I have the Englund worry gene. I recognize this — they say that’s the first step in recovery — but I can’t always quell it. It does not interfere with my daily living. I can function without having to curl up in the fetal position once or twice a day. I don’t even do it every month! But there are things I worry about, and Sam has the lucky position of being my main source of worry. Here are some things that make me anxious:
1. Sam won’t eat. He used to eat a jar of baby food and a cup of baby cereal. Now it’s a good meal when I get half a jar of baby food in him. I’m trying to introduce some solid foods — bananas, graham crackers, noodles, pieces of squishy vegetables — but he doesn’t really like them. He thrashes his head around like I’m trying to punch him in the nose when I offer him food. Because of this lack of eating, I go right to failure to thrive because of cancer or an intestinal disorder or some awful illness. I realize that the chances of it being anything like that are miniscule, but it still crosses my mind.
2. Sam’s language is delayed. He has just started saying mamamama babababa when the baby books say he should have been doing that last month. Everyone says I’m crazy, which I realize is true. Rob, the pediatrician, the little voice inside my head, they all say it’s absurd, but I still think about it once in a while, even though I know he’s doing just fine.
3. He will choke on something (see previous post on FBA) and I have to do CPR and I can’t remember how to do it on an infant. This is a ridiculous one, because I have been trained in CPR for about ten years and it would come to me if I ever needed to use it, but I have a dream like this at least once a month. Sometimes it’s Sam and sometimes it’s a terrible car accident with strangers and I am the first one on the scene and have to save the people in the car, but I can’t remember how many breaths or compressions to do so I freeze and everyone dies. Ha ha. You can laugh, it’s funny.
BUT. Yes, there’s a but. There’s a list of things I don’t worry about anymore.
A. I don’t worry about SIDS. I can’t get the kid to lie down in his crib, so the fact that he might not get enough oxygen because his face is buried in the mattress is absolutely ridiculous to lose sleep over anymore.
B. I don’t worry that he’s autistic. It was a fear. It was the only reason I was hesitant to have a boy (because it’s more prevalent in boys). It’s not on my radar anymore. He’s doing fine.
C. I don’t worry about illnesses like colds, the stomach flu, etc., sending us to the hospital. He’s getting so big that he’s more likely to handle them.
I know this probably makes me sound a little bit psycho, but the majority of my brain knows that everything is fine. It’s just that little part that seems so loud once in a while. And if any of you out there on the World Wide Web know how to get a baby to eat, feel free to share those tips in the comments section. Thank you in advance.