Genetics aside, and sorry kiddo, this is what you get – I hope I don’t pass along any of my fears/neurosis/irrational hang-ups to SB (small boy). A sampling of things that scare me include: slugs, earthquakes, flying, Joan Rivers (and her daughter), grasshoppers, flying, the Tea Party, pit bulls, reality TV about bored housewives/single people in New Jersey, flying, and very bad fake tans.
Being a mom to a SB, I’ve had to really put the brakes on my reactions to the grossness factor. Yesterday he picked his nose, held out his finger and said, “mama, you eat it?” I call this “When the Sharing Lecture Fails”. We pick up worms on our walks, which is a minor shudder, but when he saw a slug the other day I had to really go in to full blow lying mama mode (or FBLMM), and tell him slugs have sharp teeth and bite, and luckily this one was sleeping. He can figure out the truth from the BS when he gets older, I guess.
Flying’s another one. I’m a paranoid/crazy/much rather take a train but they don’t go to Hawaii white knuckler, to say the least. I hate everything about the process, especially after 9/11. The second we park at the airport I tend to become crabby and fearful, and now rather than making everyone with me miserable and homicidal, I have to act brave and cheery in front of SB. It stinks, this being a grown-up thing.
No more glaring at the TSA employee who’s lecturing me about the tiny little thing of hairspray in my purse (because I’m going to style someone to death?), and no more exaggerated eye rolling when I have to take off my flip flops to prove that I’m not concealing a rocket launcher. Once we actually manage to get our stroller checked at the gate, beg to be seated together, get on the plane, fight over who gets the window seat (not me), hold up the line putting our stuff in the absurdly miniscule overhead compartment while backing up the line like a log jam, I then have to pretend that flying’s fun and interesting. In other words, act like a normal, well adjusted person. Right.
I can’t subtly check the pilot as we walk by the cockpit to make sure he’s sober/didn’t just put his dog to sleep/ is recently divorced and clinically depressed and fantasizing about pointing the plane into a cornfield and ending it all. I have to actually listento the flight attendant tell me to put my mask on first. Honey, if it gets to that point, I’ll already have died of fright, and what good is a mask going to do when we hit the cornfield anyway?
So I pretend flying’s fun. So far SB hasn’t picked up on my phony smile and scary Disney Teen Perky voice, but I think he’s going to catch on soon. In the meantime, maybe Amtrack’s building a bridge over the Pacific. You never know.