My Fear of Children (and a Mobile)
Baby projects are so sweet and perfect, but they kind of freak me out.
When my niece was born, my sister and I made her a quilt. I checked that thing a million times for needles. When I gave it to my brother on the day my niece was born, I asked him to triple check it before he wrapped it around his daughter. It was needle free, but still I had anxiety that something sharp would work its way out and hurt her some day.
Recently I made a mobile for my friend’s first baby. I researched the safest lengths for string to prevent strangling (7″ or less!). I agonized over securing each of the mobile threads to the felt ornaments so they wouldn’t fall off and become a choking hazard — weaving the mobile thread in and out of the fabric, knotting furiously and then securing with fabric glue for extra hold. And when I presented it to her at her baby shower, it didn’t come with any fanfare. It came with my stern warning that, just to be safe, it shouldn’t hang over the crib. Instead it should hang in a corner of the nursery where the baby will never be un-monitored.
I’ve read enough warning labels on everything from clothing to car seats to fear the worst. Always. I don’t want to be the person who gives the gift that hurts the child that has been lovingly nurtured in the womb for nine months.
Children and their fragileness have always frightened me. I didn’t embrace my role of oldest sibling, and some people think I’m cold because I don’t want kids. But really I just can’t handle the emotional stress that comes with having to protect them. I can hardly consider making a gift for a child that doesn’t cause me to go down the rabbit hole of internet research into potential hazards.
But I’m happy to report my latest project — the mobile for baby Quinn — is holding up well. And even if it falls apart, it’s placed in the room exactly as I instructed. I’m even happier to report that baby Quinn is healthy and handsome with a full head of hair. Born just last week, he is now home with his mom and dad who are thrilled that he is finally here. I can’t wait to meet him and watch him grow up and go on all the adventures for which he is destined. I’ll just be watching from a distance with some Xanax in my pocket.
Thanks to my friend, otherwise known as Carbivore, for taking pictures of the mobile in action. She’s super talented at making beautiful babies and delicious baked goods.