From the instant that my egg was inseminated and I knew that there was an actual living thing growing inside of me, all I could do was focus on keeping it alive.
I didn’t dye my hair or eat tunafish. I didn’t go on rollercoasters or do jumping jacks. I slept on my side and didn’t drink or smoke or drink coffee.
I didn’t mind the sacrifices, because I was completely petrified that if I made one false move, my unborn child could die.
When I see pregnant women now pushing away a turkey sandwich or refraining from doing a cartwheel, I realize how silly some of it is.
I mean when was the last time you heard of someone’s baby dying from a sandwich?
Yet we are so hyper-aware…with the internet and Dr. OZ and all of the pregnancy magazines and books – it would be nothing short of murder if we intentionally disregarded the millions of rules and something horrible happened to the baby.
After I gave birth to my first child, I was so relieved that he was healthy and alive. I barely had pushed out the placenta when I send Mr. Gaga out for an Italian Combo sandwich (you can read how this nearly ended in divorce by clicking this link.)
It involves Mr. Gaga coming back to the hospital with a Quiznos Turkey Melt – which I set on fire and threw out the window in fit of
post-partum knowing that my husband was a fucking asshole that didn’t understand the importance of cold cuts.
I had kept the baby alive for ten months and now I could relax and eat cold cuts and enjoy my life.
The joke was on me of course.
The whole “keeping him alive” thing became significantly more difficult once we went home with him.
In order for him to survive I had to clean his belly button and penis to prevent infection and death. I had to feed him from my boob every two seconds. I had to change his diaper regularly. I had to bathe him. I had to make sure he was strapped in properly in his car seat and swing. I mean the list was endless. In a 24 hour period we narrowly avoided his death several times.
I made it through – and 9 months later magically had another egg inseminate that survived and then I was faced with another being that I had to keep alive.
While I might seem over the course of 4 years of parenting on this blog as though I am not a helicopter mom and could maybe even be too careless when it comes to certain things like swearing, doing homework, and being nice to teachers. In fact I am extremely careful and cautious when it comes to the safety and well-being of my children.
Some might even say that I am downright crazy when it comes to keeping them alive and well.
I have devised certain controls, which in my mind, keep my children alive and healthy:
No sleepovers. I have outlined my fears clearly on my sleepover post. I am fearful of my children being in strange homes where they can get shot by a gun or drugged and molested, so I like them to sleep at home with me. It seems an obvious way to keep them alive.
No motorized vehicles. Even when all of their friends had motorized Range Rovers at every playdate we went to, I stuck to my guns. I remember letting them go into these little death traps at friend’s houses and chasing them all over the yard ready to catch them if they had a rollover which might result in a head injury.
Very little medicine and very spaced out and wait-till the last minute vaccinations.
Now before you all get crazy – I just don’t love a vaccination filled with 50 antidotes at a time. I just felt that my little 18 pound baby should wait until it’s absolutely necessary to pump him with smallpox, measles, mumps, SARS, AIDS, Chicken Pox, and the bird flu all at once!! I may or may not have listened to an interview with Jenny McCarthy on Oprah right before it was time for my first-born child to receive his vaccinations. I may or may not gotten into an argument with my pediatrician that was marked mostly in my mind – by the statement from said pediatrician “Jenny McCarthy is not a doctor.”
I guess, as hindsight is 20/20 – I can see how someone who spent millions of dollars and years learning about modern medicine – could be upset to find that this was my go-to source of information regarding the health and wellness of my child…
I may or may not have switched pediatricians. I then allowed the timetable to run its course and allowed my much heftier and stronger 3 year old to accept the vaccine.
I am the type of person that doesn’t take an Advil until I am hemorraging on the floor from my period. My head can explode before I take a Tylenol. I have no rational argument for this behavior. Yet, as a mother, I do feel that there is no good reason to use modern medicine in an abusive way. Obviously, I see the news, and I know that children and adults everywhere we turn are addicted to drugs.
I am very fearful of my children becoming addicted to pain medication so my plan is for future injuries or wisdom teeth removal to give them only Tylenol and flush all pills down the toilet.
I am totally ready and able to keep these kids alive.
There are a million other things that I worry about at night.
There are a million trillion ways that a child can die.
