Becoming a parent can turn the bravest of us into total cowards. There is nothing like being responsible for a tiny, mewling, helpless newborn to make the entire world look like Texas Chainsaw Massacre just waiting to happen. Suddenly the world is a terrifying place, and the most innocent things are the worst offenders.
Here are nine things that look perfectly nice, normal and innocent — until you become a parent, at which point they will terrify the pants off of you.
Fluffy, warm, fuzzy blankets are coming to smother your adorable newborn in his or her sleep! Every package that arrives at your house has a blanket in it. They are coming for you!
Whole grapes are a choking hazard! You will find yourself slicing a single seedless grape into 24 paper-thin slices someday. Then you will see a bunch of them on a buffet and fling yourself on the fruit salad as though it were a grenade. Nobody can take you to the country club anymore.
The Jaws theme plays in my head every time my 12-month-old starts toddling towards an 18-month-old at the playground. Is the slightly larger baby going to wave hello and do something adorable? No! She’s going to shove the smaller baby over and give her the first lesson in the inherent risks of opening up to people.
What monster cuts a raw carrot into coins? These are obviously only intended as a choking hazard.
Side table? More like wobbly, tottering, eldritch table-of-falling-over-and-landing-on-small-children.
What are you doing here, playground squirrel? We do not have any rice cakes for you. Get away from my baby before someone turns you into some hipster taxidermy.
Who dropped that penny on the ground?! Don’t you know that pennies are a serious choking hazard?!
Are you crazy? Like all other foods and objects, nuts are an obvious choking hazard! They’re also a potentially serious allergen. No one in your family has allergies? They have to start somewhere! Better get a tiny hazmat suit just to be safe.
I'm sure you spent a lot of time creating that perfectly tasteful and well-appointed koi pond with lilies and just the right amount of algae, but when I walk in with a new baby all I see is a limpid blue hellscape that will haunt my nightmares for the next 18 years.
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