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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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Chicago Review Press

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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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Here she goes again with the letters

Dear Four,

You’re a month away, and you’re already kicking my ass. How is it that you’re kicking my ass from the future? I miss Three. I never thought I’d say that. Please advise.



Dear you,

Just as I have successfully beaten you down, so have I kicked Three right to the curb. And yeah, I’m here early. So? Why should I explain myself? Poop to that, I say. Poop. Poop in your butt. (Good one, me!)

We all know who’s causing the problem, here. We would be getting along just fine, me from the future and you from the now, if you would only comply with my demands. If you were to provide me (for breakfast) with a twelve-pack of cinnamon Trident (slightly aged so that the cinnamon is not too cinnamon-y) and an ice-cream sandwich and a Playmobil catalog and let me watch violent cartoons while pointing to items in the catalog and shouting I WANT THAT, all while dripping ice cream on my clean pants, then we’d get along just like… pee… on a … foot. (Yes!)

Sure, I may be setting the bar fairly high, but it’s only because I know you can handle it. Just as I know you secretly love it when I fling my surprisingly dense body at your head and whup you with my light saber and then smash my lips into your eye socket. Soon you will be so smitten that you will forget that Three ever existed. You’ll be all, three? That wimpy jerk who liked to watch Miffy? Did Three ever ask you to marry him? No, Three couldn’t make the commitment. But I’m Four, baby. And I’m totally your man. Now get me that ice cream and gum, and make it snappy.

In summary, I’ll be here for a while, and I am going to poop on your head THAT DOES NOT STOP BEING FUNNY!



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Reader Comments (105)

3 2/2 says that Four is perhaps the wittiest, most hilarious person ever. He can only add, making the appropriate noise with his mouth, "I pooped in the air!"
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermommycheryl
*sigh* I am only on 11, but 12 is looming large in the headlights and I am very afraid already.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEllen
3 1/2 says that Four is perhaps the wittiest, most hilarious person ever. He can only add, making the appropriate noise with his mouth, "I pooped in the air!"
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermommycheryl
Hi Alice -- I read you from the gramma perspective and oh, how I wish the internet and especially you had been around back then -- commiseration and empathy were not abundant and it was often lonely. You perform a generous service -- you let other moms know they are not alone, that tomorrow WILL be different, (I said different, not necessarily better) and you take people like me for a walk down memory lane. Thanks.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermammajude
Ohh, I believe that you are just addressing late Three or THREE. Really, that's three all over. Three is, while often appearing so physically cute and charming, far worse than Two or Four. Or so I remember it, having done three boy Threes now and 2 months into the third Four.

Four can be surprisingly civilized. Note the surprising. It's not like it's all the's a surprise! Four in boys also can take the mommylove to a whole new level. Especially as Five and Kindergarten approach. Little girl Fives are all grown up, Little boy late Four or early Fives...oooh, do they love their mommy. You know, to the point where you think enough with all the loving, give me some space. And then poof, they go to school and it's very space-filled!
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Witnessing my Older Nephew, who just turned 5, the age that is Four was a little freakin' scary because he would no longer throw tantrums, and instead would try to logically work his way out of a situation. And Four Year Logic?

September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercagey
Oh, Four, POOP is funny, but BUTT is funnier. And FART! Don't forget about FART.

So funny.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Ah, vindication. Four arrived at our house in July and ever since I have been trailing behind her wailing "what's wrong? why the yelling? why so angry? aaarrrggghhh ... " Four is a tough customer, for sure.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Six and nine are SO much better. And my nine-year-old was/is one of those quirky kids? The ones who take longer to do EVERYthing, including mature emotionally? Yeah. When he was four I thought I was going. to. die.

Six is fantabulous. And nine mostly just wants me to ignore him.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercandace
Oh Lord.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersamantha Jo Campen
You think poop is funny? Wait until Four learns about boogers! Now there's funny that never stops! :D
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlizardek
The bad? Four equals two squared. And I mean that.

