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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
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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. → 

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Of course in reality we are grateful for our health

I was talking with my friend Abby, who had just suffered through several sick-kid-induced sleepless nights, and was losing her mind a little bit.

Abby: I need a break. I need a good reason to lie down for a few days.

Me: I know. When Henry was sick last week and sneezed in my face, part of me got a little excited. Because then I'd be really sick, and I'd have to take to my bed.

Abby: I totally get that, except I dream about getting in an accident.

Me: Excuse me?

Abby: Not a bad one, of course. Just getting banged up enough that I have to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. For observation. Of course the kids wouldn't be in the car, just me. I don't want anyone else getting hurt.

Me: This is sad, Abby. Why couldn't you just get sick?

Abby: It wouldn't work. I have three kids, they'd still need me all the time. Then I'd be sick and in charge.

Me: No, but in my fantasies I'd be so sick that Scott would have to take over. I'd be too feverish to be left alone.

Abby: Nope. They'd still get at me. Even if Nate were home. There's always one who'll sneak away and demand something from me.

Me: That's a good point.

Abby: That's the advantage of the only child. You get to just have the flu. I need a car accident.

Me: Oh dear.

Abby: I NEED IT.

Reader Comments (108)

I can so relate to this!! One of the most peaceful times in my adult children having years, was being in the hospital after my c-section. I was melancholy when I left after being there for four days.

Sadie at heyMamas
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie at heyMamas
Ah, yes. The old "accident or illness so I can get a fucking break" fantasy. I know it well.
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeegan
I've had that same wish for a long time...I thought I was crazy. Although, mine is for a different reason. I don't have a family yet, so I am not rushed for time. I always wanted something like that to happen so I could see which of my "friends" truly cared...people are just too fake these days.
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJustine
I thought having knee surgery would provide me with the break I so desperately needed.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersus
Ok, I actually HAD the car accident. Spun out on the 405 in the pouring rain, hit the curb, flipped the car, rolled down the embankment and landed facing the wrong way on the on ramp.

I still didn't get out of taking care of the kids. Thank God they weren't in the car, but the "friend" who was watching them wouldn't let them stay the night.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine
So today has been one of those days: test at school in the morning, chasing the toddler, and now I'm at the office. I have a pounding headache and when I got up to walk around I felt a little woozy. And then I totally fantasized that maybe I would pass out and have to be hospitalized for a couple of nights for observation and testing. What heaven it would be to just lie in bed for a couple of days!!
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
I had no idea that my longing for appendicitis (as a new mom) was universal.
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkate
One time I wished for deathly illness or injury the night before I had three exams to write...I broke my knee that night. True story!
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercee
Appendix #1 to the Bill of Motherly Rights:

Peoples need more booze and less of the accidental appendix burstings.

Appendix #2 to the Bill of Motherly Rights:

All Appendices shall unite in making motherhood less indispensable.

Appendix#3 to the Bill of Motherly Rights:Just burst, already!
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertzena
Oh, me too, Abby, me too.
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Gregorton
Wow. It's really true, isn't it? When you've got three kids, it really takes hospitalization (or death) to get that break.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn
i have 3 kids. i was hospitalized for 2 nights last month with very bad pneumonia. within 2 hours of being home i was wishing i was back. 2 years ago i did the appendix thing. i'm wondering what to come down with for next years "vacation"
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercrazyjane
I agree with all of the above! Except for those who say they never get sick. I always get what the kids have. Then my husband and I play who-can-make-their-cold-seem-most-like-a-near-death-experience for the prize of watching TV on the couch while the other one takes care of the kids. Guess who usually wins? (Do they teach them that in man school?)
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMidstream
...that is hysterical! I'd never thought of it, but now you mention it...
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Husband? Taking over?

When I was home with my three-week-old baby and preschool-age son, and all three of us came down with the flu, I begged my husband to COME HOME EARLY from work in the afternoon so he would be there when my fever spiked at four pm as it had the day before and the day before that. He came home at five. And expected me to be grateful.

If I was hit by a car he would drop the kids off at the hospital so I could watch them while he went to work.
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
My dream is jail too. Due to a miscarriage of justice, so I wouldn't be there too long, and I could sue afterwards and get some money. But a nice, minimum-security place with a library for just a couple of weeks...I mean, I'd miss them, but as long as I could get some sleep, it might be worth it.
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
Ah, the fantasies of motherhood...
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen@IslandRoar
@ abbyglassenberg--Okay, so when I read this post the very first thing I thought of was how, when my roommate and I were doing Teach For America in South Louisiana, we used to fantasize about accidentally driving off the levies or bridges into the river. Not that we wanted to die, or anything. Just ohmigod PLEASE can we take a week off and, you know, rest while being in a full body cast or something?

I read your comment and died laughing--if only I'd known that my roommie and I weren't the only TFAers thinking these things!!
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLindy
Dear Abby, I also dream of car accidents. Glad I'm not alone. (However, after reading the comments I remember that I had forgotten what the house would look like after a return from the hospital. It's a toss up on whether it's worth it.)
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I flew out of state to go visit my sister and her new baby. I left my husband and my daughter at home. I missed my connecting flight and ended up sleeping 8 hours at the USO. HEAVEN! Then on the way back I actually got put up for the night in a hotel! I didn't have my luggage and I was stuck in Minnesota in the winter but it was still awesome. And when I got back I had to wash the dishes that were still dirty from dinner the night before I left. Oy vey.
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
I dread getting sick because I'm the only adult in my house, and whenever I'm out of commission for more than a day, things start going to hell. (I've been sick all week and you should see my kitchen - it's like the pit of Tartarus.) But what I do love and look forward to are my daughter's two annual Girl Scout camping trips - I drop her off on Friday night and pick her up on Sunday morning, and she has a wonderful time someplace else while I do exactly what I want at home - i.e., as little as possible. Bliss!
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
I am laughing out loud. I was DYING this week of stomach flu. I did manage to stay ONE WHOLE DAY IN BED! But... my 5 year old was next to me throwing up as well.

I TOTALLY get Abby. lol

Be safe girls!
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
That's the advantage of having a single child - I had a coughing fit laughing over that line....
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
Now I'm reading the comments and laughing/coughing even more....
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
Okay, last one from me. I sent my mom the link (she's a mother of 4) and this was her reply:That's hilarious. But you guys are pikers. I used to fantasize about getting shot (I was a reporter, you know). Not a fatal shot, just, like, in the arm, so my hair and makeup wouldn't get mussed. That way, I'd not only get to go to the hospital for treatment, but I'd look good and be a hero. You need to raise your standards....
February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

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