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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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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. → 

« Happy Birthday, Dad--and Jesus, too! | Main | One more about the drugs. »

I recover; Henry planders.

Good afternoon, concerned Finslippy readers! I am sorry that I frightened all of you, especially the Effexor users among you, with my tales of woe. By the next day I felt better than I have in months. But did I write about that? No, I just did a smug little dance and I headed out the door. How could I stay in when I felt so good? What if it didn’t last?

In other news, Henry is honing his comic technique. The ultimate in funny, right now, is to approach me and announce, “I thought you were a [made-up word here].” For instance:

“I thought you were a shnerb.” Raucous laughter ensues. He repeats the word a few times. And laughs some more.

“What’s a shnerb?” I ask. More laughter. He can’t get enough of it!

“A shnerb is a sort of funny bug. A funny bug that eats people.”

Repeat this nine or ten times in an afternoon, and it just gets funnier! No matter what the word is, it always means “funny bug that eats people.” Sometimes it’s a funny bug that eats fire people. I’m not sure where he got this idea. For once, I can’t blame it on Star Wars.

I told him I didn’t think a people-eating bug would be funny, exactly. Not because I’m concerned that he might seek out and befriend an enormous killer insect; just because I was bored and wanted to see where this would go. But nothing’s less funny than analyzing your own joke, as we all know, so he got sort of pissy with me and spat, “I don’t want to talk about that.” Which I think was sort of unfair, frankly, because didn’t he just accuse me of being one of these deadly bugs? Shouldn’t I have the right to find out more about them?

And now, my favorite neologism ever:

Henry is walking on the curb, as it is where the snow is located. He looks up and exclaims, “The snow is all plandering under my boots!”

“What is plandering?” I ask him.

“Plandering means when it planders. When the snow is all plandery.”

That’s my boy.


Reader Comments (76)

I just adore when kids make up words. Plandery describes that scrunching, whooshing, squishing thing that snow does under boots perfectly, now doesn't it. What a wonderful little guy!!

Glad you're feeling so good too. I'm doing a little dance for you!
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterchristina
I LOVE Henry's cute!
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Rani
My daughter is just learning to talk and I find it funny when she says words but they sound vulgar. And it is even funnier when only I know what she is really saying. I ask her to repeat them over and over again. It's the little things...
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCrazyForHer
I really, really hope that you ARE creating a Dictionary of Henry. He will treasure it when he is president, and has saved our nation from the giant bug overlords and the plandery snow that is sure to be a result of continued global warming.
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
I would like to give Belinda an amen sister!
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterjenB
It's not just kids that make up words. My friends and I have added two of my words to our dictionary...

"Shup" which is shut up. You know, for those times you want to silence someone but don't want to waste your time using two words when one will do.

Vant which is a cross between vent and rant. I was extremely irritated with a customer one day (I worked in a call center for a major bank) who blamed us for the fact that she had no money for Christmas when she overdrew her account by going to the casino. Why, yes, that's our fault. Anyway, I walked up to one of my friends and said "I really need to vant now."

Words are fun.
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDM
My son laughed hysterically for two hours straight the first time he heard the phrase "internal combustion engine." I was reading to him at bedtime--it was some kind of sciency thing. When he heard those words his eyes got really big and he looked at me and said "What?" When I repeated it, he lost it totally and was absolutely convulsed for the next couple hours, saying it over and over again and cracking up anew.

December 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermarian
try "Abominable Snowman" on him. My kids (2,6,9) entertained themselves for an hourlong car trip with variations on...glad to hear the "finslippy" is back in your step.
December 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen
I just jetinated all over my keyboard, reading these comments. Carry on!
December 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Oh my God, isn't their humor the strangest? My two-year old will say something completely random, like "what's this?" and then laugh so hard at his own joke, he can't breathe.

Other times he'll hook on to a short phrase he hears and you'd think it was a punchline to the funniest joke ever – he actually guffaws. Yesterday my mother said, "Max, did you sleep 'til THREE O'CLOCK!?!" In a sort of silly way, and the kid said "eeee (three) ock?!" and commenced to laugh himself to death. He repeated this about 50 times and it never lost its zing. The other day it was the phrase "holy mackerel". Gales of laughter. Reels.

I must be getting old.
December 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjulia
Wow. Not only is he a wordsmith, he can conjugate as well.

SEE! See how leaving him to his own devices was not so much neglect as nurturing!?!
December 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermadge
I love how, when asked a question he doesn't feel like answering for whatever reason, Henry always says "I don't want to talk about that right now." For example:"So, does Darth Vader ever fly around in the X-Wing fighter?""I don't want to talk about that right now."It totally gives the exchange an alternate-reality, soap opera-y vibe, especially since he says it in such a witheringly serious tone. It cracks me up every time!
December 11, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterS.Way
Is being a toddler like being on drugs? Because I kind of did stuff that back when I used to get high.
December 11, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterozma
My boyfriend's little boy who is 4 has this favorite joke:Him: Knock KnockMe: Who's there?Him: [insert any made up word] GnapabaganockMe: Gnapabaganock who?Him: *laughs so hard he can't finish the joke*

The laughter is one of the from the gut kind that just warms your soul to hear.

Gotta love um!
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSassy8877
I read this out loud to my husband and he said skeptically, "Define plandery for me." And I was all like, "Dude, we live TWO BLOCKS down from them. You know exactly which snow he was talking about."
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Weeze
I hate it when the snow planders! This is just way too cute. You've definately increased my baby fever by about a bazillion degrees with this.
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKat
My mother tells me that when I was about four, and a PEANUTS fan, I once showed her a picture of Snoopy with his ears-standing-on-end look of surprise and said, "I like it when Snoopy streeps his ears up like this."

I think the verb "streep" is the only word I made up...
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKim
My 5 year old nephew has been using "suckulate", as in my gloves will suckulate to my hands.
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSassy
In a greasy puddle my 5 year old saw a "kerflection." That is the pretty little rainbow the floating oil makes in the right viewing angle.

I love all these words, bravo little ones!
December 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Off topic, I really miss the tagline "It's better to be finslippy ..."
December 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDoctorMama
When my ultra-sensitive (to the point that we suspect sensory integration disorder) son was 3, I changed the sheets on his bed, and they were a different material than the ones he was used to. He was aghast: "Mom, these sheets are all *CRINKLY*. I can't get comfortable in these at all!"

Crinkly: Adj., not right or to the liking of his majesty. We now use this to describe anything unsatisfactory, for instance - trips to Wal-Mart during any holiday season are CRINKLY.
December 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I meant, "the only thing worse than being finslippy," etc.
December 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDoctorMama
I guess as long as Henry isn't walking around saying "I see dead people", it's all good, right? :-)
December 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercagey
I wouldn't be surprised if the OED adopted those words!
December 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkat
I'm, like, two weeks late for this, but:

"Hens love roosters, geese love ganders, everyone loves when snowwww planders!"
December 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterScott

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