The little lightbulb in my daughter’s nightlight burnt out the other day, so I took it out of her room to replace it. As I screwed in the new bulb, I noted how quickly it warmed up (the switch was on), you know, as lightbulbs tend to do. The nightlight is actually a paper-mache’-like material over a wire frame in the shape of a duck. I’ve had it since Doodicus was a baby. I returned “Ducky”, as he is fondly referred, to Aitch’s room. She was thrilled I was able to fix it so quickly especially since it was during bedtime and she’s afraid of the dark.
All was well. Until I started thinking about how hot that bulb was. I returned to her room and touched the outside of Ducky to test for heat, but there was none. I left her room again. The more I thought of that bulb, the more freaked out and anxious I became. If my brain could type, this is kind of what it would look like:
what if the bulb gets so hot it starts the duck to smoldering. the smoke detector in her room should pick it up pretty quickly since it’s on that side of the room. would it burst into flames? it’s by the door so how would I get into her room to save her? could I calmly instruct her to get on the floor and crawl out to me? would she pass out from the smoke so she wouldn’t be able to help herself? Dood would try to go in there so I would have to make sure he’d go outside and stay there, but I know he would freak out and try to come back in and that would waste precious time. both her windows are accessible without a ladder. how would I break the windows? the lawn chairs on the deck. I could pick them up and throw them through the window. but that would create a unwated airflow and feed the flames already engulfing her bed! the garden hose. the hose is right outside. I would smash the windows and spray her room. when will I call 9-1-1? would Dood be able to do it for me? would he remember our address or be able to explain to them how to get to us on that rural road? ohmygodthewholehousehasgoneupinflames! galkdjaflksjflwjtopuiwjljldjlfuuuuuccckkkkkkkk!!1;11!!
Eventually the panic attack subsides and I feel a bit foolish for worrying about it at all.
This morning I was thinking about Doodicus and wondering how old he’ll be when he eventually becomes more self-aware and responsible without us constantly reminding him to finish eating, combing his hair, flushing the toilet, and putting on the other sock. Self-control. He has none. What if in six years he still has no self-control; no way to audit his impulsiveness? What if he meets a girl who is looking to manipulate someone like Dood and gets pregnant. Of course, we would help them take care of the baby. But what if she wants to have an abortion, or give the baby up for adoption? Both of these are legitimate options she would have, but both of them make me cringe inside.
I’ll admit it makes me really uncomfortable with the idea of someone else making the decisions about my “blood”, which is so utterly ridiculous for me to say. In fact, I would have to call Bull Shit on myself. Need I remind you that Aitch has at least one half-sibling that is NOT her brother, Dood? The same woman who donated her eggs to us also donated them to another woman from our clinic, and she, too, got pregnant. Aitch doesn’t just have a half-sibling, she was a twin.
I rarely think about it, but sometimes, like today when I think about the fate of my non-existent grandchild, I get my brain wrapped up in it. It’s why I’m writing about it now. Have you ever unwittingly walked into a spiderweb? That’s what it feels like in my head right now. I’m hoping by writing it down, it sweeps the thoughts away, at least for a while. At least until the spider comes back and puts up a new web.