Monday, July 19, 2010

Parenthood in Rio de Janeiro. I swear I'm not scared!

I have found that irrational fears and parenthood go hand and hand.  I can't help but worry about the silliest things. 

Living in Rio de Janeiro does not help my irrational parental fears.   Take a simple thing like my 3 year old going on a field trip with his school.  My typical irrational fear would be him getting separated from the group.

Now let's add Rio de Janeiro to the equation. I worry that there's going to be a random shooting on the street where the school bus happens to be passing. Or he'll get separated from the group, or get snatched, and I'll never see him again do to the lack of infrastructure in the country. There's also stray bullets, food poisoning, wild monkey attacks, giant mosquitoes, and bum poop.

People, I did say the fears were irrational.

I honestly forget about these irrational fears most of the time. Day to day activities distract you, especially with two little ones. Plus, there are so many great things here for your kids, that it's hard to put an active imagination above the high quality of life they do have.

You forget about the meningitis outbreaks that happen in Rio de Janeiro, knowing your kid is vaccinated.  You put them in a good school near your home in a good neighborhood.  You cross the street when you are about to cross paths with the area's crazy, glue sniffing bum.   And you liberally apply mosquito repellent during dengue fever season. 

When the day is done, you live here and you're going to have fears regardless of where you live.  Of course the fears here are a little heartier then those at home...

Hey, at least I'm not so irrational as to suffer from any of the following:

Arachibutyrophobia – The fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
Genuphobia - Fear of knees
Xanthophobia - Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow

Ok, knees do freak me out a bit.

What are your irrational Rio de Janeiro fears? Parenthood fears? Come on, tell me!  I know you all have at least have one.


  1. I haven't thought about it... but I may have some fear of having peanut butter sticked on the roof of my mouth... It's scaring!

  2. I have so many irrational (and perhaps rational) fears as a mom, especially since we'll soon move to Rio so far away from anything and anyone we've ever known. I barely survived letting her go to "summer camp" here in Houston for 10 hours per week even with her 2 best friends at the same school.

    I can definitely vouch for PB getting stuck to the top of one's mouth. One of the first times I gave my 2 year old girl PB, she didn't know how to eat it (it is awfully gooey!) that she vomited all over the white carpet! Fun.

    And knees? Based on the current state of my girl's knees, I probably should be more scared!

    As I mom I think I've basically signed up for a life of worrying, rational or irrational, regardless of my child's age.

    I'm sure I'll develop some fears probably as soon as I step foot in Rio. For starters, I'm confident that not being understood or understanding what the heck is going on around me due to the language barrier will be right up there as Number 1.

  3. you'll figure it out though. And Brazilians are more than willing to sit and wait for 20 minutes until you figure out how to say whatever it is that you want to say. They are even really good sports when you have to play charades with them


    yeah, I think I got that thing.

  5. My 4 year old went on his first field trip with his preschool a couple of months ago (to the Indian Museum in Botafogo). At first when I received the permission slip I got that sinking worrying feeling and thought "no way, he's only 4!", but after I sat with it for a couple of days I decided to let him go and let go of my list of fears. I'm glad I did, he had a great time. Aside from all of the normal fears one might have living here, also it's worth noting that when we get heavy downpours some roads turn into rivers and there's no way to drive...another little fear I had, "what if he gets stuck somewhere due to heavy rain?", "what if they don't have seatbelts on the bus?"...crazy, worrying Mommy brain.