We have a toddler train fanatic in residence, here. Thankfully he was able to BORROW some Thomas stuff off our nephew, because to create even a small set up of that stuff requires a substantial home equity loan, as I'm sure you know. The no-name, Thomas-compatible stuff is CRAP, sadly. The track in particular is poorly made and does not 'hold' the engines to the track as well as the real stuff. I'd pass on it, personally. So we, too, went with Geotrax. We all like it, but be forewarned: Geotrax is NOT like Thomas stuff in that building a decent-sized track will take over your entire living room floor...and I have the pictures to prove it. It does not lend itself to those train tables at all - it's just too big. But it is durable and *relatively* cheap, when you compare it with Thomas. Good luck!
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
it would be so much easier just to buy presents for jesus. he was a carpenter for, uh, HIS sake. one trip to home depot and you have the whole list covered.
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mighty Jimbo
Just stopping in to say hello and to congratulate you on your recent nomination at the BoB Weblog Awards 2004.

December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterGenuine
Oh my, we're in the same boat. Trains, trains, trains. Complicated by the fact that we now live at the edge of the planet and may fall in at any given moment. There are not many stores, nor are there many online places that will ship to mud huts.
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterVery Mom
Holy shit...that entry about the Tallmen nearly made me spit out iced tea. You almost owed me a new computer, yo.You make me feel like an unworthy blogger. Sigh.Funny stuff!!
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterheidi
So glad I have a girl. So glad I married a Jew. So glad we are too lazy to shop and too poor for gifts.

But you are ahead of me in the parenting thing. Maybe when she is older we have to buy things for her.

Hope you are feeling better and not having crazy dreams...
December 14, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMiel
Sears has the big (G model or something like that?) trains that can go around the Christmas tree in a circle and PUFF REAL SMOKE! It also goes forward and backward. I got one for my nearly 3-year-old son for this year -- it hasn't arrived yet so I can't give you a toddler-tested review, but my friend says the train is wonderful. It was "only" $31, slightly cheaper than a liver.

I still have deep regret over returning a GeoTrax to Target when my son was around 21 months old. We had already gotten him a train table, Thomas trains, and, yes, I did sell my liver to do it. So I felt fairly safe in returning the GeoTrax, thinking we didn't need that, too. Like a fool, I had my son in the shopping cart with me when I did this. We hadn't even tried to use the GeoTrax -- it was still in the box.

For the last YEAR, EVERY time we go to Target, he points to the returns area and says, "My train! My train!" in the most mournful tone possible. If you do get your son a GeoTrax, whatever you do, don't return it!
December 15, 2004 | Unregistered Commentersusie
Rachel's 17 months and not into trains (there's a "yet," attached, I'm hoping.)

But I just checked out the GeoTrax, and I'm in my mid-30s and *I* want me some of that. Those are cool.

December 15, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterFrumDad
I have two boys, ages two and three. They both are demanding a train set for Christmas. I am with you in train set hell.
December 16, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

imaginarium train set called "Figure 8 Train Set" $19.99

Right now it comes with a free "Expansion Track Pack" - 100 peice.

I looked all around too...because I would sooner sell my liver then give those Thomas the Train people any of my hard earned cash! Those money grubbing whores!!!! *snark*
December 16, 2004 | Unregistered Commenternikol
yikes greatest blog EVER! I have to link to you because you have got to be the most funniest piss my pants while reading your blog damn fine writer.

December 16, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
yikes greatest blog EVER! I have to link to you because you have got to be the most funniest piss my pants while reading your blog damn fine writer.

December 16, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
How old? I can suggest some train ideas if I know his age . . .
December 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip
Tell me about it. We've already sold a liver and two kidneys. Target's store brand (in the blue box - I forgot what they call it) is the least expensive I can find and the tracks do fit the Thomas cars. My 2-year-old-train-obsessed-son also has let his Thomas obsession be known far and wide and so has inherited a bunch of old, lead-paint-flaking engines from family and friends. I stopped worrying about the lead paint flaking off when I saw the prices of the new ones.

December 18, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterLunasea

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