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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
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Sleep Is
For The Weak

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. → 

« A brief account of the festivities. | Main | Watch out, she’s angry. »

Guess who's almost four?

Last weekend, in addition to braving the Swedish Hellscape, we went to Party City to buy birthday crap for Henry. I know! We’re officially suburban. Except we also went there the year before. When you need to buy party paraphernalia for the small and easily impressed, the City of Parties is the swift, efficient, terrible option.

And we bought a pinata. I was opposed—is it not a bad idea to arm the children? And then once they’ve dealt many swift and violent blows, to reward them with a mountain of candy? It seems like a poor message—but Husband insisted, and as in all things, I surrendered. So now we have an empty Darth Vader head waiting in our closet, aching to be filled with sugary delights. Soon we will satisfy the Head, only to watch it get split in twain by crazed preschoolers.

Other than the Head, our plans for “Four! The Party” involve watching chocolate-coated children run shrieking about the room as the adults take cover and worry about the future of our already troubled nation. Also there will be Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Pray for us.

Reader Comments (67)

Ah, bashing in a Darth Vader head. The simple joys of youth...
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermom on a wire
Sounds like a perfect day. And maybe bashing Vader will give the good side of the force more strength, resulting in a peaceful party.

And that was the nerdiest thing I've ever said.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Funny, because the first thing I noticed upon moving to the suburbs was that every single person had pinatas at their birthday parties. Apparently, the forgot to give me the memo before letting me move in. Now my children are addicted and ask for pinatas for every event: Christmas, New Year's, Flag Day. It's all about the pinata's baby. Here's my one word of advice, as if you need it: don't blindfold the small children and then give them objects of destruction. It'll take a ten year old on speed to get that pinata open as it is. Good luck!
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterborneochica
I like "Four! The Party!" as a title. My boyfriends birthday is tomorrow and I may title his birthday something like "37! The Grampa!" if he doesn't mind.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEm
PS:That Wife book just made me puke.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermom on a wire
Not because 37 is old. Just because HE acts very very old.

The end.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEm
Chocolate covered children!! Ahhhhhh!!!
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine
Yes, INDEED, nothing says "Grand Idea!" like kids hopped up on sugar while wielding a blunt object.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercagey
I agree, and totally protest the I can only hear Peggy Hill Spanish pronunciation in my head forever.

The conflicting wierdness of the message totally gets are a brave woman to have a Darth Vader head in your closet....

I am such a party pooper too. They fill me with stress and terror....
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
I clicked on Surrendered expecting to get a picture of the pinata. How could you DO that to us!

They do, btw, have pinatas w/ strings hanging down--the kids take turns pulling the strings, and finally one of the strings pulls the whole thing open. The last party we went to had one of those. Of course, then you have the problem of some kids not getting anything, and tears, but luckily most of the kids were good about sharing.

I admire you for allowing all those kids into your home. We've been to 2 4-yo parties at the local children's museum, and the next one will be at a tumbling gym. The stakes get raised FAST.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternate
My advice?

The grown ups need to imbibe alcohol in direct proportion to the sugar imbibed by the children. No, no - I won't hear any rational arguments about drunk adults in charge of sugar-crazed children. I simply won't. I know it's not OPTIMAL but it is how it must be.

Plus? The clowns are MUCH funnier when you're drunk!

People- I'm just KIDDING (I would never let the children get hopped up on sugar! The vodka part is true, though - and the bit about the clowns.)
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustLinda
Yeah, I'm scared. The nephew's birthday is this weekend and we're going to the children's museum and there will be 13 children all around the age of 3. Plus, I've been put on bully duty. Yeah. Put the woman who is afraid of small children in charge of the bully. That's good.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDM
I've never really got why pinatas need to be filled with candy. Could you put small games, or suger-free gum, or something else a little less sugary in them? (I do know that sugary isn't a word, but it works for me.)
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterthe cat
I hope after Party Central that you made a stop at the Liquor Barn.

Happy Birthday, sweet Henry, may you strike the decisive blow to the Darth head!
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTastesLikeChicken
With every sugar rush- comes the beloved sugar crash. Children- wiped out and falling asleep is a beautiful thing.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJ~
Oh please, please, please tell me Pretty Rambo will be showing up to pop open a fresh can of whoopass on the VaderHead. And, once Darth Pinata is nada, consider whacking any mimes in attendance, just on principle. In fact, you could set the chocolate-painted, sugarthirsty, warrior-children on both the mimes and the clowns all Lord of the Flies like! (Aww, poor Piggy, no more conch holding for you)From a party flow standpoint I'd go for the mimes first though because, um, like what are they going to say? Any true mime will stay in character, all silent and mimey, and simply chase after you with jazz hands or something. Now that's entertainment :)Seriously, happy birthday to Four and enjoy the day.

October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike
The only thing that is better is to have the birthday party first thing in the morning. We used to have pancake pajama birthday parties. Everyone shows up in their pajamas AS IF they have slept over (less owrk for Mom), serve chocolate chip pancakes and ice cream for breakfast. Let them at the pinata and then send them all home.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermira
We learned that little lesson about the blindfold the hard way. If I close my eyes, I can still see a blindfolded child swinging a bat with the strength of a man twice his age while a group of peers gather closer and closer for possible candy. Skip the blindfold.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVikki
I hope you have a forceful (Ha ha, The Force!) Light Saber on hand for all the Vader bashing in your future.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermadge
I can second the pinata string suggestion, although I guess bashing Vader until he vomits candy is different than whacking Nemo, which was our last pinata...
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
At least it's Darth Vadar. Because, you know, he's a bad guy.

Ah, what the hell, right?
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon
As a grizzled veteran of the Pinata Wars, here's a trick: do a little structural damage to the thing first, let the small kids start, and by the time the big kids get to it, it may actually fall apart. My friend was literally pulling the damn thing apart at her son's party this weekend, because it WOULD NOT BREAK. Three rounds of whacking, with the kids crowding closer and injuries mounting - time to rip it apart with your bare hands!

(As the mother of an over-sensitive kid, I also love it when the hosts keep a little of the candy to distribute to the shy and fearful, because then I don't have to hear the whining and griping after the party.)
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVelma
I had similar panic over our first pinata and while at Party City purchased an assload of superballs, plastic skull rings, keychains with smiley faces and heart shaped post-it pads to mix in with the mini Snickers, Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and Smarties. Nobody cried.

Well. Not about that anyway.

Happy 4th to dear Henry! No longer a toddler!!
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
Happy birthday to Henry! And I'm glad you're doing a traditional Pin the Tail on the Donkey as well as the more trendy pinata. It's good to hold on to our traditions in life. I have fond memories of Pin the Tail on the Donkey in my back yard in Nutley.
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl52
How will you top last year's cake? Pin the tail on the donkey cake. Yes!
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlishia

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