When Miles was born I had (I now realize) so fairly deep postpartum anxiety. Driving with Miles in the car terrified me and I would constantly play out scenarios in my head about him getting hurt. It was awful and exhausting.
He is six now and I have successfully survived the terror of the infant years for both he and Evelyn and am, as a general rule, a much less anxious parent. Except, of course, for the following fears, which vary in level of ridiculous but still make my palms sweat to think about:
Lice: Lice happens, I get it. I just really, really need my kids to NOT GET IT. If it happens to Miles, I can tell you with his 100% certainty that his head is getting shaved and we are calling it a day.
Loose teeth: I get the sweats when I think of seeing wiggly teeth, attached by a little bit of flesh. I hate tooth stuff.
Neck tattoos: I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t plan to get one, but I am not an anti-tattoo person as a general rule. I’ve seen some that are quite interesting and artistic. I have not, however, ever seen a good neck tattoo. I have seen many neck tattoos that say “I’m totally okay with dramatically limiting my career options”
Pinworms: Worms. That come out of your child’s butt at night. No ma’am. No.
Online stupidity: I had the good fortune to get through high school and college before digital cameras, Facebook, Snapchat and whatever other apps the youths are into these days so none of my acts of teenage assholery are online. I know the job of adolescence is to make some mistakes while trying to figure yourself out and I don’t expect my kids to be perfect but, oh sweet baby Moses, I really don’t want to see the little butts I diapered naked on the internet some day.
Finally, the big one: That I will totally screw this thing up.
I feel like I’m a pretty good mom for a 2-year-old and six-year-old, but what if I am peaking, parenting wise, early? What if, someday, I see my naked child on Facebook with a neck tattoo that says “suck it mom”?
Flop sweat city over here.