I know fear

No, not that little thing. Real fear.
Life-collapsing-to-rubble-and despair horror.

In my life I have:

Taken a knife away from a would-be mugger. That fear was small and sharp and had an edge of excitement.
Been beaten with a metal pipe. That fear was distant and fluffy and overridden by embarrassment.
Gone into a burning car to retrieve medical supplies for a stranger. That fear was vague and polite and tinged with annoyance.

None of those count. Those were concern, caution, risk analysis. This is fear.

Baby Mundi is 2 months old. Last week, I tripped over one of the dogs while walking baby. I didn’t fall, but baby’s head hit the side of the door frame. He started to cry.

I’m thinking, “Shit – that was stupid. Now baby will be angry and hurt and screaming and I’ll have to walk him and soothe him and try to make him feel better.” Then baby stopped crying.

And stopped moving.


He was still breathing, but he wasn’t conscious. He didn’t react to pressure on his limbs. He didn’t react to noise. He didn’t react to a cool cloth on his face.


I called the doctor. They said take him to th eemergency room. I called Mrs Mundi because she had the car. I called the emergency rooms to find one with a pediatrician on duty. I spent the drive to the hospital in back with the baby, trying desperately to evoke a response. And being terrified.

That fear. Fear that every hope and every dream and everything vital and joyous and important in my life was in jeapordy. The fear that has no neck to grasp, no challenge to overcome, no action to bring release. The fear that knows you are helpless and twists in your belly just because it can. That fear. It is mine, now. I am its.

It held me as the doctors examined my son, and it laughed when they told me he would be fine. It new better. It taunted me for the next 48 hours while we watched baby obsessively, checking for the warning signs on the little laminated card, while we wondered if he was sleeping more than before, while we worried that he wasn’t playing as much as he used to.

Baby seems fine now. He laughs, he plays, he fills my life with joy. But the fear hasn’t gone away. Sure, it’s quiet now. It doesn’t stomp on my intestines and laugh at my helplessness. But it’s still here, waiting. I can see it sometimes out of the corner of my heart. It has found a home, and it isn’t going to leave.


No little medical words of wisdom. Just a nodding agreement that the fear may subside but it will never go away. I’ve been there man, and it’s beyond words.

It’ll still be there the first time he gets beat up at school, or goes with the car to a party. I have nightmares about what is to come, as well as what’s already transpired. It makes the keen edge of their lives that much more precious.

All you get to do is love him and watch him, and be glad he’s seeming to recover just fine.

Smooch him for all of us.


Here, here, what toon says. I’ve got 3 kids and a wife, and because I love them, I’m fucked. In return for the love, I’m ‘blessed’ with knowing that it isn’t forever, that it will all pass, and that, if I’m lucky, I’ll go before they will (of course, they get the inexpressable joy of seeing me go first).

Here’s a prayer that you won’t ever go through that again.

Yep it is for life. And it gets worse. You won’t ever lose it no matter what your child’s age, it will just come in a different form. I used to always think how glad I would be when my son was old enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about him any more. He’s 21, and I worry just as much now as I did when he was 1, just in a different way. But the love and joy and heartache and tears are still all worth it. My life would be so empty without the place he occupies.

Holy Crap! :frowning:

The queazy, panicked feeling in my stomache is only slightly tempered by the knowledge that Baby Mundi seems to be doing well.

Be well Spiritus. You should have another companion on the fatherhood road any day now.

I am so glad to hear Super Baby Mundi is back to laughing.
The start of the story scared me. That couldn’t have been .00001% of what you felt. It was scary, nonetheless.

I tried to warn you about the dog, but nooo you didn’t listen. He is up to no good.

I am really sorry to hear you had that incident. Hopefully, the fear will subside over time, as you see more and more how Super Baby is back to being good and healthy.

Give the baby some tickles and squeezes for me.


Try to remember that "The Fear"™ is, in reality, merely the other side of your love’s coin.

We all fear for those we love. It is an unavoidable facet of having feelings and is what distinguishes us as parents from snakes and insects.

Oh, am I with you on this. I just deleted the long drawn out listings of e-r visits, etc that I’ve gone through with my 17 year old, just 'cause I don’t want to scare you to death.

Glad your little Mundi is a-ok now.

I know this fear as well. I am thankful that I am yet to have no cause to feel it to the extent that you have.

I agree with you as well. Personal fear is nothing. The fear you have for a loved one or family member in danger is terrible.

If their is a greater fear and terror than that felt by the loving parent towards their distressed child, I don’t wanna know about it.

My daughter (18 months) was playing in our bachyard. She was about 20 yards from me. We live pretty isolated, and it’s just grass, nothing to get hurt on, so I was comfortable.

