Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works at a nonprofit and is just about finished writing her first novel.

Filtering by Tag: Guilt

Creepy little thoughts

I don't ever really think about my archives because once I get something off my chest I'm usually done with it. But the other day I was thinking about the post I wrote when my son told me he liked to hurt dogs. Those were the days! When I could admit difficult parenting moments and get the almost-full support of the Internet. I got some anonymous comments from what we used to call "concern trolls" who were worried that Jackson would grow up to be a serial killer, one of whom suggested I take him to an abused animal shelter and show him what it looks like for dogs to be horribly mistreated, which -- would they even let a four-year-old into a place like that? If I had explained to them that he liked to pinch his dog's ears, would they have said, "Oh, by all means, let's show him some bait dogs that have been starved half to death so that you can teach him that grown ups can be far more cruel than he'd ever imagined, because we want to make sure he feels just as helpless and traumatized as these puppies." I am so glad I don't blog about my kid anymore.

Rita read that post and ended up including it in her parenting anthology, Sleep Is For The Weak. Knowing what I know now, that Jackson was going through a phase that's weirdly normal for a lot of kids, and that he was not on his way to becoming a sociopath, I am tempted to delete that post because it could end up embarrassing him when he's older. I am also tempted to rewrite it because I come off as fairly desperate to reassure myself that he was just kidding. He wasn't, of course. I simply had no idea how to handle what he was telling me.

Fortunately, the Internet can smell insecurity on you. Then they pinch your ears until you cry! Who's the sociopath now, Internet?

What made that post necessary for me then and the reason I'm leaving it up for now are the comments that said, Oh yeah, I used to do that as a kid but I grew out of it, and, Thank you for writing this because my kid is doing the same thing and I am freaking out.

Now, I'm not an expert in anything, but -- okay, would you like to know what irony is? My dog was just sitting in the living room barking at nothing and I said, "Oh my God, Peewee, I am going to fucking kill you if you don't shut up!" and then I took two chew toys and I dangled them over his head to get him to follow me into the bedroom, and then I threw them on the floor and ran out of the room and closed the door. He is now trapped in a squeaky, quilt-filled prison.

People used to ask me and Alice if we were going to do a sequel to Let's Panic About Babies!, something that would take you from toddlerhood through teenagers, but since neither of us knew anything about parenting a teenager the idea never got out of the gate. I still have no idea how to parent a teenager. It has occasionally occurred to me that I wouldn't mind swaddling Jackson, who is now eleven, but only because I think it might make it more of a challenge for him to play Grand Theft Auto IV.

Swaddled, by Oslo Davis


I've also felt guilty for drawing a mustache on one of his baby pictures and putting it into Let's Panic!

creepy baby

He said it was okay that I did this -- and please believe me when I tell you that I asked for his permission at least a dozen times before the book went to print -- but then when the book came out he was all, I don't like that you did that! and I was all, Goddamnit I asked you a hundred* times!

I just looked into the bedroom and Peewee was lying on the bed with his head on my pillow, snoring. HE'S NOT DEAD AND I DID NOT KILL HIM, EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMED LIKE A GREAT IDEA TWENTY MINUTES AGO. But now I have another idea.


swaddled dog

Excuse me while I go register dogswaddling.com.

Rita is doing a giveaway because it's the fifth anniversary of Sleep Is For The Weak and the second anniversary of Let's Panic About Babies! Alice is doing one here, and I am doing it, too, because that seems to be what I do these days, give away books in exchange for you leaving your life story in the comments! It's in honor of Mother's Day, which is coming up pretty soon. If you would like to win a parenting double whammy of Sleep and Panic, leave a comment telling us the thing that worried everyone most about you when you were a kid, and how you grew up to be okay anyway. I mean, yes: unless you're dead we won't really know how it all works out, maybe the urge to put beans up your nose will return when you're 73 and make fools of us all. But if you feel relatively sure you're in the clear, psychologically and spiritually.

UPDATE: Our winner is frequent commenter and long-time Fussy supporter DGM. Thanks to each of you who spilled out a small portion of your guts in contribution to this post.

How are you!

