When you’re a parent, you think everything is going to kill your child. It’s like the second you mentally process that you are responsible for this tiny person’s life, suddenly everything is flashing with caution lights and yellow crime scene tape. All the flags are red. Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!
The news makes this issue… oh… only about a million times worse! Headline: “Kid Shoots Other Kid Right In The Fucking Face Because Gun!” Ok, not the best headline ever written, but you get the point. I am terrified of guns. I don’t want them near me. I don’t want them near my child. Just, no.
However, my tiny girl’s grandparents are card holding members of the NRA. They carry. A lot. I know they are responsible people or I wouldn’t let her stay with them, but there’s always that tiny little “what if” that goes off in the back of my head. Kids are tricky little bastards! They watch EVERYTHING that you do. If you are putting in the pass code to your lock box and they are anywhere nearby, they will remember that code. I mean anywhere. Don’t trust them. Check under the bed, behind the chair… even in the corner of the ceiling where they silently perch like Spiderman, watching… waiting. Tricky. Little. Bastards.
Of course, while guns are a HUGE concern these days, it’s not even close to the only thing I have to worry about. Power cords. My kid LOVES power cords. OMG! If she had a favorite thing, it would be to chew on power cords and watch me scream for the thousandth time for her to get that got-danged thing out of her got-danged mouth right this fawking instant! I’m also terrified of the cords on the blinds thanks to the news. I mean, it’s probably a good thing because awareness, but when my husband forgets and leaves them down, it takes every ounce of my inner strength not to strangle him with the damn cord!
I’m not saying that he isn’t concerned with her safety. He is. But he doesn’t obsess over it like I do. If he forgets to lock the cabinet in the bathroom with all of the chemicals in it, no big deal. In my mind, she’s already drank the Windex and is still thirsty. I can’t even leave her small tub of water in the bathtub while I get her dressed because I’m afraid if I turn my back for just a second, she’ll be drowning in it.
I’ll be honest, that scares me more than anything. Drowning. Probably because I *have* to bathe her so water has always been a constant threat and also because my CPR certification ran out decades ago. Plus, I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay much attention in the class because they told me that the instructions would be at my work station and I didn’t think ahead to what would happen if I needed to resuscitate someone who wasn’t at work and wasn’t Annie.
Swimming. Oh, how I want to go swimming pretty much every day in the summer. I’m afraid to take her swimming alone, though. I feel like I need backup incase something happens. I have more reasons than just fear for her safety. Last summer – ok, don’t laugh because this is embarrassing. Soooo embarassing – I could not get out of the pool using the ladder. And no, it’s not JUST because of my raging fat arse. Long story short – I have a muscular disease and one of my legs wouldn’t work. I could get onto the ladder, but my right leg would neither bend to go up to the next level, nor support me enough for me to get my other leg on the next rung.
The reason it was embarrassing was because it was during a lifeguard break and everyone else was already out of the pool. :O I thought maybe if I bought myself some time, it would work so I swam to the next ladder. Same deal. So this nice kid lifeguard, who probably laughed and laughed at me with his kid lifeguard friends afterward, walked with me to the shallow end where the babies play and I got out there. Not before falling, again – in front of all of the curious spectators, on my ass in the baby pool. So yah… there’s that. But also my child drowning. A lot of it is that.
I suppose all of this is pretty normal concerns for a mother to have. Guns, water, anything that can strangle, cut, kill or maim really. Sometimes it’s not so normal. I have imagination. What if a bunch of tigers get out of the zoo and end up out back on our tiny apartment patio before the proper authorities can get to them. Can those things open patio doors? Cats… I mean, I watched my big cat literally teach my two kittens how to open cabinet doors in an impromptu Door Opening 101 class (cutest thing ever, by the way!), so you never know!
My husband would just tell me, very calmly, that we would just make sure to keep the doors closed and make sure not to feed them because we don’t want them thinking stray tigers are welcome here. But he gets to be the calm rational one. He’s the dad.
I’m the mom.