I nearly lost Rors yesterday. And I didn’t handle it well. She’s completely fine, before you spend any time worrying for her. She’s asleep in her big girl bed. Its her second sleep in it and I’m very proud of her. But that’s beside the point.
It had not been a good morning. Rori is snuffly, cranky and generally testing the boundaries as only a nearly-two-year-old can do. By the time we left for our mums and bubs exercise class at PCYC at 9, I had called some adults just to hear the voices of people who were not torturing me.
It was on the way back from PCYC, as we drove in light rain down Baroona Rd, that a huge white Audi SUV came out of a side street at speed. She neither slowed down, nor indicated as she barrelled straight out. If I had not swerved violently, she would have hit us exactly on Rori’s door. I was paying attention, and I knew that there was no car coming toward us in the other direction for me to hit as I accelerated and pulled the wheel down hard to the right. But I’m not always paying that kind of attention, if I’m honest. Sometimes, I’m giving Rori back the dummy she just dropped, or searching in her backpack for ‘more snack’, or ‘some food, mumma’. I would have been half a second late taking evasive action. But I did evade, and all Rori got was a fright.
Here comes the bit I’m not proud of. I’m a little scared of what I’m capable of.
In fear, in shock and in truly spectacular bad judgement, I followed that white Audi. I had to change direction to do it, I took multiple turns as she tried to shake me. We weren’t speeding, but I was clearly in pursuit. I was saying to Rori “we’re ok. You ok, bubba? We’re ok” more times than was necessary as she reacted to the jolt from the swerve and keyed into my stress levels. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t even know who I was following. I guessed from the car and the lack of speed when she tried to evade me that it was a woman. But I could have been wrong, and put Rori in more danger than she was when we were nearly hit. She pulled over after a few minutes and I opened my door and stood with one foot on the road. I had no intention of attacking her, but she didn’t know that. I didn’t yell. I asked her if she was texting. I asked if she was paying attention. I told her there was a two year old in the car, and I was frightened that she had nearly killed her.
She said sorry. She was clearly frightened. I would have been too. We’ve all made mistakes. And we don’t expect these mistakes to follow us in a black car with heavy tinting, possibly driven by someone who means violence. Maybe she didn’t know that I was a frightened mum. Maybe she thought she was about to be hit. I’m ashamed that I made another person feel like that. Maybe she’s telling her story to her friends, and maybe she’ll hear about this blog one day. I hope so. If she does, tell her I’m sorry.
For my part, it really does put a rough morning with a trying toddler in perspective. I can’t say I won’t get stressed when she tests me again. And of course she will. Its how they grow. But I’m thankful she’s here to test me.