I nominate myself. OK, I don't really believe that, but the way I beat myself up about my parenting mistakes, you'd think I did.
Kyle ingested a few extra vitamins today. I don't really know how many, but by the time I called Poison Control, counted all the vitamins, and checked the date of purchase, I figured out it was probably less than 10. Don't laugh--the lady at Poison Control made me count them. I'm sure no one else's kid inhales poisonous stuff, right?
I was playing with Meredith in the next room when Kyle came in going crunch, crunch with his teeth. He's very good about reaching high places. He just pulls that chair right over to where he wants to go. I think I might have left the vitamins on the counter. Or in the pantry. I don't even know. Now, if I hadn't been playing with Meredith, I probably would have been feeling guilty about neglecting her. But anyhoo...
By the time I'm finished discussing how many vitamins Kyle might have consumed, I'm the one being consumed. With guilt. Because I'm picturing my poor baby turning blue and taking his last breath, as I always do when the slightest little thing happens. Of course nothing bad happened. Kyle had no symptoms at all. But it could have gone wrong. And that's where my imagination takes over. I have a really good imagination for disasters that never happen. I should put it to good use and create some fiction with it.
And I swear I will never have any more children and never leave any of my children alone in a room again because obviously I can't take care of the kids I have. It would be better for them to have their mama hovering overhead than lying sick in a hospital bed, right?
Of course nobody else ever makes colossal, could-have-killed-them mistakes. I'm sure I'm the only one who does. I'm the one whose story will end up in a parenting magazine with the caption "It happened to me and it could have been prevented".
Isn't that the worst fear of all? Your child gets injured or dies because of you?
People sometimes act like motherhood is a no-brainer job because so many women have done it, because it doesn't require an education, etc. But I think with as many things that can go wrong that don't, it's amazing that so many mothers have raised their children to adulthood. If you haven't had any near misses with your own children yet, beware. This parenting gig is not for the fainthearted.