There’s this thing that happened when I became a mother.
I think, I hope, it happens to all people when they become parents, because otherwise I’m a paranoid freak. Suddenly, I was able to see the world in all it’s beauty, but in all it’s true horror too.
Beauty because I had never known the type of love I experience daily from my children.
Horror because I suddenly became aware of every hidden danger, every bit of evil lurking around every corner.
I remember dressing Ava when she was still a tiny baby. How innocent and perfect she was but how truly fragile. She had no defenses against the world, except for us, her parents. And I started to think about the pedophiles in the world, who could destroy such perfect innocence and I remember being overwhelmed by fear.
A trip in the car terrified me. Suddenly, I was thinking about which side of the car was safest to strap her into. Because, God forbid we get high-jacked. Which side will be easiest for me to reach around and grab her out before these would be high-jackers drove off with the car. And even worse, when Hannah came along. Deciding who would sit where based on who was more capable of helping themselves, who could undo their own seat belt and who couldn’t. It is terrifying.
Suddenly, the simplest situations were fraught with danger.
Like the time Ava nearly lost a toe because of a loose thread in her baby sleeping bag, or the time she vanished into thin air at Pappachinos. I will never forget that day. I was damn near hysterical, running through the play area screaming and near collapse. Or the time Hannah was playing next to the swimming pool and fell in (thankfully I was right there and we have a pool net) but I remember getting such a fright that I spanked her after I’d yanked her by the arm off the pool net. Then I burst into tears and cuddled her.
And don’t even get me started on taking my children to the mall. I hate this. This is my nightmare outing with my kids. I spend most of it screeching at them to stay close by me and hold onto me or me onto them. Every time we see these warnings about child kidnapping syndicates, I freak out a little more and resolve to NEVER take them to the mall again.
If you follow my page on Face Book, you will have read Natey’s story. This is another reminder of how we need to be hyper vigilante as parents but even then accidents happen, on our watch, in the blink of an eye.
Our children’s lives are so fragile and I find most of the time, this both terrifies me and makes me extremely paranoid. I wish I could wrap them in cotton wool and keep them in a padded cell till they’re grown up.
Earlier this week, Ava called me to show me a trick she’s learned. My blood literally ran cold and I’m now I can add her bunk bed to the list of evil dangers lurking in the periphery of my child’s life. She was all like, check Mom, check what I can do. Sitting on the top bunk, she slipped under the bar and turning her head to the side slid right through and onto the floor, there’s just one problem, if for whatever reason, her arms lose their grip and she can’t turn her head to the side, she will hang her self! I almost fainted and spent a good half hour giving her a fat lecture on how stupid that trick is and what can potentially go wrong.