I may or may not have screamed (I did scream), picked up the baby where he was sleeping, nearly breaking the cardinal rule of babies (that is, to never wake them), and brought him back to his room and put him in his crib and soothed him back to sleep and sat on the mattress on the floor, alternatively breathing and praying that my delicious chili dog was not going to make an encore show.
I was going to die up there. I knew it. I went to Facebook to say a capslock goodbye to all my friends and family and resigned myself to my fate. My iPad would not let me say a capslock goodbye to all my friends and family, not because my iPad had a faith in my strength of constitution, but because it was so old that it doesn’t know how to stay on internet pages for longer than four seconds.
The cat. In the house. Had a dead bird.
So, maybe it wasn’t dead. It flew into the window trying to escape. Then the cat came back from the window with a grey mound of feathers in its mouth that was shaped like a bird. Maybe the bird fooled it. Maybe it was playing dead. Maybe it had an extra bird coat and flung it over a crushed pinecone. But more likely it was a dead bird and so I had to do what any superhero-obsessed nanny would do: save the baby, and hide like a coward.
Which I managed quite well, I think, considering. I called for backup. The wee one’s granddad checked to make sure there was no bird in plain sight or in my shoes. And now I’m home where there is no dead animals anywhere, with feathers or otherwise.
Probably I could even manage zombies better than I can manage dead birds. The same unholy terror people have when they deal with heights or public speaking or public speaking from a great height, or death, or death after public speaking from a great height, I have for dead birds. I can’t explain it. It’s visceral. Maybe I have my wires crossed and the ‘dead birds’ wire is linked up to the ‘being buried alive’ feeling, but whatever it is… it’s the worst.
So, I saved the baby today (though the baby was in literally no danger) and my panic attack was enough cardio for the next couple months; I think today was a success. A weird, upsetting success.