The worse? I have 4+10 (gah!!!) with an eleven for spice (or spite).

I. Miss. Four.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwordnerd
I think I heart four. It's got guts, and guts is enough.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Ok, 12 is kicking my butt. 13 and 16 have me scared and I sort of miss four. Four I could still pick up and maneuver when asking didn't work. 12 just kind of stands there with a blank look on its face.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAllison
Urgh. We've just welcomed Three-and-a-half and her twin sister into our home, and I'm already well-acquainted with their dopplegangers, Lip and More Lip. So, Four is worse, huh? Joy.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwendy
I recently wrote a post about how whoever coined the phrase "the terrible twos" either never had an older child or lost their sanity before telling the world that three is much, much worse.

I've experienced three and four (and now recently five)...and I'm still saying three is worse. After my second turns four, though, I might change my mind about that.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I like Four. Four and Ten (and sometimes Six) are my favorites. Four can talk in full sentences sometimes. And make jokes. And start to draw beautiful pictures of things Four loves. Sure, Four can be demanding but at least Four can tell you what Four wants!
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda
Sadly I'm missing 11. 12 is a MEAN MEAN little twirp. *sigh*

But I'd take 3,4,5 any that still fit on my lap.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTempestteapot
OK Candance. I'm glad six is fun for you, but you need to borrow MY six for a day or two. Six disagrees, and argues, feels he knows everything already and that I, by extension know nothing. Six melts down at the end of the day exclaming that he is a "big heap of crud". Six has a special white noise generator for the exact frequency of my voice so that he is unable to hear or respond to anything I say.

Now 11. That's a great age! And just think, by the time 6 is 11, 11 will be (shudder) 15!
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRobin in San Jose
Oh it's perfect! The perfect post.

Soooo funny, Alice.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterelise
Here's my personal experience with this so far:

14-18 Months: The perfect age. (aka The calm before the storm)

Age 2: The Terrible Two's

Age 3: The Terrible Two's with a vocabulary. Not only do they tell you "No!" They tell you where to go.

Age 4: Pure attitude.

Ages 5 & 6: Personality levels off some. 6 is better then 5, in my opinion.

Age 7: Starts to be a pain again and attitude gradually increases to age 8.

Age 8: Very similar to age 4. P.I.T.A

Age 9: Attitude starts to level off but now comes the asking for expensive presents for Birthdays and Xmas. (Xbox 360, Electric Guitar with Amp, etc. etc.)

Age 10: Not there quite yet, but it's looking like Age 6. I'm looking forward to this age.

Anyone else experience this?
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
Dear You,

You can listen to all those people all you want but every time you think you have me figured out: WHAM! I am going to throw you for another loop. Bwah ha ha. DId you think this was going to be easy?


Love,currently four, but tomorrow, who knows!
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
I currently have a little experience (which means apparently nada from one to the other) in 9 1/2 and 3 1/2. Three is a bit tougher this time around as this Three has a rather strong-will and doesn't really care if mommy is happy or not. This Three comes with much screaming or, more accurately, SCREECHING at very high pitches. Where does he learn to do that? I've tried ignoring it as the *experts* say to, which is rather hard and doesn't at all work, I've screamed back, that usually just gets me popped upside the head, resulting in a time-out for both Three and mommy and more screeching from Three. Now I just hide in the bathroom till it stops. So, you're saying Four is worse??? Maybe I'll go hug Nine, oh wait, I can't, because I'm an idiot who doesn't know anything and dad is way cooler. Go figure.

September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTracy1cg
I didn't think that two was terrible. I thought most of three was terrible. We are now one quarter way through four and I keep thinking that I'm in some sort of fairy tale, four seems to be a magical age... and I hear that five and six actually get even better. Four can go to gallery's and talk about art, four can go to the coffee shop and hang out. Four can even begin to play cards, take walks and be a companion. Maybe you should look at four again.
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdeborah
You are too funny and right on the money!
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

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