A strange dog suddenly showed up and weent running for my daughter at full bore.

I knew epic terror as I ran to my daughter’s aid when I saw that the dog would clearly reach her first.

Apparently the dog saw me coming and heard me screaming and changed it’s mind.
Welcome to parenthood.

Glad Baby Mundi is back in action.

I used to go backpacking alone in Tibet. I have known complete paralyzing fear and utter helplessness.

I still wake up several times a night to make sure my 12 month old daughter is breathing. Sometimes I can’t tell and my heart stops and I have to tickle her to get a reaction. I think fear for my daughter will always be with me, I just hope that I can hide it enough that she can grow up without having to worry about me worrying about her.

I know that this is a “normal” part of parenting. In a way, that’s what’s so terrifying. I mean, lots of people talked about what to expect: sleepless nights, back aches from carrying an infant who somehow manages to weigh three times as much in your arms as he does on the scale, colic, teething, nipple confusion, etc. I mean, there are books on this stuf. Lots of books. Many, many books. And those are just the ones scattered around my living room. I looked in all of them. I checked the indices under “terror”, “horror”, “mind-altering dread”. Nothing. Not even a passing mention, “Oh, by the way, the rest of your life will be enriched by gut-twisting fear and abject helplessness.

These books are supposed to prepare you for parenthood, and they don’t even see fit to mention The Fear[sup]TM[/sup]. You see what I’m getting at, don’t you? These books mention everything. They talk about things no husband was ever supposed to know about his wife. They talk about frequency, color, consistency, and odor of bowel movements. But they neglect to mention TERROR! If this is such a normal part of parenting that the “experts” forget to talk about it – what else have they left out?

I feel a deep and profound urge to huddle in the corner between fluffed pillows and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Except for you guys, of course. You guys are great.


Is that there are people you don’t even know, who have more control over your child than you do.

It happens all the time. If you had taken your baby to the hospital, all kinds of questions could have been raised. “Was this an accident? Is Spritus a child abuser”.

Scary shit, I know, Glad to hear that Spiritus Jr. is doing fine…

Um – we did take him to the hospital. Nobody asked me any such questions.

I think I’ve seen that kind of fear.

My niece was only a week or two old when my sister-in-law drove down to visit my parents and show off the new baby. I was 13 or 14. Sister-in-law and mother are talking in the other room. I walk in and remark that ‘When you thump Megan on that soft spot on her head, she goes like this every time’ - and then faked a weird spasm-like wiggling. I’ll never forget the look in her face when I said that - she wasn’t used to our families sense of humor yet.

Substitute ‘If you had taken’ with ‘When you took’ in my previous post…

I am very glad baby Mundi is OK! Whew.

Getting grilled by doctors about possible child abuse is not uncommon, and I think it is overall a good thing. When I was a small Gaud I crawled to a faucet and turned on the hot water and scalded the skin off my feet (Mother says they looked like pizza with the cheese pulled off), and my mom was interrogated by the hospital, but she thinks it was a good thing. Better to question many good parents than give an abusive parent free rein to harm their child.

I’m with Gaudere. Last time I took one of my off spring to the ER, I was interrogated thoroughly by the staff. Given the problem we came in with, I was very thankful that they did this as standard practice. While P Jnr is not an abused child, appearances were against me :wink: and I found it reassuring that they were extremely thorough in making sure it was not abuse.

And Spiritus I’m glad your baby was fine.

Badtz Maru, that was funny, I’m still giggling.

As for fear, I have caused 21 years of terror for my mother, nothing on purpose, just kid stuff. Glad the baby is OK.

I know this fear of which you speak.

I have an eight year old that is no longer allowed to leave our side of the street because I noticed that he doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on. Two days running I have been driving up to see him cross the street with his head down, not looking for cars. Both times he has jumped when I layed on the horn.

He says he looks for cars but I don’t believe him.

My friend’s son was buried on Saturday after being hit by a car a few weeks ago. He ran out into the street without looking.

He was 11.

And Badtz, that wasn’t funny. Not to me anyways.

Glad that crisis 1 has been assauged Spritus.

But this scares me. I already have enough fear for my fully adult loved ones. I have fear for my parents and they are far wiser and more experienced than me. I have enormous fear for the kabbess and she’s wilier than I could ever hope to be. These fears assail me and I have to talk to people and see them quickly.

If I’m like this now, what will I be like when I have a baby? I don’t think I can cope with more fear.

And it’s funny how that fear doesn’t extend to one’s own self. I can face the prospect of nasty death with pointy cogs with equanimity. But I can’t cope with the thought of one hair of a loved one’s head being damaged. Clearly I’m not alone.

Good luck.