a life lived in fear is a parent's life

Ten things I was never afraid of before I had kids:

1. Normal, cheap milk.

The thought of routinely buying non-organic milk brings on a physical anxiety response. I get knots in my stomach, thinking about pouring a cup of cold, creamy hormones for my children. I have no defense for my first-worldliness. I have been brainwashed by the organic food lobby.

2. Nuts.

NUMBER ONE CHOKING HAZARD ON A LIST I FOUND ON BABY CENTER.

3. Grapes.

NUMBER ONE CHOKING HAZARD ON A LIST I JUST MADE UP.

4. Honey.

Not the botulism! For the love of God, don't give the baby honey unless you want him to lose the ability to hold up his own head! Until day 366 of baby's life, then it's totally safe.

5. Residential streets.

"Nobody thinks they need to look both ways before chasing a soccer ball out onto a quiet cul-de-sac..." is how so many local news stories begin.

6. Bedsheets.

Not just a smooth, light covering for dozing with the baby. Also a smothering and strangulation hazard, conveniently located on your sleeping body. Sweet dreams.

7. The tensile strength of a seat belt.

I'm not scared of it snapping. I'm scared of not being able to get it off when the car goes off a bridge. WHEN the car goes off a bridge. Somewhere, a clock is counting down.

8. The clock.

If it's naptime and I'm still not home, I feel like that doomed teenaged cheerleader rabbiting through the woods toward the safety of a cabin, the chainsaw-wielding psycho lumbering behind me, just a step behind me, getting closer, and closer... except I have to bring my screaming little psychos into the cabin with me, and then give them hugs and let them suck on my boobs until they lose the urge to destroy me. For now.

9. Ferry boats.

Do I need to even list the number of ways my children could perish on a ferry boat? At least they'd be, like, super psyched about it. Boat + cars + water = Toddlers can die happy.

10. Tuition.

It's like the reverse Santa Claus of adulthood. You don't believe in it until you're all grown up, and then it's a terrifying monster who is coming to take everything away from you.

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