You know those stories you read, about a parent who suddenly develops incredible, super human strength, when one of their kids is in danger?
There is actually a term, and Wikipedia page for it, entitled Hysterical Strength and this is (in part) what it states … ‘The most common anecdotal examples are of mothers lifting automobiles to rescue their children, and when people are in life and death situations.’
Well, I can’t say I’ve ever lifted a car off my kid, but last night, for the first time in my 15+yrs of parenting, I experienced Hysterical Strength, FIRSTHAND!
The boys had decided they were going for a bike ride. Before they managed to get out the door, they got into an argument.
Because Adam was getting a bit out of hand, I marched him to his room.
A few minutes later, another boy showed up for the ride, and I could hear yelling in the front yard.
I popped my head out the front door to find Adam had started to remove the screen from his bedroom window, and was half hanging out the window, yelling at the boys.
I was already cranky because of the initial fight.
Seeing him hanging out the window, screen half off got ME yelling … ‘Get that screen back ON, get IN the window and then get OUT for your bike ride!’
Then I slammed the front door, and went back to putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
A few minutes later, I could hear Adam calling me from his room.
I didn’t go right away to see what he wanted.
My boys have a tendency to yell for me from their rooms. Drives me INSANE! You want to talk to me, come down and talk to me!!!
So, since I thought he was just calling me in there to give me a hard time about the window, or the argument with his brother, I didn’t go.
That was ALMOST one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
A couple of minutes later, Adam was calling me again.
But now, something about his voice had changed.
Something didn’t sound ‘right’
I got to his room, went to open the door, and discovered I couldn’t.
It was locked from the inside with a relatively strong chain lock, that he had bought almost a year ago, with his own money, and had installed himself.
I had told him at the time that although I didn’t approve of the lock, since he had already gone to the trouble of BUYING it himself, and installing it HIMSELF, I wouldn’t take the lock off, as long as he NEVER used it to keep ME out of his room intentionally.
So the lock had stayed.
Since I couldn’t get the door open, and I could still hear ‘MOM!!! MOM!!! MOMMY!!!!!’ coming from behind the door, I stuck my head through the small opening between the door frame and the chain.
What I saw made my heart stop.
There was Adam, head twisted at an odd angle, HANGING by his neck from the blinds!!!
Don’t ask me HOW he managed to do it, but in the process of getting the screen back on, and getting the window closed, he had managed to get the ends of the blinds tangled up UNDER his bicycle helmet, and the cord was wrapped around his neck.
He was grabbing at the cord, and gasping for breath.
Even looking directly at him, I STILL wasn’t sure what I was seeing and the first words out of my mouth were ‘WHAT are you DOING?!??!’
He opened his mouth, tried to turn his head sideways so he could see me, and gasped ‘Mommy! … I … can’t … breath!’
Even as he was saying it, I could see his whole face starting to turn red.
His eyes were bulging already, although I think that was more so from the fear.
All of a sudden it hit me … just like it did the time he was a toddler … OMIGOD HE’S CHOKING!!!!
And even though I KNEW it was happening, I couldn’t BELIEVE it was happening in front of my eyes!
I think I was actually frozen in place for a second, thinking he was still just ‘messing with me’.
He was just joking. He wasn't really caught.
That is, until I heard another feeble ‘Mom-my …’
Then, Mom Mode took over.
Even knowing it was already locked, I pushed on the door.
I don’t know if I expected it to magically open, but it didn’t budge.
‘Adam! I can’t get in! Your door is locked! Can you get your head out?’
Even as I was asking him, I could see his face getting redder and redder by the second, and he was starting to panic, wrapping the cord tighter around his neck.
He didn’t even really answer me. Just tried to shake his head.
Feeling at a complete loss, and trying not to panic myself, I yelled, ‘But your door is LOCKED I can’t get IN!’
He choked back, ‘Break it …’
And before I could even think about what I was doing, I let my hand drop from the door, took a step back, turned sort of sideways, held my breath and KICKED with everything in me.
OH. YES. I. DID!
And now that everything is said and done, I can say, HOLY CRAP!
It was JUST like something out of the movies! LOL
All it took was the one swift NINJA KICK!
Door FLEW open, lock went flying across the room and I raced over to my gasping boy.
It didn't take long to get him down and untangled, but those had to be the longest few seconds in my life!
He's OK. Was just shaken up, and for a little while, had a bit of a red mark around his neck where the strings from the blinds were, but overall, OK.
When it was all over, he looked at me, almost seeing me for the first time, and said, 'You ... you KICKED IN my door, Mama!'
To which I simply replied, 'Yes ... yes I did. THAT'S what a Mom on adrenaline will do when trying to get to her child.'
Some call it a shot of adrenaline, some call it Hysterical Strength.
Hysterical Strength? Nah, just call me Badass Mama!