Becoming Mother

A book and a blog for first-time mothers

Tag: scary

Terrifying Moments in Parenting: In Random Order


When you hit the beginning of the transition stage of labor and think, Oh. So this is what it’s like to be torn in half.

Three Years Old

When you walk into the garage and see your child in the driver’s seat of your car. And you have a manual drive car.

When your child slips out of the house at bedtime while you’re watching TV in another room. And wanders around outside of the house, looking for the other parent.

When your friend looks into your child’s playroom and asks, “Should she be allowed to have that?”

One Year Old

When your toddling child grabs the edge of the tablecloth to pull herself up, and all the dinner dishes nearly land on top of her.

When your child wakes up in the middle of the night, shrieking hysterically, vomiting, and struggling to breathe. Later at the hospital, they tell you, it’s okay, it’s just croup and you think, Are you f–ing kidding me? Just croup? I was praying to gods in universes beyond human comprehension!

Two Years Old

When your child stretches overhead, reaching for whatever is on the countertop. And it’s a knife.

When your child drops your hand and darts away from you in the parking lot of a grocery store on a busy Sunday afternoon.

When you see your child walking down the stairs, holding a long blanket that she is about to trip over and fall all, the, way, down.

When your child succeeds in falling all, the, way, down, the stairs.

6 Months Old

When your child makes a choking sound in those first weeks of trying solids and you wonder if you could really perform the CPR technique you learned when you were 34 weeks pregnant.

When you run to the other room to get something and when you return, you see that your buckled-in baby on the changing table has actually flipped to her stomach.


When your child nearly falls out of your hands while you’re giving her slippery football-of-a-body a bath.

When you realize it has been four hours since your child last ate. And you haven’t heard a sound.

When you get out of your car at Target and realize, holy shit, the car seat didn’t latch into the base.

When you’ve tried everything, literally everything, and nothing makes her stop crying. And you think, Oh my God. I really cannot do this. I’m not cut out to be a parent and now I have a baby. What am I going to do now?

When you realize that they were all right: You really do love this child more than you love yourself.

And then your imagination glimpses upon the possibility of your child dying before you.

And the utter emptiness that she would leave behind.

And you wonder: How could someone who just moved into your life leave behind a hole so large?

It defies everything that you’ve learned about love.

It makes you wonder, what else is possible?


My Child is Desensitizing Me to Horror Movies

I’m sleeping in bed. I sleep on my side because the second trimester.

As I’m lying there in the dark stillness of the night, a teeny, tiny voice whispers directly into my ear.


Yeah. It’s as creepy as it sounds.


This has happened to me about six times in the past week. The first time I jumped out of my skin. What the hell!

It was my daughter. Of course it was my daughter. Who else would it be? But it took a moment to get my bearings.

Her excuses for being awake at 1:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. have been varied and numerous.

“I… I… I… I want to go downstairs.”

“I… I… I… I’m hungry.”

“You sleeping, Mommy?”

“I… I… I… I want to watch Dora.”

“I’m ready, Mommy.”

“I… need to go poop.”

“I… need a new diaper.”

For some background, she almost never gets up in the middle of the night. And this is the first time that she has rationales for being awake. I would probably find them more humorous if I weren’t four months pregnant, already waking up three times a night to pee. (Maybe I’ll switch to diapers?). Combined with her shenanigans–which she always seems to bring to me, never to her father–her nighttime calling cards are becoming frustrating.

Sometimes, she doesn’t go to bed right away. Sometimes, she needs to sing herself to sleep with a rousing rendition of “Ten in the Bed.”

While my husband is sawing logs through the whole thing of course. (How do guys do it? I’m so very jealous…)

I think it’s a growth spurt and it will be over soon.

In the meantime, I’m glad I haven’t screamed in her face in terror yet.

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