This morning I almost sent my daughter out of the house with nothing on under her dress. No diaper, no panties….NOTHING.
And then and there it hit me, I’ve finally lost it. And it’s all Rosebud’s fault. And whenever my mom lost it, whenever that day was, it was all my sister’s faults. (She was already way gone before I got here.)
Regardless. I’m not writing this to excuse or justify my behavior–though thankfully, this time I discovered her naked butt before making it to the car, but more of an explanation. P.S. You need to call your mother and tell her how sorry you are for driving her crazy.
Mine all started after Rosebud was born. She had colic. If you don’t have kids, that really doesn’t mean anything to you, but if you do, you just shuddered and made the sign of the cross. If you’re a fellow colic survivor you just had to call your psychiatrist because of a severe bout of PTSD, and if you were lucky enough to get passed over, well… you’re knocking on all the wood you can find. On top of the colic, Rosebud had acid reflux. You probably can’t believe it of the happy, smiling toddler you see now, but once upon a time that thing screamed 16 out of a 24 hour day. And everything, including my hair, smelled like spit up. Now don’t get me wrong, her colic didn’t make me love her any less, but it definitely started me on the road to falling off my rocker.
And then there are those dumb percentile things at the pediatrician’s office. It tells you how your baby compares to the rest of the babies in the world her age. And I mean…come on, we can’t help it we’re short. And so Rosebud always hovered between the 6 and 10% mark. And they throw out words like “failure to thrive”, but my kid basically came out of the womb eating red meat. And so yeah…I started going a little bit more crazy.
And then immunizations. Don’t even get me started on immunizations. OHMYGODTHEYCAUSEAUTISM. OHMYGODNOTHEYDONT. POLIO. CHICKEN POX. RUBELLA. MERCURY. It’s enough to drive anyone insane. Doc and I never considered not vaccinating. We researched and concluded that death by polio would be a lot worse than fever by vaccine. But still…when you take this baby who has never known pain into a sterile, fluorescent lighted doctor’s office and they poke her with a sharp thing that makes her cry all you want to do is yell: “NOT TODAY. BACK OFF NURSE LADY–TOUCH HER AGAIN, AND I’LL KNOCK YOUR LIGHTS OUT,” while you run out of the room with your naked 2-month old. All boarding the crazy train.
And then car seats. Do I switch her around? Do I leave her backward? Do I buy the big one with the 5 star safety rating or the other big one with the 5 star safety rating and the cupholder? I’m cuckoo for cocoa puffs.
And childproofing. Cabinets locks and tv straps and and toilet seats, oh my.
And when should they start eating solids?
What if she chokes?
What if she’s allergic to peanuts and someone eats a peanut M&M and then asks to hold her?
What if you’re giving her a bath as a newborn in that little, tub sink thing and she busts her head on the counter?
The anxiety is almost nonstop. It can drown you if you let it. Trust me, I know.
Because worry. Because parenthood. Because after a miniature human with your DNA pops out, you think of every little, terrible thing that could ever happen to them. And it can drive you absolutely bonkers.
This past week at Rosebud’s 2-year well checkup, everything was going great. She was busting her great dance moves, they kept telling me how great my kid was, all good things. And then the doctor got her silver stethoscope and placed it on my little, baby’s chest and hesitated. And instead of listening for two minutes like she normally does, she listened for about 10. And with every passing second, I panicked. And as I made eye contact with Doc over Rosebud’s head, in that 10-minute span, I had already come up with 77 different possibilities of calamity.
Heart murmur, they said.
Pediatric cardiologist, they said.
Fairly common, we just want to be sure.
And so I went home and I did what all good panickers do, I got on Google and WebMD. And I mean who even created WebMD, a sadist? And after only sleeping three hours that night, and spending the other five or six researching the different kind of heart murmurs, I had already given Rosebud five different defects and had her scheduled for open heart surgery.
And I was a mess.
And I had to have my reins jerked a little bit. And I had to be reminded that there’s someone else in charge. And not to borrow trouble or worry.
And so we have our appointment to see the cardiologist and they will hopefully tell us that this is an innocent murmur that Rosebud will eventually outgrow and it will have no effect on her. But if they don’t, life will go on. And if calamity strikes, I have to hold onto the faith that my God holds my Rosebud in His hand. And I have to face the fact that as much as I love that little girl, He loves her more than I can possess.
But if you ever wondered why your moms forgot you at the soccer field, or lost their cell phone in the freezer, just remember that ultimately…it’s all your fault.
I’m going to go pop some valium now. Only joking.
Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.