Today was a very, very, very busy day at the library. We'd been closed for three days because of the New Year's holiday, which gave all of our patrons time to read the books they'd borrowed, then scour their own shelves for more reading material, then think about all the books they don't really need anymore, fill several boxes with them, and bring them down to donate to the library. I lifted, scanned, toted, flipped through, checked in, checked out, and redirected all the books today. All of them. In the world. Anything left over was moldy and I recycled it, but if you go through the bins behind our branch you can have them, spider nests and all. You're welcome. The other thing that happened today was people kept asking, "How are you?" On a normal day, maybe three people ask me that, and I say, "Fine. How are you?" But as the day wore on and my mood wore on in an equivalent manner, people kept asking me, "How are you?" like there was something going wrong with my face, and the more they asked the more I wanted to say, "I don't feel like answering that," or "Why do you care?" or "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear you," because I really didn't want to say, "Fine," I wanted them to stop asking. But I couldn't because they were always so nice about it, and filled with holiday cheer. Finally, I just turned my back and started reading a donated Cesar Milan book, because if he could save Banjo the anti-social lab rescue dog from euthanasia, maybe he could save me, too.

An Idea, an Announcement, and a Raffle!

First of all, every time I get into my car I have to hook up my iPhone to the car's cassette adapter so I can listen to music or podcasts or whatever, and every time I do that I think, "Why can't my car just be a giant iPod?" I mentioned this to Jackson the other day when I was driving him to school and he immediately flipped open the glove compartment. "The keyboard could be here," he said, miming typing on the flipped down glove compartment door.

"No, but then how am I going to control it from over here while I'm driving?" I said. "Maybe there could be buttons on the steering wheel."

"No. Voice control," he said. "Duh."

"Oh, duh," I said.



Jackson delighted at the thought of us screaming at the car not to play what the other person in the car wanted to hear. Clearly the iCarPod would have to be wired to respond only to the voice of the person who made the last car payment.

Whip that up for me, would you Apple? Because with iCloud I can't imagine why this wouldn't be possible. I would dump my Volvo in a heartbeat for one that was basically a giant speaker on wheels.

Secondly, don't forget that NaBloPoMo starts Tuesday! Oh, no! Even though I sold it to BlogHer last spring, I'm still going to post every day in November because what kind of a blogger would I be if I abandoned the very thing that once gave my life meaning, and also gave me an excuse to post pictures of all of my shoes?

Lastly, I'm going to Camp Mighty in a couple of weeks, not because I am ready to plow through my life list (I have fourteen things on it so far, none of which I particularly want to show anyone at the moment) but because Maggie is always creating something interesting and I like being a part of how it all plays out.

When I signed up there was an option to get a discount on the weekend if you raised $200 for a group called Charity: Water. So, I signed up for that, because saving money is always a thrill. And how hard could it be to raise $200?

It turns out that it's sort of hard.

I have raised $50 so far by selling shoes on eBay, but I need to come up with another $150, so I'm following the lead of a few other Mighty Campers* and I'm trying a raffle.

Here is what you could win:

  1. A $50 Amazon gift certificate
  2. This necklace that I made out of random beads in my bead box:

3. An Instax Mini 25 instant camera and one roll of film:

4. A calligraphy kit!

All you have to do to enter is buy a $2.00 raffle ticket. You can buy as many as you want, and every dime of ticket money will go to Charity: Water. And yes, technically, by buying a raffle ticket you are helping my weekend in Palm Springs cost $200 less, and I completely understand if that rubs you the wrong way. But your $2.00 is going to an amazing cause, so I hope that knowledge rubs your fur back in the right direction.

The raffle will be open until midnight Friday, November 4, 2011. Thank you! Good luck!

THE RAFFLE IS OVER, THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED! *As mentioned on Boston Mamas, some of our fellow and sister campers are fundraising creatively if you want to support them:

  • The aforementioned Amy's raffle is live until November 2.
  • Lisa Congdon is selling gorgeous prints.
  • Erica is baking banana bread
  • Linz is offering 20 percent off her design services.
  • Alison is selling greeting cards.
  • Bike Swapping

    First of all, congratulations to Autumnalyssa, who won the random drawing for a Let's Panic! bag filled with all kinds of stuff, and whose mom taught her that you shouldn’t grow pot in the backyard if you have a gregarious six-year-old who might invite the mailman around to see her snail collection. Autumnalyssa's mom might have been interested in talking to my mom, who tethered our dachshund in the backyard. Dachshunds + irrational barking = NO MAILMEN. I don't know if dachshunds eat pot plants. Actually, never mind, they do. Secondly, because I seem to have this need to blog all of a sudden but nothing in particular to say (WHY SHOULD THAT STOP ANYONE??), I will share with you my latest Craigslist selling success. And cause you to wonder why I did it, and for how much, and wouldn't I have been so much happier keeping it?

