I taught my child a new word yesterday, and it wasn’t a good one. While I do my best to keep such words to myself there are times that they come out anyway. Yesterday he brought me a bottle of medicine (which had been stored too high for him to get to) and opened it right in front of me (even though it was “child proof”). The word slipped out and my child regarded me with a skeptical eye. “Mommy say a bad word?”
“Yes,” I answered. “Mommy said a bad word.” He let it go because I had told the truth, but still he had the look of mommy is crazy in his expression.
I’m Crazy With Worry
The truth is I can’t let worry go when it comes to my babies. It’s severe. It comes from mommy imagination. Like what happened yesterday, except while I’m in the bathroom. I imagine chairs being dragged to a counter and used for climbing. He could fall. He could break his arm/leg/neck. I imagine the contents of the upper shelves. He could get into cleaning solutions/ medicines/sharp objects. I can see in my mind’s eye the end result very clearly. At times it has made me cry before I remember I’m just imagining and resolve to take all steps possible to prevent it.
I’m Crazy Because I’m Crazy
On top of all my worrying I add one more big worry. I am afraid that all my worrying will result in emotional damage to my child. He should be confident and independent. I want him to grow up knowing he has the skills to face the world. This means that my job is to introduce him to all the dangerous things I protect him from and teach him to use them in a non dangerous way.
This leads questioning the household legal ramifications of disciplining him. Seriously, it’s like Law And Order: Toddler Division. My mental dialogue goes as follows:
“Technically I did say that he needed his medication, and he was trying to help me out. While it scares me that he opened the bottle, he brought it to me and opened it right in front of me. I’m not sure that any of that qualifies for discipline no matter how scared it made me. He did, however, climb to get the medicine and that is against the rules. I can put him in time out because I have him dead to right on climbing.”
I know I could make a rule regarding every scary situation but that leads to a whole different level of crazy. The “we have a two hundred page rule book for home” crazy. I’d rather continue in the less defined Law And Order crazy.
Crazy Doesn’t Mean Wrong
In the end, I would rather not be cured from my parental paranoia. I say that because I may be crazy, but I’m also often right. My husband has even grudgingly admited it. He also says he’s surprised that I don’t worry the kids will eat the child proofing table bumper and choke on it (well I do now!). This doesn’t change that all the things that I imagine can happen is actually possible and will not likely happen because I take preventive measures. I may be crazy with an overactive imagination, but I also have safer healthier children. I would rather be crazy than have the possible trade off.