5-Year-Old Falls in Drain, Confirms My Worst Fears

Sasha Brown-Worsham

As parents we have many fears. Some are grounded in reality and others are totally unfounded. I often fear that my children will be injured on escalators or hurt by ice sliding off buildings. While these things rarely happen, the fact that they EVER do only confirms my fears. Now, a story out of New Zealand has given me a new one: manholes.

A 5-year-old child disappeared down a manhole in New Zealand, and while she wasn't injured, she was traumatized. Her parents are using it as an opportunity to try to ensure that such dangers are properly secured.

All this story makes me think is that now all my worst fears are confirmed. I was totally right to be afraid of that! Look at what happened to the parents in New Zealand! Thank God, their daughter was OK, but it could have gone either way. Here's a list of some of the many, many things I fear with my kids:

Fresh water: There are flesh-eating bacteria that thrive in some lakes. Once it crawls into your nose, you cannot be saved. I have to practically restrain myself when my children go into the water at our family lake house.

Ocean water: Undertow, riptides, pollution. It's enough to make my poor, addled mommy brain spin.

Choking: I am that mom who pureed my children's foods long, long after it was socially acceptable. I will probably be in my son's dorm room sticking his Ramen in a Cuisinart.

Chuck E. Cheese: There are brawls there, people! Plus the germs and the kidnappings. No thanks. I would sooner take my child to a burlesque show in Paris.

Bathtime: Obviously I give my children baths, but I am alert and nervous the whole time. Even now they're 4 and 2.5 and I won't even step one foot out of the room or talk on the phone or be distracted in any way. Yes, I realize children do drown in the bathtub all the time, so my fear here is justified, but believe me, I am way over the top on this one. Definitely a bit on the paranoid side.

Looks like I should avoid places where people eat or swim, no? In all seriousness, I am very careful not to let my fears keep us from the things they love and the things we need to do. My kids need to learn to swim and they need to enjoy baths and food (and go to the occasional mouse birthday party). These fears are really my problem, not theirs.

That said, I will be walking around manholes by at least 20 feet now.

What are your irrational fears?


Image via gsloan/Flickr

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