When they ask me for a piece of gum I scream “No!” and tell them of the perils of choking. When they are blowing up a balloon – I rip it from their mouths – preaching of ways the latex can suck into their throat and kill them.
I won’t let them play football because I don’t want them to go into a vegetative state from a traumatic brain injury. When they jump carelessly in a pool I run to the edge and scream at them about how they could become paralyzed or dead.
Sometimes when I don’t have a legit reason for my fears – I just make stuff up to scare them into being safe….
When I left for a vacation in Georgia this week I decided to let things go. I decided to let my children enjoy a fun-filled vacation minus my worries and troubles.
When they jumped from the edge of the pool when the sign clearly stated “No Jumping” – I calmly told them not to jump, instead of going completely insane and screaming about head injuries like I wanted to.
When we we went to Tybee Island the local Georgia beach where the Baywatch movie was filming – I was very focused on seeing “The Rock” and Zach Efron and wasn’t too interested in the kids bodysurfing in the big waves.
We quickly noticed an empty beach with no movie stars – and since it was cloudy and a little chilly – Mr. Gaga and I stood at the edge of the water watching the kids while they frolicked care-free in the ocean waves.
After about twenty minutes of making small-talk with Mr. Gaga I was getting bored of standing at the shoreline. “Should we make them come in and eat a sandwich?” I whined.
“No – leave them – they are having fun,” Mr. Gaga said dismissively.
“Well do you want to go up to our chairs and eat something? I can watch the kids,” I asked helpfully.
“No – because I can whistle for them if I need to – and you can’t.” he answered.
“Well, why would I need to whistle for them?” I asked incredulously.
Mr. Gaga prides himself on his ear-piercing whistle ablilites. He’s one of those dudes that can put his fingers in his mouth and let out a really loud whistle that will have everyone stop what they are doing and turn to look at him. It comes in handy when we want to get the kid’s attention – especially if there’s an emergency.
“I mean – I have been alone with the children their whole life and I can’t whistle – I am sure I will be fine while you eat a turkey sandwich,” I said rolling my eyes.
Just then I looked at the ocean – and saw an image that seemed fake. It was a split second in time – but it was an image that my brain immediately computed. A black triangle appeared circling behind my second-born child that I grew in my uterus for 9 1/2 months. It was a shark fin swimming a mere 6 feet behind Sam.
A few seconds passed while I opened my mouth and nothing came out.
This is an image that we all have seen a million times in movies – so when it’s in real life – your brain doesn’t process it properly.
I stared helplessly at my innocent children. They waved at me before diving into the surf.
“GET OUT!!” I screeched finally at the top of my lungs as I ran towards the edge of the water.
“What’s wrong with you?” Mr. Gaga asked with annoyance.
“I just saw a shark!” I screamed as I plunged deeper into the water waving my hands and arms frantically flagging the children to come in.
“What?!” Sam called, as the shark resurfaced behind him.
I screamed at the top of my lungs “THERE’S A SHARK!!” But the crashing surf drowned out my yelling and Sam slowly walked towards me saying “What? No I don’t want a sandwich!” and dove back into the water.
I was now just a frozen speechless zombie that couldn’t save her own children.
Mr. Gaga saw the shark the second time and now he was on board with the saving of the children’s lives.
He whistled his signature whistle (THANK GOD) and both boys looked over immediately and started coming towards us. “SHARK!!!” he bellowed, and they finally began running towards us.
In the area where they just were, there were now dolphins diving up and down in the water.
They reached us and we all stared out at the water. The shark was swimming straight out to sea while the dolphins bobbed in and out of the surf were my precious children were just bodysurfing. We think that the arrival of the dolphins is what made the shark swim away – so essentially the dolphins saved my children’s lives.
I hugged and kissed the boys 500 times.
For the remainder of the vacation I would periodically grab them and kiss their faces and say “I am so glad you’re alive.” while they rolled their eyes and pushed me away.
My children have survived a shark attack.
The declining of the tuna fish and the cleaning of the belly buttons could never have prepared me for this.
I am ready and able to keep them alive for at least another 20 years.
“The Vacation” is over – and now back to my regular life of keeping them alive from balloons and sleepovers…..Xo, Lady Goo Goo Gaga