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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. → 

« I leave the tough decisions up to the Internet. | Main | If it's not one thing, it's your mother. »

In which I don't bother coming up with a conclusion.

Today Henry woke up to find that his nose had turned into a cascading waterfall of goo. Besides the runniness and the sneeziness he seems relatively okay, but he has also been squeamish lately about strange substances on his skin, so every time he sneezes and mucus shoots out of his nose, he screams “Get it off me! GET IT OFF!” and I have to run and wipe him before he enters The Freakout Territory From Which It Is Difficult To Exit Gracefully. You’d think such a fussy child would learn to wipe his own nose, but when the tissue is used and it becomes infused with the goo, then his hands must be wiped. It's an exhausting process. A few times he just lunged forward and wiped his nose on my jeans, and I let him.

Right before his nap I thought he felt a little warm, so I whipped out the thermometer. Now, in the past Henry has found the under-arm option of temperature-taking unacceptable; strangely, he always handled the rectal option with aplomb, so that’s where we went. So today I didn’t even think about it: I lubed up the thermometer and put him over my lap. Henry was intensely curious about the goings-on; when I got out the thermometer he was all “What is THAT” and then “Oooh, temperature,” and “Because I don’t feel well” and “This will make my rash better” (lately everything is about the rash). Then I took off his diaper, which is always a thrill for him, and when I told him to lie down across my lap he was clearly anticipating Fun Times. And then there was insertion.

What I failed to take into account is, because this has been a ridiculously healthy year for all of us, I haven’t taken Henry’s temperature in a long, long time. And what an 18-month-old will tolerate is not necessarily what a two-something enjoys. So I stuck this thermometer in and Henry says, “Hey. HEY. WAIT. HEY. What’s THAT. NO. HEY,” like an adult chastising a little kid who put something where it’s not supposed to go. It was so adult that I started laughing and I took the thermometer out of my indignant son’s butt and he stood up and looked at me, still saying, “HEY” except now because I was laughing he concluded that whatever had just happened, it was hilarious. And then we had lunch. The End.

Reader Comments (37)

That is awesome. I wish I could have been there. And everyone?? Alice wants you to know that Finslippy really means "has sex with donkeys."

Or so I hear. :)
March 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSarcastic Journalist
I am literally laughing out loud about this! Do you know I was too freaked out about the whole butt thermometer thing to even try it on either of my kids?I wonder what my 2 year old would say to that?
March 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLou
Once upon a time, my mother inserted a suppository into my bum and then I hobbled around like Quasimodo squealing "iiiihh, iiiihh, iiiihh." Your post has brought this lovely scene out of the pits of my repressed memories and back into the forefront of my soul. So thank you for that.
March 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterginnderella
Hey. HEY. WAIT. HEY. What’s THAT. NO. HEY.

I am SO saying that at my next employee evaluation.

Similar situation, you understand. Just with a bigger (ahem) thermometer and an individual who, unlike Mom Alice, does NOT have my best interests at heart. I also don't think Mom Alice gets as much subversive joy out of rectal thermometering as my mom did. Hmm.

I am also still laughing at the poop-diverting cat savior. THAT's a true animal lover. I'll have to remember that when my about-to-be-birthed niece starts projectile pooping in the direction of Prince Harry the Cat.

No. HEY.
March 21, 2005 | Unregistered Commentergrandefille
Oh, man, I think I peed a little. That was awesome! Tell him, "Just wait till your athletic physicals!" Turn and coff..
March 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJim
oh, lordy, honey. you's funny.
March 21, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterpart-timer
Heh heh. Funny lady.
March 21, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteremma
I love children stories. My 2 still prefer the rectal method thank the lord. Even though they used the armpit the last time my newborn was in the hospital and he was none to fond of that. Even the 2 yo doesn't like for the newborn to get his temp taken under the arm. They want the rectal method...this my friend is scarry, very very scarry!
March 22, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJerri Ann
OMG, that's funny! I was laughing so hard I started snorting and blew snot all over the keyboard!

I also can not recommend the ear thermometers, same issues already noted. My kids didn't like the armpit, but I didn't like the alternative, especially with little boys, you know what happens when you take their diapers off, they pee all over the place! Also, I could never tell when the old fashioned ones were done, ya know? I much prefer a thermometer that beeps!

Oh, and to Sarcastic Journalist: Are you sure? Because I was pretty sure that Finslippy meant "has sex with dolphins." You know, with the slippery fins and all that? Okay never mind...
March 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Oh, this is so funny! I'm about to give birth to my first... and my biggest fear? The dreaded RECTAL THERMOMETER. heh heh heh.
March 25, 2005 | Unregistered Commentertrouble
I've been reading for a while and am delurking to say that I had suspected it for awhile but now I think I'm officially in love with you. Will you come to Toronto and play with me and let Henry play with MY crazy two-year-old? This is one of the funniest things I've ever read-- please keep writing!To everyone who is unhappy with the therm options out there-- if your kid uses (or tolerates) a pacifier, we've been using a pacifier thermometer (got it at Shoppers Drug Mart-- do you all have these in the US?) to great effect with our boy. The downside is that it takes for-freaking-ever to take his temperature (like-- two minutes) but the upside is, we can even take it when he's sleeping and he doesn't notice. Highly recommended.
March 27, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermaysie
Oh, my God. I am laughing so hard.

You know, I don't have kids but God, I love to read your stories about them. You are hilarious.

Sometimes I am tempted to have a child and then realize that I am insane and can't even remember to let the cat in when he runs out into the hallway or deal with his poop or vomit without wanting to throw up myself. I have seen a child projectile vomit. No way in hell am I dealing with that. Mothers absolutely amaze me. You guys are wonderful. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
April 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDM

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