Flappable is often a word I would use to describe myself in a few situations that others may consider “no big deal.” I would never peg myself as someone you would want to lead you through a zombie apocalypse, however there have been quite few difficult situations in my life that I have, in fact, handled with aplomb.
It’s the smaller things. Those are the things that can cause a flap; running late, bad hair days or forgetting to PVR the Mindy Project, that kind of thing. In fact ask my closest friends how insufferable I could be years ago trying to everyone to be as punctual as I am.
All through my 20s one of my closest friends, Maria would try to get me to just go limp and accept that the Shaw sisters have their own time zone. Just deal with it, she would recommend. Ooohhhh, I start vibrating with anxiety thinking about it now.
More recently my son experienced one of his many nosebleeds. No big deal, right? However, my 12 year old, just like his mom (you’re welcome, son) suffers from terrible anxiety so both us flap fairly easily.
I’ll set the stage. He ran up the stairs, blood spurting, Monty Python-Holy Grail style, rushed into the bathroom while screaming at me the whole time. We spent the first 10 seconds dancing around each other in our panic dance before I snapped out of it. I start pulling reams of toilet paper off the roll while he is standing at the sink trying to remember if he should pinch or not. “Do I pinch or not, Mom? PINCH OR NOT? HELP ME!!”
While he is trying to figure this out, of course my immediate action was to scramble for a face cloth, push him out of the way on my way to the soap, then while he was still spurting and dancing, I proceed to start wiping the blood off of his hands. This low priority activity makes perfect sense to me and gives me purpose.
It’s at moments like these that I can depend on my child to be the adult. As I am frantically scrubbing, he pulls back and calmly points out, “Mother, the thing you are doing right now? It’s REALLY the least of my concerns right now. GET AWAY from me!”
Sure my bathroom looked like a crime scene, but I was calm. My kid was calm even though he looked like he’d been shot in the face. We managed. We handled it.
Who says anxious people aren’t any good in a crisis? Call me when the zombies approach. I’ll be ready with the face cloths and soap.