    I know, but listen. Jack bought it as a gift for me a couple of summers back and it took me two years to admit to myself that I liked the idea of a seafoam-green Electra Amsterdam so much more than the reality of it. I still feel sort of bad about selling it, and not just because I probably could have gotten $75 more than I asked, but because Jack went to a lot of effort to get me something he thought I'd like, and that riding bikes would be something fun that we could do as a family. So by parking this in the garage and letting it gather dust for two years I didn't reject just the bike, I rejected marriage, family, exercise, all the bike paths put in by the city at great expense to the taxpayers, and the entirety of Dutch culture.

    I learned a valuable lesson, though, which is that some things are so very personal that you need to pick them out for yourself. This rule applies to:

    • bicycles
    • maxi pads

    unless you are highly communicative and the person shopping for you has a complete grasp of how your brain works. I guess I'm not communicative enough for Jack to intuit my many highly specific needs; certainly we don't talk about feminine hygiene nearly enough for me to send him to the store to purchase "the usual."

    Ironically, we all tried to take a ride downtown together the other day, but Jackson was so nervous riding on the side of a busy street (we had no other choice -- actually, our other choice would have been to put all the bikes in the back of Jack's truck and drive downtown, but taking the bikes for a Sunday drive would have given Jack an aneurism) that halfway into town we had to turn around and go back. So, going for bike rides might not be the happy family activity we'd hoped for after all. Sigh. The good news is, once my new eBay'd bike basket arrives I can probably start biking to work. If I can convince them to build me a shower in the parking lot.

    Coddled egg (head)

    I would like to take a moment to acknowledge this web site's status as a MOMMY BLOG. God, I hate that phrase, but there it is. My own child doesn't even call me "mommy" -- he prefers to poke me with a pool cue, or throw something light at my head, like a pack of cards or a handful of dog kibble. However distasteful and infantilizing the term, I would like to belatedly thank Babble.com for giving me the #28 spot on their list of 50 top MOMMY BLOGGERS. Since I don't actually write about my child that much anymore, it feels like they put me on there as a sort of acknowledgment for prior work. Like when they finally gave the Oscar to Martin Scorcese for The Departed, even though he'd made at least five films previously that were far more amazing, and not merely for slow-motion bodily fluid explosions, or putting duct tape over Jerry Lewis's mouth. Not that a link from Babble is like an Oscar. Not that I'm the Martin Scorcese of mommybloggers. If you are reading at grade-level I probably don't have to make that clear, but I find that making things like that clear is sometimes not a bad idea.

    This is all a preamble to the fact that I am about to write about my child. My child who is on his fourth fifth day out of school this week and napping doing his homework on the couch next to me at this very moment. The child for whom I bought an 8-pack of Puffs Plus With Lotion because he asked for that brand by name, hoping that the ads were true and that they'd heal his shredded nostrils. (They didn't.) The child who was out sick from school for a week two weeks ago for a sickness only half as bad as this. (It's beginning to feel like we're homeschooling him.)

    But I'm starting to question my own motives. MUST CALL IN TO WORK SO I CAN STAY HOME AND NEST WITH CHILD. Is this 24/7 cuddle party for him or for me?

    Whatever the underlying motives, I'm afraid that all this snurgling and reading and watching cartoons has made him think that having bronchitis and an ear infection is absolutely the best, most loving and emotionally rewarding thing that can happen to a boy. Sure, I want him to feel the healing power of motherly love, but I'm a little concerned that I'm creating a self-indulgent recluse who is going to grow up looking for a way to spend his life on disability. Of course, I could be creating another Proust! Whose magnum opus will hinge on recovering the long-lost taste of apple juice and liquid Zithromax.