Friday, October 31, 2008

Scary Stories you Don't Always Hear About

Halloween is all about scary stuff, but really how do you scare someone who has changed a newborn’s diaper? I'm a Mom!! I'm not afraid of monsters in the closet or witches riding brooms. In fact, I’d probably ask that witch to step off her broom and help sweep up those Goldfish cracker crumbs, or start yet another load of laundry. So, what scares a mom? Here, for your Halloween terror, are my scary stories.

1. Back in 1990, after running errands in the car with my firstborn son, who was only a few weeks old at the time, I saw, to my horror, that he had ridden the whole way home without the seat belt fastened in his child-safety seat. My sleep-deprived self had forgotten to buckle him in. Instantly, visions of all that could have been ravaged my already-fragile mind. That one still scares me.

2. My second son scared me half to death when he was about 6 months old. Earlier that day, he had managed to cut his mouth on a Zweiback biscuit while he was with a baby sitter. Later that afternoon, while driving to Grandma’s house I looked in the rearview mirror and saw my baby’s face covered in blood. It was like something out of “Carrie,” half of his face was bloody! I thought he was hemorrhaging or throwing up blood or something equally horrifying, so I made a quasilegal U-turn and beelined for the emergency room at quasilegal speeds. I frantically ran into the hospital with my bloody child, big brother in tow. When I finally saw a nurse, she pretty much laughed at me and my hysterical mommyness. It turns out that mouth cuts always look worse than they really are. Most folks manage to swallow the blood when the have a cut in their mouth — most folks who aren’t babies, anyway. Oh.

3. Once, when I was backing my car out of the driveway, after dutifully checking my mirrors and watching out the rear window, I felt the car bump over something. Immediately, I hit the brakes; the only thing that stopped faster than the car was my heart. My thoughts went something like this: OMG!!!, I just killed something! Oh, please, don’t let it be a person! Or the dog! Please don’t let it be the cat! What did I just do? I checked. I looked and there was nothing there! What did I hit?

OMG!!, did one of the kids come out of the house? They were supposed to be inside with their father! How did they get out here so fast? No, they couldn’t have. OMG! Did I run over someone else’s kid??? I waited for my heart to start beating again, albeit not regularly, and managed to haul my paralyzed-with-terror self out of the car to witness the carnage. Ready to rush in the house and call 911, I looked behind my car and truly felt like an idiot — it was a plastic baseball bat. I ran over a baseball bat, and I killed it, too.

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