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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. → 

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Why I’m not really an adult.

Twice a week, Henry and I go to a pretend pre-school called “Terrific Twos!” Actually, I think it might be called “Terrific Two’s!” (Bad apostrophe. BAD.) When I signed him (and by extension, me) up for this, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was what two women in the neighborhood told me--that it was a fun way to spend a couple of mornings. The class description in the brochure didn’t sound promising. Alongside other courses, such as cooking (“Watch your wee one learn to chop and dice—safely, of course!”) and art (“Explore different media with your toddler—and have fun, to boot!”), the “Terrific Twos!” description was decidedly frosty, with only a few lines on teaching the toddler to “negotiate transitions” and “manage group interactions” as well as “deal with separation issues.” No mention of arts and crafts, exercise, singing, or human warmth of any kind. I pictured a bare, windowless room, the children huddled in a corner, a woman wearing a severe bun and a unitard (Why a unitard, you ask? Why not?) barking orders. “Henry, hand this ragged doll to Emma. Emma, return the ragged doll to Henry. Good. Here is a nutrition pellet. Now I will leave. Then I will return. Do not cry. Or else.” But hey! Wouldn’t that be a good story for the blog! And we needed something to get us out of this vermin-infested dust trap, so I forked over the cash.

Turns out there are snacks and Play-Doh and hugs a-plenty, and the teacher wears her bun very loose and is warm and amiable, although way too young. Not too young for the kids—too young for me. Also too cute. Henry and five other kids play in a small room, while the mothers try not to hover too close even though there’s nowhere else to go; we also try to come up with something to say to each other, and usually fail. Then we all go downstairs to the gym, which is a couple of playschool slides on some gym mats in an auditorium, and Henry goes apeshit for ten minutes. Then we sit in a circle and sing idiot songs for idiots. Or, I guess, children’s songs for children, if you want to get technical about it. All I know is, we already take a music class, and that class has songs I can stand to hear, and a teacher who can sing, and really hot parents who make me feel less than hot, but at least they’re easy on the eyes. And, let me not be modest about it, I’m a singer. I can belt a tune, my friends. I got me the training. I could get operatic on their asses, if I chose to do so. So the whiny half-hearted off-key “Wheels on the Bus” each week—it hurts, is what I’m saying. But then comes “Where is Thumbkin?” and also the reason I’m not an adult. Because I seriously have never sung that song past the thumb, so when the teacher trilled, “Where is Pointer?” and started the next verse with her index finger, all I could think is “Oh my god she’s going to do the middle finger and her middle finger is going to be pointing at us OH MY GOD” and, indeed, she sang “Where is Tallman?”, with her middle finger right out there, and no one cracked a smile. Of course.

No one except me, I mean. I laughed. Out loud. And now every time we sing it, I start to laugh when my middle finger starts to make the trip from behind my back to the entire class. I can’t help it. Tallman! Ha!

Anyway, that was my point.

Reader Comments (28)

Hi, just found your blog, loved that post, v.funny.
November 4, 2004 | Unregistered Commenteraussiemama
OMG just today I asked another adult if there was a second verse to Thumbkin, I swear it was today. She didn't know. I need more verses, my kid loves that damned song, loves it so much that I have actually drawn faces on my thumbs to make it more interesting for me. But I would never get past Tall Man without losing it. In fact I am fairly certain that in my kid's country of birth she was taught to point with Tall Man (hmmm I wonder why Tall Man is a Man) and I have just barely gotten her over that cultural snafoo. What is Ring Finger called? Ring Finger doesn't make two syllables. I miss my brain.
November 11, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Just discovered finslippy & am avidly reading the archives while waiting for a new post. Here's a nugget for anyone else in my position (or if Alice brings in new blood by linking back to this post one day):

The video "Barney in Concert" (1991 Lyons Group according to the lable) includes a real, live grownup on stage singing the song start to finish, all five fingers.

(BTW Sue, it's Ringman)

This is so my favorite blog ever.
May 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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