Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paranoia (a.k.a Well, you're screwed)

I have two fears in life that are fairly (or totally) unfounded and unlikely.  Thankfully, I've been able to keep them reasonably in check and go on through life mostly without letting them change my daily habits.  

First, I fear driving off of bridges.  I am convinced someone will sideswipe me or somehow knock me off the bridge, over those dinky little railings that the engineers deem sufficient.  I am no engineer (a semester of calc convinced me accounting and business were going to be far more successful for me than an engineering degree) but I just don't understand how those little tiny railings on the side of the bridge will help when my car rockets towards them and flips right over.  Before you laugh, there was a car that flipped off the 93 connector bridge just after we moved to Boston, and while living in Virginia there was at least one car off the HRBT or Monitor/Merrimac bridge.  So this fear is not totally unfounded, though I admit it is unlikely.  I prefer to drive in the center lane of the Tobin, but I still drive over it.  And when we drove across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, I will admit that while Ryan drove, I had Pete unbuckled and ready to pull out of his car seat should we flip into the Chesapeake Bay, but I didn't insist we take another route!   

My second fear is being injured while home with the boys for days at a time.  Somehow I survived 7 years of Ryan serving on ships for weeks and months at a time without slipping on the stairs and falling to my death, and I'm thrilled he starts a land job soon.  However, my fears haven't subsided even with that new found stability in our life, and now that I'm pregnant again I'm even more prone to panic over what would happen in an emergency at home, even while Ryan is just at work for the day.  Besides the standard "I might fall and need help" fears, I'm also now afraid what might happen if I suddenly go into labor while home alone with the boys.  With my previous delivery experience (wow, that's a birth story for another day) I know getting to the birth center in time is going to be a challenge, and I fear my poor innocent three and one year olds will get an early and quite scary lesson in the facts of life.

At least at this point, my boys would only be alone for a maximum of 8-10 hours on any given day if I fell, choked or otherwise died.  Pete is capable of getting food and milk out of the fridge, so no one would starve (and I hope he would share with Chester), though it is likely there would be a terrible mess to clean up.  Chester would have a bit of a rash, because I'm sure Pete wouldn't change his diaper, and I'm also cringing at the image of the aftermath of an entire day with Chester free-ranging after he figured out how to remove his own diaper.  Though inconvenient, neither of them would starve, or be trapped in a soiled crib for days or weeks at a time. (I saw a recent news story about a local mother dead in her home for several days with her infant alone in the crib and this further fueled my fears).  I'm sure as they grow I'll be more confident that one of them could seek appropriate assistance and care for the younger ones, which leads us to my recent conversations with Pete. 

When Chester was born, Pete was far too young to be of any assistance.  He couldn't even talk, let alone call for help.  Now as a three year old, he is able to converse on the phone and make his point understood for the most part.  He's able to unlock the door and leave the house (which is also a scary thought, but I told him it's only if Mommy is hurt and needs help, to go to Miss Meghan's house.  We've had the discussion of firemen and policemen being helpers.  We've talked about 911.  We've pointed out ambulances and how they take people who are sick or are hurt to the doctor's office.  We've even tried to link all three of these concepts.  And that is where we fail.   

Me:  Pete, what would you do if Mommy was hurt?
Pete:  Call the fireman and tell them we need  three firetrucks.  A red firetruck, a white firetruck (ambulance) and a car firetruck (not sure???).
Me:  That white firetruck is called an ambulance, can you say ambulance?
Pete:  Am-boo-lance.  (Close enough)
Me: And what number do you call to get the firetrucks to come help Mommy?
Pete: 1-1-1.
Me:  Close, try again.
Pete: 9-9-1-1.
Me:  Close, it's 9-1-1.
Pete: Ohhh, 9-1-1.
Me:  And what would you tell them?
Pete:  Bring a red firetruck and a white firetruck and a car firetruck. (At least he's consistent, but God help the dispatcher who fields this call!)
Me: Close, let's practice.  My mommy is hurt and needs help.  Bring an ambulance.
Pete:  Silence.
Me:  Can you practice with me?  My Mommy is hurt and needs help.
Pete:  But you're not hurt. 
Me:   Okay, we'll try again another day.

Ryan:  Well, you're screwed. 

Thanks for the vote of confidence, darling husband!


  1. Honestly, laughing out loud here! Your conversations with Pete are hilarious. I can't wait until Chet starts talking more for some betrer stories.

  2. You crack me up, Sue. I know you are totally serious about these fears but I love this post ESPECIALLY the "practice" conversation.

  3. Hahaha, this is hilarious!!! You've got me rolling here. And I am with you on the bridges; they terrify me, too!

    So you've gotta share on this birthing thing... I have had two children and a combined 60 hours of labor between them. Am I going to be ridiculously jealous of your?

  4. Sorry E, first time was 8 hours start to finish with "standard" hospital epidural/iv/etc., second time was 98 minutes with a glass of wine. Feel free to be jealous, but it does create a potential issue for Baby 3... we live 25minutes from the birth center. I better be on the ball this time, no spare time to mess around!

  5. Your blogs are wonderful, creative, entertaining and all around great! I love reading them! You are truly blessed with those boys and I pray for a safe delivery with your third! Congrats!!