Parental Paranoias

My pregnancy/early-infancy blog is pretty much defunct, but there were a few notes I never jotted down over there that I wanted to record somewhere. I have all the usual parental paranoias that come with the territory and that i expected (worries about unexpected health issues, hitting milestones, freak accidents, etc.) but there were a few things that were clearly hormonally-driven for me and just plain weird.

First, about halfway through the pregnancy, I started becoming really paranoid about being alone/being attacked. One time in the hardware store someone was just coincidentally walking behind me down an aisle and I had an image of him grabbing a knife and stabbing me. It passed quickly, but I generally had a lot of free-floating anxiety after about 18 weeks or so. That kind of stuff continued into TLG’s early infancy, where I would be a bit paranoid even when I was out and about alone with him in the stroller, realizing that I was extremely vulnerable. Much of that has subsided, although I still have flashes of it when I’m out with him by myself.

Another weird thing started after we started taking him to daycare. Inevitably at dropoff I have to not only bring him in, but also a bag of supplies of some sort–either diapers or bottles or food or extra clothes or some random thing they never told until the day before that he needed. This means that I usually leave my regular bag (that I take on the Metro) in the car, since wrangling him and two bags seems silly. Similarly on pickup I usually end up having to take something away (in addition to TLG), so I bring in an empty bag and leave my purse or commute-bag in the car. The weird paranoia I found was when for a long time I would deliberately be sure to take my Blackberry into the daycare with me, even though it wasn’t in the daycare bag. Inevitably, I would end up thinking about what would happen if crazed gunman stormed the daycare and tried to take over. I’d need a cellphone so I could crawl under the diaper bin and text for help, right? It’s only in the last few weeks that I’ve managed to resist the temptation to carry my Blackberry in on every single dropoff or pickup. I still do ponder the problem of how to handle the crazed gunmen, though.

Clearly I have watched way too many Law & Order episodes.

The most recent paranoia I think is more typical and expected. As he’s moved into toddler-dom, I have constant anxiety about him falling off or onto something and cracking his skull. Scrapes, bumps, bruises, those I can deal with. Even being bitten by other toddlers (which has happened!). But the skull-cracking-possibilities really get to me. Short of padding the entire house with pillows, I’m not sure what to do about that. In fact, we did the opposite by installing hardwood floors on the main level. D’oh!

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