Then I keep a little list in the back of my head of all the potential hazards. I'm like a police dog:I can walk into a room and sniff out every possibly dangerous item that can cause cancer, choking, or just be shoved up a kid's nose. Let's call it my own little private insanity. Well, not exactly private. I drive my husband nuts, especially when he's, say, fixing lunch for the kids. The conversation might go something like this -- Wes: "I think I'll fix some scrambled eggs for lunch." Me: "Are those eggs expired? Have they been kept at or below 40 degrees since we bought them? Did you wash your hands after cracking them? TEFLON? You're not using the teflon pan, are you? Look, there's a flake! It's flaking! Don't you know teflon flakes in your food can cause cancer? Oh, no no no -- not in the plastic bowl -- don't microwave stuff in a plastic bowl. Chemicals can leach out into the food. Aaagh! No, the glass bowl's fine, just don't cover it with plastic wrap!"
I take over fixing the eggs. Wes takes a Tylenol and a nap in a dark room.
It's worse when I'm around my mom and sisters -- although they usually just roll their eyes when I recite my litany of hazards: listeriosis from bologna, lead paint from wooden toys, cancer from pesticides, ADD from artificial colors and flavors ... it goes on and on. But here's the real problem: I'm just a little inconsistent in my paranoia. For example, one day I'll pull out a box of cereal with a single ingredient that looks like it has little hay bales inside and serve it with organic bananas and non-rbST treated cow milk. The next I'm letting them eat from the butter dish and chow through their entire stash of Easter candy in a record 2.5 minutes (which, um, happens to be going on even as I write this ...) causing an artificial color, flavor, and sugar-induced whirlwind to tear through my house. Which makes that stick and mud hut in Alaska start to sound really appealing.