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Saturday, July 16, 2005


bits of pits of plum

Jim decided to golf this morning and left about 6:00 a.m.. I like having mornings alone with Madge. We got up, had a lesiurely bottle and decided to go to the farmers market. This was no small feat, and involved a trip to get cash, 15 minutes of high stress parking spot coveting and the stalking of shoppers carrying their wares back to their parked cars. All in sweltering 90 degree heat. I found a spot marked "reserved for the Asian Market". I decided to let the chips fall where they may and parked there at the risk of getting a ticket. I have a 26 pound 11 month old after all. Have mercy.

I fought crowds of people to peruse the selection of peas, beans, fruit, corn and every Asian vegetable imagineable. Maggie stared on in a coma-like trance, mesmerized by the activity, the people and the visual display. I purposely brought the small stroller in leiu of the ginormous SUV style stroller, but still got some dirty looks. I remember when I was single and I used to get SO annoyed by the people who hogged up space with their baby strollers. I thought they were greedy space mongers who walked about with an annoying sense of entitlement. They lolled around under the assumption that their children were like, the second coming of Christ, so of course they deserved to enjoy the space of 4 adults, knocking their mammouth Peg Pergo's into the shins of innocent bystanders. Their parenthood was the most divine kind of parenthood ever, and their children the most talented and gifted. I used to think some of these parents were so obnoxious. I mean, any frigging moron can have a child. It certainly doesn't mean you are special or anything. I think I now understand that for many, it's more of a brain-fuzzed la-la-la-la-la, please please please let's get this done before the little progeny has a meltdown, her head starts to spin, and my head explodes, and maybe just maybe we will have enough time to stop and get gas on the way home before naptime if we are very very very lucky, please for the love of GOD please!!!!! La-la-la-la-la-la. This is REALLY what many of these parents are actually thinking.

So we got a crap load of fresh fruit, plums, nectarines, raspberries, and Maggie's favorite by a landslide, blueberries. I decided to use some of this truckload of fruit to make smoothies.
I got Maggie home and sat her in her high chair in gleeful anticipation of the incredible and awesome treat I was about to expose her too. It was a sweltering morning. I piled all the goodies in the blender, ice, orange juice, a plum, a nectarine, blueberries and yogurt. Mixed it all up into lovely cold fruity smoothie.

I put it all in a glass, tried it (good), and gave Maggie a few sips. "MMM!" she squealed. That child takes after my side of the family in her enthusiastic approach to most things edible.
I contined to let her sip it until she grew bored. I then moved on to my own glass, and on my second sip, realized that I had included a plum pit in the mix. I bit down on the hard chunk of pit, shrugged my shoulders and took another sip. Then, seemingly in slow motion, it popped into my head. Plumb. Pits. Are. POISONOUS. PLUMB PITS ARE POISONOUS!! POISONOUS!! I JUST POISONED MY CHILD! MOTHERFUCK I JUST POISONED MY BABY! Numb, I set down my glass, walked out to the car, retrieved my cell phone, went inside, googled poison control, called the number, and was asked to hold.

HOLD? I WAS ON HOLD? WHAT THE FUCK? A person calls Poison controls emergency number and they put you on hold? Do they put you on hold when you call 911? My blood pressure started to rise, and I could feel the pressure building in my head. I was moments away from a full-on panic attack. 1 minute later a man picked up the phone. I told him I thought I had just poisoned my daughter. I explained the situation as succinctly and calmly as possible. He reassured me that Maggie would have to eat 3 or 4 whole plum pits to cause any serious damage, and that she would be fine. Maggie was fine.

I hung up the phone and in my typical post-traumatic fashion, I began to tremble the moment I knew everything was okay. I stood there shakily and looked over at my daughter, who sat in her high chair grinning at me with red bits of raspberry all over her fat cheeks. Grinning with all of her four teeth. Her chubby fists clenching the tiny bits of cheese I had set on her tray. My heart bulged against my skin and nearly exploded with love for her. At the same time I was overcome with "THE FEAR". The fear that anything bad might ever happen to her. The fear that I could inadvertantly harm her. I never truly knew fear until I became a parent. The week after Maggie was born I sat on the couch, fat tears streaming from my eyes, wailing "Wh-hat t if sh-she gets s-s-ick? What if sh-she gets c-c-cancer!!! What if she becomes a d-d-drug addict?" I truly felt that the world finally had me by the BALLS. I had skipped carelessly though life up until then, saying to fate "Nyah nyah! You can't get me!" It all came to a screeching halt the day I became a parent. If anything ever happened to her, my soul would be dessimated. The person known as Meghan would be gone. Poof.

It's hard to assimilate all this into my brain and still be able to function on a normal level. A person has to let go, and reliquish any false sense of control they may have over life, and random accidents, and scary thoughts. What I can do in the meantime is hug my sweet baby close and kiss her dear, fat little cheeks. I can put my nose to my daughter's head and inhale slowly the sweet smell of sunscreen and apple juice and cheerios. I can thank heaven for allowing me to experience this bliss. To feel what I did not know I was capable of feeling. This all consuming love that until now was unchartered territory. This beautiful child who has helped me to believe in God. This strange and wondrous planet of parenthood.


Blogger Donna said...

Oh my - did that post bring back memories!

Much as I tell people I miss having a baby in the house, I will never miss the stroller, the diaper bag, or the fear that I'm doing something that will ultimately harm my child. (Well, that latter fear doesn't really go away entirely, but it becomes a lot more reasonable.)

Thanks for making me smile this morning.

7:52 AM  
Blogger missjackie said...

Meghan said, "I truly felt that the world finally had me by the BALLS. [...] A person has to let go, and reliquish any false sense of control they may have over life, and random accidents, and scary thoughts."

Now I understand why my boyfriend doesn't want to have kids. He loves too much now. What would it be like if he had a child?

Like you, I think it's all worth it. The anxiety is worth the reward, the bliss of parenthood or, as you so well put it,"to feel what I did not know I was capable of feeling. This all consuming love that until now was unchartered territory. This beautiful child who has helped me to believe in God. This strange and wondrous planet of parenthood."

8:54 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

The fear of losing this wonderous gift is what can paralyze me like nothing else can. I sometime will sit and look at my children playing and get lost in one of those what if scenarios. Sometimes when I'm lost in those thoughts, I can't hear them telling me they need me... right now. :) Great work on this one Meghan!

11:46 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I know the fear - and I know it well. I have a 13 month old chubster myself, and we have been there. I think the worst is when you accidentally are the cause of the harm to your child. Like when I fell with the infant carrier and gave him a black eye. Or when I ran over his fingers (yes, I did) with the vaccuum cleaner. Terrible. But so far, we have survived!

3:51 AM  

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