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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
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. → 

« Sitter Lady takes over. | Main | Settling in but still unsettled. »

A post from the slanty room.

Have I told you about our slanty room? As this is an old house (and jam-packed with ghosts! I mean, probably), the floors are all sloped, one way or the other. But in one room—the room that is to be my office, I get my own office!—the floor dips so dramatically toward the center of the room, it’s like you’re in a funhouse. A boring funhouse. And unfortunately, both my desk and chair are on casters. So as I’m writing, the desk is rolling toward me, and I’m hanging on to the keyboard tray to keep from rolling back further, which causes the desk to roll some more. So by the end of my precious Internet time, I’m smack dab in the middle of the room.

Take the casters off the desk and chairs, I can hear you thinking. Yes, I know. I just haven’t done it yet. But I will! Right after I roll over that 401(K) from 1997.

Hey! I got a job. My former employer, a corporate behemoth that treated me kindly back in the 20th century, has called on me. I will work from home for them. And they will give me money! So this works out for both of us. This is about as much detail as you will get out of me about my new job, which really isn’t that interesting, and don’t you love it when I’m this vague? Does it make me mysterious, or just boring? Boringly mysterious?

Anyway, because I have this real job now (part-time, from home, yay), I hired a babysitter. This is a first for me. Henry always had the benefit of being looked after by a relative or close friend. I always had the benefit of not having to hire someone. And oh Internet, the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. The whole stranger-in-my-house-with-my-sweet-boy thing. It’s not even like I’m leaving them alone. I’m going to be upstairs! And probably running downstairs at regular intervals!

His new sitter is eminently qualified—frankly, more qualified than I am to be left alone with a child. I still feel odd about the whole affair. It took me many weeks to even start looking for someone, because of the oddness. Maybe she’s a lunatic! Who will take my child! And sell him to, hmm, an organization! A mismanaged one!

Also, when I'm with him, I often wish he were elsewhere, and when he’s with someone else, I mostly want him to be with me. She’ll be here every morning (only for the next few weeks, until his summer camp starts) and already I’m wistful about our, uh, special mornings together. When I would try to get him dressed, and he would yell. When he demanded ice cream, and when I refused, punched me in the thigh. Oh, sweet memories!

Aaaand I'm rolling away again. Goodbye!

Reader Comments (42)

congrats! sitter in the house--yeah, it'll feel weird at first, so expect to be running to his every call. main thing is to not go running each time if he seems upset--let him learn to trust her (and more to the point, let yourself learn).enjoy those floors!
May 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoy
Welcome to the world of owning an older home with a ton of charm! That is how I think about it when I get frustrated about olding a home that has lot's of problems, but lovely nooks, cranny's (sp?) and all the charm to make up for the lack of space!
May 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjill
"Also, when I'm with him, I often wish he were elsewhere, and when he’s with someone else, I mostly want him to be with me."

Thank you so much for this! I feel this way too.
May 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkelly jeanie
Let me get this straight. You're working from home for the behemoth, you have a part-time nanny, an eclectic wavy office, and bruise-free thighs?

You're making it harder to continue to like you.

May 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLena
But a job! From home! And money!


Really...I'm so very happy for you. Really.
May 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwordgirl
you sound wonderful. congratulations.
May 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel
I have a slanty room. We noticed the slant when one of the dogs peed and the little yellow droplets rolled to the corner of the room.

Congrats on the job. Yay for sitters, although I feel your pain. It's a fine balance I guess.
May 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNila
Oooh ghosties in your house! How intriguing.I love old houses, slanty floors and all.Hey! You get to work from home! And get the money! How envious am I?VERY!
May 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTree
Funny, my home office is a slanty room with slanty walls, too. I just painted it "fog," so now it is mysterious in its slantiness.

The sitter - it'll wear off, not that you asked for my opinion. I'll hand the little angel off to anyone with a kind smile and a certificate of some sort if I really have to get something done these days. That's what two years and two daycares will do for you. But just think - then you can use all that pretty money to buy you and Henry Coney Island.
May 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdorothy
"Also, when I'm with him, I often wish he were elsewhere, and when he’s with someone else, I mostly want him to be with me."

May 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
This post makes me want to move to the 'burbs and have a slanty room of my own. You know, of one's own. I'm so excited for you! Congratulations.
May 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkim
I love my old home! I enjoy, particularly, the strength I have gained in my calf (now wait, is that right? are the bits between my ankle and knee really the calf? that seems wrong, but I'm lazy, I refuse to look it up. Moo.) area from the walking up an down in ALL ROOMS!! Hilly houses are the most fun! And I love the potentially hotness in high heels I may soon acquire!

May 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
Isn't it funny that when our kids our with other relatives or sitters, we want them all to ourselves? But when we're alone with them, and they have temper tantrums (in my case), we can't wait for them to go to bed, already!
May 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDana
Clearly the former owners of your home understood that right angles are not good for creative thinking. Anyway, that was the story with my college dorm. I was an engineering major, so I had to move out.

Roll away, the dew!
May 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMignon
Excellent news about the job and the sitter. I had that set-up for years, and it was great. Sure, my mommy-hormonal-fixation-anxiety thing went off with a loud BLANG BLANG BLANG at first. But it got better. Really! And ... you get your brain back. I'm actually moderately intelligent again. Hooray!
May 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy
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June 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterinsurance auto

Its best if you conducted nanny background check first before you hired your nanny. Since you love you baby so much, it will really feel uncomfortable if you let a stranger take care of him.

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