Danger

courtesy: asymptotia.com

I’m not sure when it happens. Somewhere along the way, every parent I know develops an irrational fear of death for their child. Actually, it’s an irrational mode of death people seem to obsess over.

A certain number of precautions are necessary. It’s best to keep fingers out of light sockets and unsteady feet away from stairs. It’s generally frowned upon to leave poison where youngsters can drink it. (I made a crack recently about how we never got around to baby proofing our house. Baby Daddy reminded me our house was adapted for a short person to live there. He also figured the reason I didn’t remember was I did not participate. Again, he’s the more responsible one.)

What I find strange is how fixated become of one particular danger. My parents were constantly warning me, “You’re gonna bust your head wide open.” (you have to hear this in your mind with a really Southern drawl)

To hear them tell it, there were neighborhoods across the country with the skulls of children littering the streets because they would not listen to their parents about roller skating on the driveway or using the wood pile as a diving board into a plastic kiddie pool.

I don’t think the insanity is limited to any particular generation, though. My friend was convinced her son was going to smother in his sleep. He was well past the age of warnings about blankets and cribs, but she would dress him practically in a ski suit at bedtime while denying him blankets.

I am convinced my child is going to choke. I cannot count the number of times I’ve yelled, “Stop that! You’re gonna choke yourself.” Everything is a choking hazard in my world: food, medication, toys, clothing, tooth brush… True, any number of these things could harm him, but they likelihood is they won’t.

I can’t stop myself. It’s like the busted head thing. Once I’ve seen a danger, I can’t unsee it. Even when it’s probably not even really that much of a danger any more. He’ll be a teen driver, and I won’t be freaked out about the speed limit, I’ll be shouting, “Don’t eat while you drive. You’re gonna choke yourself!”

But he won’t hear me. He’ll have the A/C cranked full blast because his best friend riding with him is really hot wearing a ski suit in the summer.

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6 Comments

Filed under Monkey Boy

6 responses to “Danger

  1. Jamie

    Don’t you worry. Monkey boy is safe. If you had a choker, you’d know it. I have one kid that we’ve had to Heimlich at least 4 times in his 9 years of life. He’s choked on Cheerios, apples, stuffed grape leaves, and once the foil wrapper off of a piece of chocolate candy. {sigh} Practically every meal involves the command “spit some of that out! you know you can’t fit that much in your mouth at once!” I just hope he grows out of it before he leaves home.

  2. Marcia

    I would like to say as “good mothers” it is our job to worry. Today KD was shocked my the cord to my flat iron while her dad assisted her in perfecting her bangs. Blackened knees, tear-filled eyes and all I could think was, “I should have done itvbmyself. I would have noticed the cord was melted.” Of course, I probably wouldn’t have and it was just an accident but scary none the less. I will now check all of the cords in the house.

  3. i am insane about this with the Things. maybe because i grew up with brothers or maybe because i was the dork always falling down (still am). but i surprise myself with the IMAGINED amazing ways they can hurt/maim/kill themselves- every single bad scenario. then i always add in the james cameron special effects.

  4. This is hysterical!! I LOVE the last line about the ski-suited be-fri cruising with the AC on –

  5. Amy S.

    At first I was unsure if you were really calling me out; thinking, surely other mothers have an irrational fear of their children smothering that compells them to check on their children multiple times in the night performing breath checks ala Shirley Maclaine in “Terms of Endearment”. Then I got to the mental image of Gray riding shot-gun waiting for the next ice age. I recognize that brand of crazy.