A Monster’s Mind: I Keep Thinking of Ways to Kill Children
I keep thinking of ways to kill children. It didn't really start until I had my own.
Suddenly, there I was, thinking, Look at this--small enough for him to put it into his little innocent mouth while no one's looking. He could choke! And, My God, turn the pot handle in toward the hot stove. Little hands could reach up and pull the boiling grease all over her. And, Should I put up some type of fence barrier thing on the railing of the balcony? They'll climb it. Of course they will, and one will push the other, and one would start to fall, and he would grab at her on the way down, and they both would fall to their little senseless deaths.
Once you have children, you begin to realize the worst possible thing that could befall a parent in this life. You're keen to inspect the floors. You smell for trouble. Your imagination begins to construct entire scripts in which the young, feckless, and clueless come up against the laws of physics, which are unyielding, and these children will get severely injured or die.
It's terrible, this monster I've become. Every object is scrutinized for the perfect tracheal diameter. Every sharp object is seen as something a child could run with. Little bodies don't like extra holes, unless it's a tube put in for ear infections. And it is exhausting to consider all of the things that could put out an eye. I don't know them all, but I think of new ones every day.
I sand without eye protection, but the little shitling better not even be in the same room.
Just how well do we trust that old dog of ours? Is cat scratch fever really a thing? Let them play outside--really? Are you out of your fucking mind! Is that just some rash or the harbinger of Neisseria meningitis? Another cold--that's two this year--leukemia? diabetes? How do I know this liquid Tylenol hasn't been...yea, that's right...tampered with?
When I'm stopped in traffic under an overpass, I back up a couple of inches so the falling girder will crush me instead of the kids in the back. What's in that aromatherapy machine I smell in Grandma's machine? Eucalyptus? Peppermint? Wintergreen? That stuff can kill them, for God's sake!
Are those vitamins really necessary? What about hypervitaminoses? Did you even think about that?
Yep, just when I think I know all the weird ways to kill a child, a new one stuns me back into the sobriety of mortality. How do I think of these things? Was I a child-killer in a previous life? Or has evolution given my children this survival advantage?
My kids are grown. They survived. And if I so much as catch any of 'em with a cigarette, I'll kill 'em.
Toxic, yes. Stupid, no.