Eden M. Kennedy

you've come to the right place

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 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works at a public library and is finishing writing her first novel.

Filtering by Tag: Let's Panic

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

JUST KIDDING I DON'T LET MY SON KILL HOOKERS ONLINE.

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.

*twelve

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.

I haven't been avoiding you!

I didn't really mean to stop posting at the end of November, I was on a roll! But then December 1 was World AIDS Day, where you're supposed to go silent to honor all the people who've died of AIDS, and then I had to work the next few days in a row, and then bam! I was on a plane to New York reading a book about midwifery and preparing for this: This is the set in Brooklyn where Alice and I filmed the first twelve episodes of MomEd, a new series for cafemom.com. We talked about childbirth and yes, I know we are not childbirth experts, we are fake-childbirth-book-writing experts. Fortunately, not just for us but for everyone who ends up watching these videos, they hired a crack researcher and booked actual experts to sit next to us and tell us how it's done. Saul, for example:

Saul is an actual Park Avenue doctor who performed a c-section on our other guest, Lyss, who's the co-author of If You Give a Mom a Martini (which is not an adult version of the If You Give a Moose a Muffin series, though that might have some potential). Saul wanted to sing show tunes but Alice wouldn't let him! So we talked about c-sections instead.

Whenever we had to start a new take, I'd get my energy up by thinking, "I get to be in a video!" And then I'd go EEEEEEE! in my head and Ben, the director (far left), would smile because he could read my thoughts.

Joe was our prop master and Haley was our logistics coordinator and I'm sorry I don't have better pictures of either of them. The prop baby was just sort of inert after Alice dropped it on its head. Ha ha! Kidding. It was plastic.

We did one episode sitting in a birthing tub with a British person!

We also had to shoot separate footage of Alice and me explaining medical terms. We called these "knowledge transfers" because this was where we transferred knowledge from cue cards to the camera. We are magical conveyor belts of  wisdom.

I know, the cue card guy was cute! I don't know why I look slightly jaundiced here. Perhaps my bilirubin was low.

We shot in the studio for three days and then went out on the street Friday morning to corral Park Slope moms into telling us their birth stories, and may I say that Park Slope moms are uniformly adorable. Every Brooklyn mom we spoke to was cogent, thoughtful, articulate, brave, and humbled by what they went through to get their babies out, and it was an honor to talk to every one of them.

Then I got on a plane and developed a massive chest cold, from which I am still recovering, five days later. I am so happy to be in my own bed, there are no words. And now I'm going to take another nap, the end.

Day Twenty-five

I'm still a little bloated and hung over from Thanksgiving, and a little ashamed of all the things Yoda knows about me now, but I still managed to suck it up and be productive today. Alice and I did a test-run of the podcast we're going to start doing next year and I was totally encouraged by how well we made almost all of our technology mesh. (I was especially impressed when Alice figured out how to Skype through her iPad. It's quick thinking like that that wins wars, people.) We may be the only ones who find us funny, of course, but then that's what podcasting is about half the time anyway. When I was done patting myself on the back about the podcast, I finished writing a Popcorn Whisperer post that's supposed to be about shopping in the movies. I may not have been all that clear about my topic because the thing most people seem to take away from it is that someone needs to start a service that will deliver Johnny Depp to their door. I'm not sure that's what Dell had in mind when they offered to sponsor the post, but when you hire Mrs. Kennedy, you get a lot of things that don't necessarily make sense right away. Give it time, though, and it'll all soak in.

The last thing you might want to see is my post for The Stir, entitled "Pepper Spray: It's Not Just for Dinner Anymore." Because I am topical as hell. Also, I wanted to give you something that will make sense right away, in case you're busy and don't have time to let your knowledge steep.