August 06, 2007

When Parental Oddities Don't Seem so... Odd.

We all have our little idiosyncrasies about our fears and our kids.

One of my dearest friend’s biggest fear is falling off a bridge or her car plunging into water with her kids. I mean it is a fear that has taken on a life of its own. She laughs about it when we talk about it. But we live in Florida. There are canals, waterways, and bridges all over.

She has a little popper thing to pop out her window. She has this cutter that will cut through seat belts.

Her mini-van is equipped with water proof flashlights.

She has gone through little mini drills with her kids. (She has three.)

She even has a little emergency 'pull a cord and air fills a little yellow raft/boat' in the back of her van… if she were to be able to get to it, she figures they can float it in. She has all sorts of floaty stuff so the kids have something to hang on to.

She has this entire plan in her head.

I’m not kidding. When she confessed all this to me she shook her head and said, “I know. It’s insane.”

For some reason it doesn’t seem so insane anymore…

Posted by Boudicca at August 6, 2007 09:41 PM | TrackBack

Are you kidding?
She is my new hero!

I lay awake at night planning what I would do if my kids were trapped in a vehicle that was sinking. Just the thought of hanging upside down in a ditch with 3 feet of water terrifies me.

And if I had all that stuff for emergencies that she has? I'd still worry that when my car flipped upside down, all the stuff would fall to the roof and be swept away in the water.
(Don't tell her that, though. She might obsess.)

Posted by: Roses at August 6, 2007 10:13 PM

I hate to be a spoil sport, but you know it's always the stuff you don't plan for that gets ya. Not that it's bad that she's thinking about these things, but maybe she could extrapolate and think about how she might use these same tools in other emergencies...then again maybe not she might obsess about those too. *grin*

Posted by: Teresa at August 6, 2007 10:32 PM

Oh boy... Never has been a fear of mine, but given the news??? Hey - my motto is "Luck favors the prepared..."

Not a bad plan.

Posted by: Richmond at August 6, 2007 10:34 PM

I'm just gonna go with what Teresa said and hope that nothing happens to me since I am unprepared for just about any emergency, ever.

(knock wood)

Posted by: Erica at August 7, 2007 02:15 AM

I have a pocket knife within reach ... but nothing for the windows. Hmmm...

Posted by: vw bug at August 7, 2007 05:19 AM

Your friend isn't alone, since it's a real danger down here Arthur and I have talked about it a number of times.

Posted by: pam at August 7, 2007 06:31 AM

Roses- I think she has stuff planned for it being flipped upside down. She's pretty serious about it.

Teresa- She's a pretty prepared person in general. I'm sure the flashlights have multiple use for one thing! The rest of it doesn't need multiple use as its so small.

I have thought about getting one of those window pinger things for awhile. I don't know if y'all have seen them but its shaped like a small ice pick, but wider and the pick part is spring loaded. You pull the back end and release and the pick pings your window and breaks it. I think they make them combined with a seat belt cutter now.

Posted by: Bou at August 7, 2007 06:48 AM

I have a huge fear of driving over bridges, I close my eyes and practically sit in the center of the car, oh I refuse to drive over a bridge.

It just scares the ever living hell out of me, don't know why. Mr Weenie use to laugh at me, until last week that is.

When we flew to Miami and drove to Key West I was nearly in full panic mode by the time we got to Key West, don't know what the hell I was thinking about vacationing in Key West knowing about all those "bridges"

Posted by: Quality Weenie at August 7, 2007 11:15 AM

My cousin always rolls down her window before going over a bridge. She worries about the electrical system going out.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at August 7, 2007 02:33 PM

What Mrs. Who said!
The husband and I were VERY upset to learn that you can't buy a new vehicle with manual windows anymore.

I. Don't. Like it.

Posted by: Roses at August 7, 2007 09:12 PM

I have a cousin who has a fear of bridges. Even as a passenger, she starts sweating, heart palpatations, etc. Her sister drives over brdiges with her eyes closed most of the time. I told them, I am never riding in a car with the two of them ever again.

Posted by: Jerry at August 8, 2007 01:18 AM

Ever since I saw them demonstrate them on "Mythbusters," I keep saying I need to get one of those window-pinger things. Or that hammer thing - which I think also comes with a integral seat-belt cutter.

Problem is, I guess I'm going to have to mail order it. None of the stores 'round here have it - some even deny that such a thing exists.

There are certain bridges where I live that I will NOT drive over because they freak me out too much. I mean, state-of-repair-wise.

Posted by: ricki at August 8, 2007 10:20 AM

I don't like electric windows. For the longest time, because of bridges, i would only buy roll down, but try to find a roll down window with any type of decent package in a car.

You can find those window pingy things online and I think they used to sell them at Sharper image. But I bet a auto place would sell them. They have them at

Posted by: Bou at August 8, 2007 08:59 PM

Roses: My husband's 2006 Honda Civic has roll downs. I like that!

I didn't confess this to anyone in my family, but I did a paranoid number on the 4th of July. We were supposed to go to my husband's aunt's house. They live on an island, and we usually take a ferry from Seattle to get there. Well, after the Edinburgh and London incidents, I was just sure something would happen somewhere and no doubt our tribe would blunder into it.

Nothing would creep me out more than sinking with a ferry. Being massively stupid, I decided to do a google search the night before the trip (we actually went on the 5th, thank goodness) to see what security measures our state ferry system had in place. I found out that following some alarming incidents of terrorist surveillance in 2004, they bumped up the car searches to 1 in 15, and the truck searches to 1 in 4. Those odds did not make me comfortable, especially in light of this article. And this one. And most especially this one.

So, I insisted on taking the Kingston ferry and driving a little further. And, I tucked a couple of life jackets under the back seat. Just in case. And I read up on how to get the family away from a sinking boat. Of course, nothing happened, and nobody noticed the life jackets. So I got to sneak them back into the garage with my dignity intact. Until now - but I feel better for confessing the paranoia.

Posted by: Peggy U at August 8, 2007 11:48 PM