One must keep in mind that no matter how much good I think I’m doing, my parenting skills can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Case in point: today at my Mom’s house, Victoria interrupts our conversation to ask me, “Mommy, if I shake my head really, really hard and my brain gets shaken around in my head, can it kill me?”

Interesting question, as through my mind flash all the stories of shaken baby syndrome, contrasted with my friend Jill’s childhood fear that absolutely everything could cause certain death no matter the particular circumstances. So I ventured into:

“Well, let’s see. I don’t know if that could necessarily kill you just by the act of shaking your head. I have heard of instances where shaken brains caused a myriad of other problems…long-term inability to think and function for yourself being one. I seriously doubt you could shake your head hard enough to jar your brain loose on your own, but if you were trying to shake your brain loose, and shaking your head really hard, you could potentially lose your balance, fall down and hit your head on something, and that could cause you worse problems than a shaken brain. It would inevitably involve a trip to the hospital at any rate, so let’s just NOT try and do that, okay?”

As Victoria walked away from us with a dumbfounded look on her face, Mom looked at me and asked, “Geez, whatever happened to just saying ‘yes?’”

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