Tuesday, July 19, 2011

why i shouldn't have children.

Let's take a break from Shit Storm 2011 and focus our attention on something else: my control and anxiety issues. I know what you're thinking: How are those two separate from Shit Storm 2011, Laura? Well, they just are. Because I say they are.

Can we just talk about why I shouldn't have children? It's not because I'd, like, engage in immature or dangerous behavior, or that, you know, I'd eat them or anything. It's because I have major anxiety issues. Which make me need to control everything. Including the uncontrollables.

Let's examine.

I'm currently helping out a friend who asked that I drive her 16-year-old daughter to an intensive dance class each morning, at which she needs to arrive by 8 a.m. and be picked up at 10 p.m. {A long day, I know!} Now, I am logically aware that a 16-year-old isn't exactly a 3-year-old, but somewhere in my mind's Crazy Department, I think that a 16-year-old is helpless and can't be left to go to the bathroom/make a sandwich/open a drawer on her own.

Because, you know, she just might fall in/cut off a finger/get crushed.  And then we'd be in a heap of trouble. And we all know that Laura does not like trouble.

So, as I function this week as temporary guardian and chauffeur, I am, I will confess, freaking out. 

I am such a worry-wort. The night before, I lay in bed, thinking out the next day's activities. Are her clothes laid out? Did she pack her lunch? What if her alarm doesn't go off? What if my alarm doesn't go off? Is traffic going to be awful? What if she's late? Will her dance teacher make her do a hundred extra pliƩs? All because I'm a horrible guardian/chauffeur? And that's before I even turn out the lamp on the nightstand.

Yesterday I dropped her off for the first time. I was looking over at her, like, forty times to make sure her seat belt was on. She must have thought I had a tick or something. Then, when we were pulling up to the building where her dance class is, everything was blocked off because--oh, that's right--they're filming the Dark Knight movie. {Yes, Pittsburgh is the Hollywood of the East.} My first thoughts were What if she gets kidnapped by a grip? What if she stops to eat a bagel at the craft services table and gets food poisoning? What if the make-up artist mistakes her for an extra and swoops her away to the make-up trailer, never to be seen again? What if she trips on one of the bazillion lighting and sound cables that are strewn all over the place, breaks her leg, AND CAN NEVER DANCE AGAIN? OH MY GOD THIS IS A DISASTER.

When she was finally ready to get out of the car--we'd found a safe place to pull over, not too far from the building she needed to go to--I was like Okay, why don't you text me when you get in to let me know you're at the right place? And, maybe, you know, you could also send up a smoke signal. How about a carrier pigeon? Do you think Western Union still sends telegrams?  

Arrived at correct building STOP Am putting on leg warmers STOP 

Bless her heart, she agreed and somehow managed not to make her eye-rolling too dramatic. And then, because I am completely neurotic, I circled around the area until I got that text message. Which didn't come quickly enough for me. And so I started to worry. 

OH MY GOD SHE'S BEEN TAKEN ALIVE. OH MY GOD THE MAKE-UP ARTIST SNATCHED HER.  She's probably in one of these movie trailers parked around here, tied up in a barber-style chair, having animal-tested make-up caked on her skin, Diet Coke {oh, the aspartame! The aspartame!} being given to her through a straw, which is putting unnecessary air in her tummy, causing excruciating gas cramps, AND SHE'LL NEVER DANCE AGAIN.

And so I sent her a text message. And didn't get a reply. And so I kept circling, like a vulture, one that preys on people who may have taken the poor girl {I'm looking at you, Make-up Artist.} And then I called. No answer.

Commence Operation Freak Out.

FINALLY, she text messaged and said she was at the right place and was filling out paperwork.

I un-hunched my shoulders. Phew! I thought. I was so not interested in taking down that make-up artist! She probably would have stabbed me in the eye with a mascara wand!

And that, my friends, is why I shouldn't have children.

2 lovely bits o' feedback.:

JenEngland said...

Welcome to my world. Girl, I could tell you stories about my epic freakout panic sessions. Ask my kids. And yet, somehow, they survive and still love me. And so far both are incredibly awesome human beings. And since the oldest one is 19, I have to say I think its probably going to be all right. Those issues? Definitely not a good excuse not to spawn. Not that I'm telling you that you should have kids, because that is an intensely personal decision that I trust you to make for yourself. But if you are worried that over-worrying will make you a bad parent, it wont. Or at least not the worst parent on the planet, probably not even the block.

JenEngland said...

Oh, I hope that didn't sound bossy. Now that I hit publish I feel like it was obnoxious. What I should have said is that I think your beautiful heart would overcome all your other quirks (and honey we all have them in spades) and make you a fantastic parent.

(Ps. 10 minutes lat through the door and I'm convinced there has been a horrible accident. My kids are totally programed to text me 5 minutes before they are supposed to be home just to avoid the inevitable freak out. So on the rare occasion that they forget...total. complete. insane. freakout.)