Sophie The Beach Schnitzel And Other Things That Scare Me
18th January 2016
Ten years ago BC (Before Children) the list of things that scared me was logical and succinct:
* Horror movies
* Creepy books like John Wyndham’s The Day of The Triffids or John Fowles The Collector
* The thought of loved ones becoming ill and dying
Now that I am rounding out my 7th year ABC (After Before Children) the list of things that scares me is long and random:
* Our Tupperware drawer – it’s wily, uncooperative and regularly in need of re-ordering (but who can be bothered?). I live in fear of it becoming jammed shut and thousands of dollars worth of mis-matched Tupperware being hidden forever like some kind of treasure just waiting for a More Organised Domestic Goddess to discover.
* The future – I’ve had glimpses of the teenage years and they made me tremble. The roll of the eyes, the click of the tongue, the swagger of the hips all combined with a long, drawn-out sigh. I can see my future in those tiny moments and it’s not pretty. Those glimpses are like the most sinister moments in movies where you know the killer is lurking in a dark corner and you can’t warn the victim. Get out now while you still can!
* The toilet – because seriously, you never know what you’ll find in there. Surely flushing should be second nature for them by now.
* Public toilets – Sophie, who’s four and half, has nooooooo concept of germs, filth, grot or skankiness (bless her). When she uses a public toilet I’m sure she goes out of her way to touch every single thing she can. When I accompany her, I sound like some kind of manic mumbler ‘don’t touch, don’t touch, don’t touch’
* The grocery bill – sometimes it resembles a mortgage repayment. The docket comes swirling out of the checkout chick’s console as though it’s a copy of War And Peace. I actually hold my breath when I insert my PIN. After the word APPROVED flashes on the EFTPOS machine, I make a hasty getaway. This never happened BC.
* Sand – Sophie loves sand. She isn’t one bit frightened of it. And when it’s on the beach, I’m not that frightened of it either. But when I find it on my floors, over my lounge, in my shower and through my bed I freak out. It’s fear mixed with anger – where else is it? combined with Grrr Sophie! And I know it’s Sophie I should be blaming. At the beach, her favourite thing to do is to get wet and then roll in the sand. Seriously. She lays down and makes sand angels. The child doesn’t stop until she is a Beach Schnitzel. If she had more fat on her we could consider getting a tub of breadcrumbs and a deep fryer. I have tried several methods of sand removal: rinsing at beach shower, rinsing under the hose, removing swimmers in the shower (Epic fail – sand everywhere). I’ve tried some dry-removal techniques as well: brushing her ever so lightly with a dustpan brush (don’t judge me), asking her to stay outside until it all falls off, making her sister rub it off her with a towel, taking her down the street and through some shops until most has fallen off (no judgement okay?). It doesn’t matter what I do, sand still makes its way into my home. And that’s what makes it scary. How is it getting in?
* School sores, head lice, gastro bugs and other communicable childhood diseases – there was a time, BC, when I didn’t know what a school sore looked like. Now I can spot one at twenty paces. The words “Mum I don’t feel good in my tummy,” cause my own stomach to roil with fear. Head scratching makes my blood run cold. I am not exaggerating for effect here – I got a shiver just typing this paragraph.
* Loose teeth – Olivia recently had one that was hanging by a thread: a juicy, bloody, frayed, gummy thread. She could perch offending tooth over her lip like she was bearing a little fang. She could twist it, shift it, spin it, slide it and wind it. Ugh gross.
And finally – the thing that scares me most is when my kids say things like this:
“Look Mum, I caught a snake.”
She caught it with her feet, impressing everyone at Mitche’s Jetty. Within an hour she was regaling strangers with the amazing tale of how she “catched a sea snake” with her toes in the sand. Turns out it was an eel – thank gawd – sea snakes are apparently highly venomous.
Clearly – I have nothing to fear.
Now don’t leave me hanging here like a big scaredy cat. What freaks you out in the land of Parenthood? Share now by leaving a comment in the box – or are you too afraid?