Stranger Danger. Or not.

My mother always said if there was a draft during wartime, she’d strap my brother to her back and swim him to Canada. This was a semi-joke of hers when discussions turned to politics at cocktail parties or family holidays. But it always stuck in my head. So much so, that I began repeating it as an anecdote about my mother.

I never understood what she meant until now.

There is a “Mamma Bear” intensity about this job we call motherhood. I remember feeling it for the first time shortly after the Count was born and the Kaiser and I took him to one of those warehouse shopping places. There I was, in the throws of post pardum, CLUTCHING his car seat. My knuckles were white. My eyes darted from person to person to person. Was this the man that would try and grab him from me? No. This lady, this one here, she looks shifty…she might try and take him away. I sat in the food court area and clung to him. Convinced someone. Anyone, wanted to take him from me. Nevermind the incredible deal these people could get on 19 tons of generic macaroni and cheese and a 32 pack of razors, they were really there to kidnap my newborn son.

I’ve moved on from that feeling. Ok, I’ve sort of moved on from that feeling. Ok, Ok, I no longer have those feelings as often. But now it comes in the form of more sane anxiety. Like the neighbor stealing my kids and selling them into white slavery. Or an earthquake hitting our area and despite the Princess in bed with me and the Count in his bed IN OUR ROOM, I’m unable to get to either of them.

It also pops up in odd places…like the park. Today I left the Princess in the care of a trusted friend by the sandbox and trekked the 12 feet to the bathroom with the toddler in undies. While helping him get his pants down I suddenly remembered a friend’s comments the last time we all went to Chuck E Cheese’s….

“I can’t even let my older boys go to the bathroom in a public place like this…their Dad has to go…you know those molesters love public restrooms…”

So now I’m scoping out the park bathroom area. There’s a Dad (I think he’s a Dad…is he? He kinda looks Dad-ish…maybe) waiting outside the ladies room door. My mind starts spinning. Ok, if he makes a move, I’ll scoop up the Count and run for the Princess. No, wait…I’ll pull the Count and run into the building..the have a phone…but wait..the Princess. Etc. Etc. Etc. Freaking certifiable some days, I tell ya. Of course the nice DAD collected his daughter outside the ladies room and went over to the swings, but I couldn’t help but wonder what if for another 10 minutes or so.

I headed back over to where the kids were playing, collected the Princess, and watched the Count throw sand, yet again. My girlfriend, noticing my distraction, asked me what was wrong…I half embarrassed and half relieved told her my encounter with the fake kidnapper/rapist/murderer at the bathroom. She laughed. I looked at her puzzled. She laughed harder. Then she said…

“You’re a Mom. That’s what WE ALL DO. I was looking at him too. And thinking the same thing.”

So either this is universal, or I hang out with some really f’d up women.


  1. There’s an advertisement for a remote fart machine on you blog.

  2. Not to mention the fact that the royal family of denmark apparently needs money.

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