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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. → 

« Twenty-three skiddoo! | Main | Guess who's almost four? »

A brief account of the festivities.

The piñata was one of those pull-the-string dealies, after all. I had no idea. When I bought it I assumed all those ribbons at the bottom were a festive touch. Then I saw the words “PULL-THE-STRING PINATA,” and after a few minutes of sounding it out I figured out what was up. It’s amazing I can get through the day without setting myself on fire.

The actual pulling open of the piñata was anticlimactic. The children quickly lost patience with the idea of taking turns with one ribbon each, so after one round of that we gave up and Henry yanked all of them. At this a small door opened at the bottom and exactly nothing fell out. I had to reach in and fish out the candy and toys. Piece by piece they thunked to the floor. Most of the kids were around Henry’s age or younger, and were impressed with the goings-on but didn’t fully grok that they could take more than one item. They each picked up one sticker or fun-sized candy and ambled away, asking their parents if they could really keep it. Henry grabbed a lollipop and was pleased. The lone six-year-old, the most senior party attendee and apparently a seasoned pro at the piñata, was down there grabbing everything, unable to believe her good fortune. The preschoolers sat back and admired her technique.

After the day was over, we sat down and realized there had been no tears, no bloodshed, no missing limbs. My newly minted four-year-old managed nearly ten hours of festivities (there were two parties in one day: the morning one with the kids, then the evening appearance of the grandparents and aunts and uncles) with style and grace. He greeted his guests with enthusiasm, said “thank you” to each gift, and invited his friends to share his loot. At one point he got a Woody doll and spent the night observing, “I used to have a tiny Woody but now I have a really big Woody!” We all tried not to snicker, and failed. We tried to resist the urge to get him to say it again, and failed at that too.

So in other words, all the misbehavior came from the adults.



Reader Comments (51)

A bigger Woody is always a better Woody.
October 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
About a year after a little guy I used to work with began to talk, he had a birthday. He received 2 Toy Story figures. He said, " I have a a Woody and a Buzz!" I was so proud. He sounded like a real man!
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdenise
That? Is hillarious! Misbehaving indeed. Sounds like a great day.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
That truly was a successful birthday party. Congrats!
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Glamore
Bless him and his woody doll. I love the things 4 year olds say.My son's classic line:"My Barney get's big when you play with it."

He'll love it when you tell him all about it at 14.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercursingmama
Wow. Sounds like the affair was nearly painless. Who'd have thunk it?

Good luck curbing Henry's "Woody" comments. My kindergarteners are still telling the world about their pretty new

October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPlanet Mom
Grok. You complete me.

So nobody got to use the force to bash Darth in the head? Sad face! Again, many happy returns Henry.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLetterB
My then 2.5yo niece used to say "I LOVE BUD LIGHT BEER!!" She meant Buzz Light Year, but we didn't correct her.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Wow, I have never heard of pull-the-string pinatas. Must have been invented by communists.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
Seems like all went well at the party. My little one is almost a year old, and I can't imagine that anyone but the parents will have much fun at his first party ;)

I got to your journal by way of Maggie Mason, btw.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermeghann
Who needs lots of men when you can have one big Woody?
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBitterSugarPixie
The Woody and Buzz jokes have provided much entertainment in our house over the years. You know the Pixar guys knew what they were doing when coming up with names for those characters. Potheads, all of them, especially Jobs.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterthe patriarch
So I think? That Maybe? Next time some stupid adults point and laugh? Henry should pull all their ribbons at once and see if candy falls out. and then, if it doesn't, he can tell them they aren't any fun AT ALL.
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlis
Hee. Big Woody. Snicker, snicker.

Happy birthday Henry. We're a year ahead of you, and four is FUN. Seriously. Fun like studying schizophrenia is fun!
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVery Mom
Ah, yes, the woodys. "I love a big Woody!" said my son at Disneyland.

But yesterday it was, "Wow, all birds are real peckers, didn't you know?"
October 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKari
Pinata is always fun!

My son had it almost every year on his birthday party.
But you said "grok". And thus, I love you.
October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMocha
I wonder if the Toy Story writers knew what they were doing when they named that cowboy ... because when my Eldest (now 12) got a Woody Doll for his third birthday he told everyone who would listen that "my Grandma gave me a big Woody." And we all snickered.

Because it's funny.
October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRuth
this, you see is exactly why they should stay four forever. It just goes to hell between 4 and 5 somehow. Really cute story
October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterApostol Apostolopoulos
Oh my god, i'm laughing so hard I'm in tears. Out of the mouth of babes! That is the kind of thing that if I had been there and heard it I probably would have had to leave the room to get myself composed.

October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSparklykatt
Haha, I hope that I don't become a grown-up before I have kids. I don't think that I could ever not laugh if someone says woody. I am such a differnet generation than my parents, its crazy. I mean they're cool and all but my mom can say things like "your dad went to get some wood" without her mind immediatly slipping into the gutter.
October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBethany Suzanne Coffey
I would always help my sister with my neice's birthday parties. One year I got a pinata, the smash kind. After a lot of effort by the kids, it broke open. And...nothing. I had assumed it came already filled with candy. I was wrong. Twelve years leter, that's the only thing my neice remembers about that party.
October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWanda
they sound like the best-behaved group of toddlers ever. When one of the girls at my 3-year-old kindergarten had her third birthday, it was frenzy galore. Maybe my kid's schoolmates are really mature for their age... (that's my theory and I'm sticking with it!).

p.s: I really love your writing. makes me laugh.
October 11, 2006 | Unregistered Commentershiri
This is... weird.
October 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHerrMetik
just a note - your site is resolving to a generic search engine type of page as of 2pm est on 12 Oct - still works though
October 12, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermathew

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