Dumb Shit I Do Kids

Let’s Play a Game

February 5, 2009
Lets play a game, kids playing with a remote controlled car

I played a game yesterday that I haven’t played in a long time. If you are a parent you know the game, Imagine The Worst Possible Thing.

You play the game by imagining the worst possible thing that could happen to your children. This game usually starts as soon as they exit your womb and enter the world. Often it starts before that. It is most often played by new parents and after the novelty of the child has worn off and they keep you up all night long it begins to taper. At this point you might begin to fantasize about the worst thing that could happen.

When my son was an infant I obsessed about the chandelier in his nursery. Even though it was not located over his crib and it had never shown any signs of coming loose I imagined that it would fall down with a Rube Goldberg effect and set off a chain of events that would eventually lead to my son’s demise. Either it would crash through the floor creating a vacuum on its way and swallowing my son, crib and all, into the depths of the basement which was two floors down or it would hit the floor causing a plank in the floor to fly up sending his crib to the ceiling where he would be electrocuted by the hanging wires from the fallen chandelier.

This was just one of many scenarios I played out in my head each day. At least until he became mobile and then I had all sorts of other things to worry about. When he removed his diaper during his afternoon nap and painted the wall with his poop I started thinking of ways to cause the chain of events.

Interestingly I never worried about a stranger abducting my son. This is surprising since my son was born not too long after the abduction of Jacob Wetterling. Everyone was on alert after this event but I was sure if anyone took my two year old son that all I had to do was wait where I last saw him and eventually the abductor would return him begging me to take him back. I feel the same way about my daughter but I think it would take even less time for her to be returned.

I don’t know why I played this game yesterday. I was running an errand an hour before it was time to pick my daughter and son up from school. Two different schools. Both of my children are directionally challenged. Neither of them could find their way out of a paper bag. They do not get this from me. I know where I am going and I know where due north is. I had an hour before I had to pick them up and my errand was ten minutes away with maybe five minutes to take care of my business. I had plenty of time.

While driving I imagined that my car would fail while driving causing an accident where I would become either dead or incapacitated. This of course got me thinking that there would be no way to alert my children that I wasn’t coming to get them. I imagined my son getting lost and my daughter getting hit by a car as she tried to cross the busy street that is between her school and our house. If they made it to the house I imagined them sitting outside the house and freezing to death because neither one of them had the sense to go to a neighbor’s house. Which made me consider calling my neighbor to make sure she was home and to ask her to peek outside in the event I got in an accident. She wouldn’t have known I was in an accident unless the police or EMTs called her. They wouldn’t know to call that neighbor because she isn’t listed as the person to call in an emergency. And then I started to think about life insurance and the fact that I have still not gotten around to a will. It went on and on from there.

I completed my errand just fine. My car did not fail, I did not get in an accident and I was early to pick up both kids. They wondered why I hugged them both for five minutes when they got in the car but they think I am pretty off anyway so all in all everything was normal. I can’t wait until they have their own kids.

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  • dizzblnd

    I am so glad I am not the only one to do this. My deliusions will often become, “what would I do if..” and then I paln for 3 different action plans

    yes we are freaks

  • Pricilla

    My publicist does this when her husband is out on a fire call. She sits and worries and thinks of all the awful things that could happen to him ending with hitting the deer or elk on the ride home.

    Being a goat the only thing I worry about is having enough hay/grain/apples to eat.

  • Geri Ohara

    Ohh I can sooo relate!

  • Lin

    Oh, I do the SAME thing! There are some really scary thoughts going on in my brain. Especially if someone is out late!

  • Ann’s Rants

    Found you over A HBDC. Why-oh-why is this a prerequisite for motherhood? Well, at least we’re efficient. We have the whole scenario played out before they have a chance to exhale.

  • CyberCelt

    Great game if you like anxiety! LOL

    If you have children you should have a will. Otherwise, who gets the kids? I used LegalZoom for mine.

    Every family should have a plan for emergencies. On your cell phone put the acronym ICE (in case of emergency) and have your contact know about you, your kids, etc.).

    If you click my name, you will go to a series of posts I wrote about preparing for disaster. Perhaps they will help.

  • ettarose

    I worried about mine when they were growing up but it was worse when they were teens. I did not want them out getting stoned or drunk.

  • Stephanie

    I don’t have kids yet but i do worry about my husband in much the same manner. I think that maybe we play these types of scenarios out with everyone that we love?

  • Jen

    Dizzblnd, yes we are freaks but at least we are prepared. We aren’t really freaks of course because I think everyone does this. Moms like you and me who do this are more common we just don’t usually admit to our obsessive worry.

    Pricilla, Your publicist probably worries about you and Abby and Michael. Though you three are less likely to find danger than the publicists husband. Whom we should all thank for being so brave.

    Geri, I have learned that most people do this sort of things for the ones they love. Children are different because they are helpless and they are our responsibility and they drive us nuts most of the time. I’ve always said that God makes babies so cute, like puppies and kittens, so we don’t toss them out the window.

    Lin, Out late gets me too. I love cell phones for that very reason. And if they don’t pick up they are usually doing something they shouldn’t be doing.

    Ann, Welcome and I’m glad to see you are a member of the Humor Bloggers. If not I was going to recommend you. You are funny! I’m not sure it is a prereq as much as a side effect of motherhood. Another one of the wonderful things about parenthood they don’t tell you in health class when you are carting around the egg for a week in 8th grade.

    CyberCelt, we don’t plan for emergencies because then they are more likely to happen. Remember the old saying that if you don’t plan than plan to fail or something like that. Well this way I know we won’t have any emergencies. As for a will I plan on taking it all with me so there is no point in teasing them. At least that’s what my father did and it worked out well for him.

    Ettarose, this is precisely why I buy booze and pot for my 15 year old. This way he can get all high at home and I don’t have to worry about him getting in an accident. I’M KIDDING! Don’t all you go calling social services on me. The booze are for me and I don’t share.

    Stephanie, Since most husbands are incapable of doing anything for themselves they are not different than children so it is understandable that you would feel the same way.