This one is tough for me to write. While finding the irony in the situation, the neurotic part of me still gets a pit thinking about it. My children had a sleep over at my Father and Step Mother’s house this weekend. Like any overly anxious mom, I am not capable of total relaxation when they are away because I am unapprised of their minute to minute safety status and whereabouts.
To make matters worse a sleepover at their house is like a carnival. They go from arcades to movies to the beach to the boat to Dunkin’ Donuts often in a 4hr span. Getting in touch with them in near impossible and guessing which activity they are doing, even harder. What if my parents make a bad decision? What if they feed them food that is not cut small enough or let them ride the escalator at the mall alone…in their flip-flops!? What if they don’t account for the beach’s undertow? What if they lose them, step on them, dehydrate them, don’t apply enough sunblock?! These types of things worry me, actually all types of things worry me, down to the pillow placement on their beds and if my son, who sleeps in my antiquated brass bed, will get a limb or worse, his head stuck in the unregulation sized slats.That being said, I had a lovely dinner with my husband and a glass of champagne, or two, or a bottle lessens the concerns. The next day we went to pick up the kids and stayed for a BBQ. It was at said BBQ that the offense occurred. We were having desert, fresh fruit and Redi whip. Like butter, cheese or chocolate, whipped cream makes anything edible. My children, having control of the whipped cream can, joyfully and excessively sprayed it in heaping mounds, masking the fruit below. Squirt, squirt…air.
My step mother grabbed the can walked towards the trash then stopped as if a light bulb went off above her head. “Who wants to suck out the air and talk funny?” she said with the enthusiasm of an eight year old.
“Um the preteens that hang out by the dumpsters in the grocery store parking lots, maybe.”
“That’s not helium in there, that’s a whippet.”;”>Whippet: Slang term for the inhalant drug “Nitrous Oxide.” Use causes a momentary lightheadedness due to a depletion of oxygen to the brain. In worst cases can lead to brain damage, and SSD (Sudden Sniffing Death). People also risk falling and getting a concussion.
“I’ve never done it, I just remember hearing something about it.”
“I remember hearing something about hypodermic needles on the beach, but I’m not going to play Doctor with them.”
I was trying to play it off, but my heart was pounding. In my minimal experience with whippets, I remember falling on my dorm room bed, giggling and most likely killing enough brain cells to forget the SAT words I had spent the previous year trying so desperately to drill into my head.
I have no idea what that rush would do to a 4 and 7 year old, and THANK G-D no one was finding out! Ahhh, something new to add to the list… fear of grandparents offering my children recreational drugs. A new concern, a fear I would have never imagined and I imagine some far fetched scenarios.
In all seriousness, I will use this as a warning. Take a moment to make sure your parents know that sucking the air out of whipped cream cans, computer dusting cans (Dusting), and air-horns is very dangerous and should never be used as a game. It seems so obvious to us, but intelligent people who were not teenagers beyond the 80’s may have no idea.